eVisits to Be Covered by Some Insurors

October 9, 2006

An article from Minneapolis indicates that two insurance companies in Minnesota are planning to cover evisits. This means a $35 fee for each email to a patient. The article notes that physicians have been slow to adopt (in some cases complete avoid) email as a form of communication with patients due to lack of reimbursement. The Minnesota experience shows a slow rate of adopting (100 patients in 5 months for HealthPartners) which is similar to the gradual adoption rates of personal health records. Patients who are early adopters or those with chronic illness and significant travel time may be the initial users in this technology especially in areas where internet usage and higher bandwidth is still growing. But many parents and family caregivers are using the internet at home and work and will begin to adopt this if they get a timely response from the physician.

The article did not discuss secure email or how users may feel about privacy.

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