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N.Y. Health Insurers To Offer Virtual Doc Visits

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the virtual-co-pay dept.

Medicine 74

CWmike writes "Two insurance organizations in upstate New York said on Wednesday that they will offer their members and employers virtual physician visits beginning this summer, making New York the fourth state to provide these types of services. BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York, BlueShield of Northeastern New York and technology services provider American Well said the Online Care service will allow members to talk with physicians in real time through a private online chat network or through a voice-over-IP phone call. The service also offers video chat and instant messages. Members can sign on to the insurer's Web sites and look for physicians who are available online in various specialty areas."

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74 comments

Coming next: (4, Insightful)

jgreco (1542031) | more than 4 years ago | (#31436510)

Outsourcing doctors offshore.

Re:Coming next: (1)

T Murphy (1054674) | more than 4 years ago | (#31436716)

Might not be too bad- once the doctors in India are too busy with these virtual visits, they'll have to hire the unemployed American doctors to diagnose x-rays and whatnot.

Re:Coming next: (2, Interesting)

i.r.id10t (595143) | more than 4 years ago | (#31436956)

Actually, it is already being done with digital images from cat scans and such that are sent via internet from rural hospitals and doc-in-a-box places to larger facilities for specialized "reading" and consultation. Assuming something was worked out with licensing and board exams I don't see outsourcing stuff like that to $other_place as much more than a change in the destination IP address.

Re:Coming next: (2, Insightful)

daem0n1x (748565) | more than 4 years ago | (#31438362)

You have unemployed doctors? In my country (Portugal) it's very hard to get an MD degree, and getting one is like a licence to print money.

But our system costs a huge lot less [wikipedia.org] , and the coverage is universal. Someone is being ripped off.

So, where does all that money go? I guess to the middle man (insurance and healthcare corporations).

Re:Coming next: (1)

TheSync (5291) | more than 4 years ago | (#31444974)

In my country (Portugal) it's very hard to get an MD degree, and getting one is like a licence to print money.

2005 Portugal General Physician average salary $ 23,808/year PPP or $ 19,092/year USD.

2005 US General Physician average salary $98,268/year. (Data from worldsalaries.org)

THAT is why US health care costs so much. We pay our doctors far more than most European countries. Even more if you account for the fact that US doctors pay for their own medical school.

Re:Coming next: (1)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | more than 4 years ago | (#31436742)

Also:

Rate increases.

NY Blue Cross Blue Shield for personal insurance plan cost: $1,150 a month.

Re:Coming next: (0, Troll)

houghi (78078) | more than 4 years ago | (#31436752)

I hope not as it will disrupt the health care in those countries that actually have healthcare.

Re:Coming next: (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31437224)

I hate to break it to you, but we actually do have health care here in the US (yes, helath care is two words, not one). In fact, the quality of care here is so good that foreigners often come HERE to receive treatment rather than wait in line in their own country. Here is one recent high-profile example:

  http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=2510700 [nationalpost.com]

And speaking from personal experience, I am pleased overall at the quality and availability of the health care that I have received here in the US. Owebama is full of shit, and he can fuck off.

I know, I know, you were probably referring to the COST of health care, not the quality or availability. Well guess what: things cost money. Professionals expect to be paid handsomely for their services. Otherwise, what the fuck is the point of going to college for half of your life and racking up six-figure student loans? It's not my responsibility to pay for your allergy / heart / VD medicine. Get a job, and pay for your own God damned health care, you spoiled, entitled little fuck.

Re:Coming next: (3, Interesting)

InsaneProcessor (869563) | more than 4 years ago | (#31439120)

One only needs to look at things like this and realize that if the customers are complaining about costs and features, the private sector will respond.
What about that doctor in NY that tried $79 a month for all the visits you want. The government stopped him because he was acting like insurance. Get the government out of the way and the private sector will make health care more affordable and available.

I hope you haven't just eaten... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31436780)

http://www.drudgereport.com/nanc1.jpg [drudgereport.com]

Someone needs to tell Skeletor here that the next time she's at the plastic surgeon's office, she should ask for a collagen injection in her eye sockets. For God's sake, they look like she's been dead a week!

Re:I hope you haven't just eaten... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31436926)

Your that guy who still tells Lewinsky jokes at parties, aren't you?

Skeletor. Har har har.

Re:Coming next: (1)

Stenchwarrior (1335051) | more than 4 years ago | (#31436786)

I'd go to an Indian doctor any day, even virtually. I go to one now and I tell myself every time: The only thing missing is a chat session so I can understand the bastard.

Re:Coming next: (4, Insightful)

Steauengeglase (512315) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437186)

Good Lord, why should be it cheaper? There is equipment to be paid for and technicians to make sure the equipment is operational; probably some extra coverage for "e-Malpractice". Of course you won't actually get to see a doctor, just another over-worked nurse practitioner; only now they'll have to sit in a cube for 9 hours a day.

Turn-over will begin to go up in that area as the whole thing turns into "medical help desk". I couldn't imagine the horror of getting pestered for 9 hours a day by octogenarians and hypochondriacs about every pimple and scratch on their body. Not that it matters, the practice bills by both the call and the minute, there are 40 people in que and your sup is complaining about your response times. You pray each day that your practice will get bought out by one of the big boy managed health organizations, because they actually put into your 401k, unlike these organ grinders.

Re:Coming next: (2, Insightful)

houghi (78078) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437642)

You think that is bad? Wait till they replace 90% of the people with an IVR. Press one if you are sick. Press 2 if you had an accident. Press 3 if you are pregnant. Press 4 ...

A few buttons pressed and your appendics will be removed instead of your tooth.

Standard Fee (2, Interesting)

Ipeunipig (934414) | more than 4 years ago | (#31436512)

I'm curious as to how much will be billed back through insurance. You have a standard fee just for going in to the office to see the doctor, now that the office is not being used how much of a 'discount' will you see.

Re:Standard Fee (2, Interesting)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#31436550)

I'd probably pay the standard fee just for the opportunity to talk to an actual MD. I met my doctor once. Once. She's been my primary care physician for 5 years now, I've been in the office 5 times for routine physicals and 2-3 times for specific issues, and the only time I ever saw her was when I went in for a biopsy. She watched as an intern did the biopsy.

Re:Standard Fee (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31436628)

Sounds like it's time to find a new doctor. My doctor told me that he's making it a point to spend more time talking to his patients. He carries a laptop with him so he can stay in the exam room and chat with patients while he sends their prescription directly to the pharmacy from his computer. No more carrying paper prescriptions around and waiting 10-20 minutes for them to be filled! The prescription was ready for me by the time I got to the pharmacy. It was awesome! So when I hear Obama saying that we need to let a mouth-breathing federal bureaucrat insert themselves between me, my doctor, and my insurer, I say he can go fuck himself! :-)

Re:Standard Fee (1)

Sam36 (1065410) | more than 4 years ago | (#31436924)

amen

Re:Standard Fee (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31436986)

He carries a laptop with him so he can stay in the exam room and chat with patients while he sends their prescription directly to the pharmacy from his computer. No more carrying paper prescriptions around and waiting 10-20 minutes for them to be filled! The prescription was ready for me by the time I got to the pharmacy. It was awesome! So when I hear Obama saying that we need to let a mouth-breathing federal bureaucrat insert themselves between me, my doctor, and my insurer, I say he can go fuck himself! :-)

Do you know WHY doctors can do that? It's because Medicare started paying them a bonus for e-Prescribing. Before there was government money involved, the most pharmacies bothered to do was to have a fax machine in the corner that someone might be bothered to check every now and then.

When the bonus first started, there was a huge fucking shitstorm when the doctors discovered that walgreens and cvs and the other big pharmacies couldn't even take an electronic prescription, and they'd tell their patients they HAD to go to some hospital pharmacy or somewhere that had at least bothered to buy a computer.

Re:Standard Fee (1)

lorenlal (164133) | more than 4 years ago | (#31436660)

If that's how you feel, I'd suggest looking around for a new MD. There are still MDs out there that handle the workload themselves, they just tend to run smaller practices. My primary handles all his own office calls.

Re:Standard Fee (2, Insightful)

guruevi (827432) | more than 4 years ago | (#31436844)

Most likely none. You will still have to pay your $20 co-pay or pay up until you meet the deductible full charge. The insurance company however will have reduced rates for these types of service provided by their doctors. So they will be billed less ($100 instead of $500) and they will be able to generate more money. Next thing they're going to start staffing their own 'doctors' (probably med students that just finished school) on an hourly rate with a 6 months turnover (so they won't have to provide benefits) and later some manager is going to find out that doctors in India charge 300 rupees instead of 300 dollars per visit.

Is the insurance fee virtual too? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31436516)

I thought not.

Re:Is the insurance fee virtual too? (2, Funny)

ctrl-alt-canc (977108) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437502)

No, only the insurance refund is virtual :-(

Don't mix it up with Chat Roulette... (4, Funny)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | more than 4 years ago | (#31436520)

"Please present the affected body part to your webcam."

Re:Don't mix it up with Chat Roulette... (1)

lorenlal (164133) | more than 4 years ago | (#31436634)

I'll assume that this won't work so well with prostate and GYN calls....

Re:Don't mix it up with Chat Roulette... (3, Funny)

daid303 (843777) | more than 4 years ago | (#31436938)

As some people would pay to watch it, it could pay of your health bills.

Re:Don't mix it up with Chat Roulette... (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 4 years ago | (#31441638)

"Okay, now that you've attached your webcam to your garden hose, let's get this virtual colonoscopy started!"

insert webcam (1)

DaveSlash (1597297) | more than 4 years ago | (#31439408)

"Please insert webcam into affected body part"

Re:Don't mix it up with Chat Roulette... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31437336)

So this is how goatse.cx came to be.

Conflict of interest (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31436548)

First-contact doctors working directly for the insurance company sounds like a bit of a conflict of interest.

Even if you trust in them not to be simply bought off, their jobs may depend on how much their instructions cost. Dr Caring who believes suspect lumps should be biopsyed every time just to make sure they aren't cancerous is unlikely to have as long a term with the company as Dr Casual who tells the patients to just wait two weeks and see if it goes away on it's own.

Re:Conflict of interest (2, Informative)

OrwellianLurker (1739950) | more than 4 years ago | (#31436612)

In most states doctors are paid by insurance companies to prescribe xx% generic drugs out of all drugs prescribed.

Re:Conflict of interest (1)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#31436616)

It's a good thing they are not, then.

The Online Care service will allow eligible members to engage in immediate live encounters with credentialed physicians from the Blues plans' established provider networks.

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/bluecross-blueshield-of-western-new-yorkblueshield-of-northeastern-new-york-and-american-well-bring-online-care-to-new-york-state-87223392.html [prnewswire.com]

Re:Conflict of interest (1)

Renraku (518261) | more than 4 years ago | (#31443412)

Yep, this will be like workman's comp doctors.

"Sore eye after you've been welding without a mask? Probably just dehydrated. Drink more water and come back in a month..if you come back sooner you'll have to pay out of pocket."

"Numbness in your legs after you slipped on that banana peel in the warehouse and hit your head? You're just tired, walk it off."

"Strange black mole that's doubled in size in the past few weeks? Well, I didn't get the pictures you emailed, but just put a bandaid on it."

I do NOT forsee this going well..insurance companies have wanted to pick-and-choose which doctors they support for years..and they have been in some cases. This will put care of your health 90% in their hands.

Re:Conflict of interest (1)

TheSync (5291) | more than 4 years ago | (#31444228)

First-contact doctors working directly for the insurance company sounds like a bit of a conflict of interest.

Of course, one could argue that health insurance companies compete with one another to provide the best service, or else they may lose contracts with employers (which I have seen happen).

The problem is that the person choosing your health insurance (in the USA) is not you, but your employer's HR staff, due to WWII-era tax rules.

No surprises here... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31436558)

I'm sure you're all very surprised to learn that a nigger was just involved in a stabbing:

http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local-beat/Moviegoer-Tells-Woman-to-Stop-Talking-On-Cell-Phone-Gets-Stabbed-in-the-Neck-87144462.html [nbclosangeles.com]

Here's a PERFECT example of why weapons control laws are useless. This nigger didn't have a gun - he was packing a fucking MEAT THERMOMETER! Are liberals going to try to outlaw meat thermometers?

Re:No surprises here... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31436810)

This nigger didn't have a gun - he was packing a fucking MEAT THERMOMETER! Are liberals going to try to outlaw meat thermometers?

Wouldn't it be more effective to outlaw niggers [google.com] ?

Re:No surprises here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31437812)

No need to go that far. Just cap welfare benefits at 6 months every 5 years, and the problem will fix itself.

Re:No surprises here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31436814)

Mods?

Just wait until they outsource it... (3, Insightful)

Turzyx (1462339) | more than 4 years ago | (#31436574)

Although this certainly sounds more sophisticated, the UK NHS offers an 'over the phone diagnosis' service, NHS Direct [nhsdirect.nhs.uk] . Although the article mentions 'physicians' being used to monitor the network, how long will it be until they too are using unqualified staff to handle more routine cases? [dailymail.co.uk]

The danger for misdiagnosis is huge, although they no doubt have a clause somewhere about it - they may just end up telling patients to visit their doctor in person for a proper check-up, which kind of defeats the object.

Re:Just wait until they outsource it... (3, Informative)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 4 years ago | (#31436828)

Ontario (in Canada) has a hotline [gov.on.ca] you can call to get help. It's staffed by registered nurses, not doctors. However it works pretty well, because the point of it is really to tell you if you should just to direct you to the next point of care. Be it the emergency room, walk-in clinic, family physician, or just a little bed rest. Nurses are perfect qualified to at least direct you to where you should be going after hearing the symptoms, and it's a lot cheaper than having doctors on the phone. I think the main point of it was to keep people from going to the emergency room simply because they had a cold. Which happens way more often then it should.

Re:Just wait until they outsource it... (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 4 years ago | (#31438834)

We have the same sort of things (Healthline [gov.sk.ca] ) over here in Saskatchewan.

Re:Just wait until they outsource it... (1)

nblender (741424) | more than 4 years ago | (#31440940)

Alberta has similar... We used it a lot when we were new parents because, face it, babies are weird and you don't trust your intuition about what might be wrong... Turns out every time we called, the response was "you need to go to the hospital and have that checked out"... So either our intuition was spot-on or the hotline is a waste of time...

Re:Just wait until they outsource it... (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 4 years ago | (#31441424)

We've called a couple times, and sometimes they say take the kid to the family doctor. Other times it was the emergency room. A doctors visit costs a lot less than a trip to the emergency room, and can be scheduled, and requires less waiting around, and doesn't clog up the emergency room with something that really isn't an emergency. Anything that keeps non-emergencies out of the emergency room is a good thing.

Re:Just wait until they outsource it... (1)

GerryHattrick (1037764) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437510)

Used the English 'NHS Direct' system 3 times (at night, for children and elderlies). Thorough script, reassuring qualified nurse, triage between 'take aspirin', 'see doc tomorrow', 'request night visit', and even 'emergency ambulance now' (they get your location first). And of course whichever the option, everything is free here. Rumour says it's been massively more popular than expected - Surprise! It's certainly one of my quickdial numbers.

Re:Just wait until they outsource it... (1)

RDW (41497) | more than 4 years ago | (#31439934)

Our local GP (family doctor) practice in the UK offers phone consultations (where appropriate) quite routinely, which seems perfectly sensible and sometimes preferable (or even safer). This week the doctor decided that a family member who happens to be in an immunocompromised state due to their treatment needed to come in for a followup face-to-face consultation at the surgery. All very well, except that another patient in the (small) waiting room was a chickenpox-infected child thoughtfully brought along by its parent. Chickenpox, of course, is highly contagious and potentially very serious if your immune system is not 100%. Thankfully the staff found somewhere else to put the child, but even a brief exposure like this is something best avoided.

Re:Just wait until they outsource it... (1)

TheSync (5291) | more than 4 years ago | (#31444112)

The danger for misdiagnosis is huge

My experience is that plenty of full-fledged doctors misdiagnosis all the time as well.

Research has shown that expert systems are better than the average doctor at diagnosis.

Can you? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31436588)

pay your virtual bill with virtual money from MMO's

a/s/l (2, Funny)

psnyder (1326089) | more than 4 years ago | (#31436622)

The service also offers ... instant messages.

Dr: a/s/l?
Dr: to help me diagnose

all well and good... (2, Insightful)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 4 years ago | (#31436626)

but also a waste of time in a lot of cases. Case in point, my in-laws, who go to the doctor if they stub their toes.

I'm only slightly exaggerating, any little thing and off they go. It's unreal. If they knew about this, I'm sure they'd have a lot more "afflictions" to get "treated" by these doctors.

Sad.

Re:all well and good... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31437036)

And stupid, a doctor, a real doctor will get a lot of information just by looking at the patient, skin colour, and a lot of other visual cues that a webcam will not show. Of course they won't feel the smell of the patient but for them that is definitely a good side. Oh yeah for the guy that said outsourcing health care, yes it will happen, not all countries invest so much in the education of their doctors, so you suspect you have cancer and a vet from India tells you it's "nothing to worry about".

I can't wait for the inevitable... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31436646)

"Dr. Astley will see you now..."

Awesome (3, Funny)

CODiNE (27417) | more than 4 years ago | (#31436700)

Hypocondriacs of the world REJOICE!!

Re:Awesome (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437452)

Hypocondriacs are sick people.

Dr Eliza (2, Funny)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#31436724)

Eliza: Hi, I'm Dr. Eliza. How can I help you today?
Patient: Hi, I have a pain in the left of my chest. It's quite bad.
E: I'm sorry to hear that have a pain in the left side of YOUR chest is not feeling well.
P: Yeah... Uhh, do you know what it could be? It's getting worse.
E: I understand.
P: You understand what? My left arm is starting to feel funny.
E: Your problem is arm feel funny?
P: No, my problem is my chest! It's really painful, I can hardly breathe!
E: You can hardly breathe and your left arm is feel funny?
P: yes
E: I like this conversation! Do you like this can hardly breathe and your left arm is feel funny?
E: Hello?

Re:Dr Eliza (2, Interesting)

tsalmark (1265778) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437394)

That may be the Idea, cheaper than having the patient actually see a Doctor. The Idea of a health insurance company also being responsible for deciding your health care seems very wrong to me.

Re:Dr Eliza (1)

hodet (620484) | more than 4 years ago | (#31440006)

More likely....if you are having chest pain press 1 now. If you have a sucking chest wound press 2 now.

Re:Dr Eliza (1)

jason.sweet (1272826) | more than 4 years ago | (#31440108)

Dr Eliza? That looks more like "Steve" from HP's customer support chat.

This has been going on for years... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31436784)

Computer: you are now being connected to a doctor...

Doctor: Hi, how can I help you?
Mrs Smith: Hello! Well, I've been having back pain for a few months now.
Doctor: How old are you?
Mrs Smith: I'm 35.
Doctor: How much do you weigh?
Mrs Smith: Down to about 120lbs since my pregnancy last year...
Doctor: What are you wearing?
Mrs Smith: Ahh, what?
Doctor: A physical examination is necessary. Please go on cam and disrobe.
Mrs Smith: Umm, I'm not sure... are you really a doctor, that link in my email looked legit, but now I'm....
Doctor: brb...

Computer: Doctor has disconnected from chat.

You've got: leprosy. (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#31436818)

Lisa: Maybe I ought to check with the doctor.
                [Lisa, Bart, and Homer gather around Lisa's
                computer. She starts a program that displays a
                medical logo -- the one with two snakes wrapped
                around a staff]
Snake 1: Welcome to "Virtual Doctor."
Snake 2: From the makers of "Dragon Quest," and
                "SimSandwich."
Snakes 1 + 2: Enter symptoms now.
Lisa: Let's see. [types on keyboard] Crusty sores?
Homer: Yes.
Lisa: Horrible wailing?
Homer: Yes, yes!
Lisa: Any exposure to unsanitary conditions?
Bart: Duh! We're pigs.
Lisa: [finishes typing] Okay. And ... diagnose. [pushes
                a key]
Virtual Doc: You've got: leprosy.
Homer +
  Bart: Leprosy?! Aaah! [point at one another] Unclean!
Bart: Unclean!
Homer: Unclean! Help us virtual Doc! Look at me -- I'm on
                my knees.
Virtual Doc: Goodbye. [leaves the virtual office]
                [Homer and Bart whimper]
Lisa: [to herself, Burns-like] Excellent.

Re:You've got: leprosy. (1)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437008)

She starts a program that displays a medical logo -- the one with two snakes wrapped around a staff

Caduceus.

At least... (1)

Bourdain (683477) | more than 4 years ago | (#31436850)

... this offers some incentive to doctors to return/make phone calls in more competitive markets like Manhattan where doctors seldom spend more than 3-4 minutes in the diagnostic room and won't return calls

perhaps these insurance companies might even establish a reasonable co-pay and fee for such a service (can I dream?)

Similar experience now.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31436854)

I just call my doctors office now. He calls back and calls in a prescription for me. Some times he charges for an office visit, some times he does not. Example. I get an outbreak of poision ivy at least once a year. If its not in my eyes and I don't think its bad enough for a steriod shot in the ass, I call him and he calls in a prescip for some steroid cream. I get sore throats occasionally, same thing.

Drop in Premium? (1)

Stenchwarrior (1335051) | more than 4 years ago | (#31436866)

No office, no staff, low overhead....think we'll see a drop in insurance premiums? Nope. They have to pay for that fancy camera and 'puter. I bet you'll still have to pay a co-pay, even.

No office fees now? (1)

Mantis8 (876944) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437012)

Does this also mean the end of the patient-gouging $75 office visit fee?

Re:No office fees now? (2, Interesting)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 4 years ago | (#31439348)

Does this also mean the end of the patient-gouging $75 office visit fee?

Of course not, how can you be so strange? Real visits are going to be "premium" experiences and will now cost $150.

This is Capitalism man, get with the program!

Only cool if no/lower copay (1)

karcirate (1685354) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437052)

The only way I would consider something like this is if it was sans copay. Otherwise, any situation where it would be useful will be replaced by me just calling my doctor. Shockingly,you can actually call an upstanding doc for a quick question without going through the insurance co at all. And for any issues I wouldn't feel comfortable resolving over the phone, I am going in to the office anyway - the internet be damned.

Though after this program is in effect, I wouldn't be surprised if doctors refuse to take regular calls, only "paid" calls.

The program begins (2, Funny)

Kingrames (858416) | more than 4 years ago | (#31437412)

When the process begins, the doctor says, "Please state the nature of your medical emergency."

Just another way to increase profits (3, Insightful)

Thaelon (250687) | more than 4 years ago | (#31440342)

How is this any better than a phone call?

The doctor still can't palpate anythying, nor even make a good visual examination since the quality is likely too poor to be of any use.

Answer? It's cheaper for the insurance company than a real doctor visit, and so saves them money, and you get inferior care for it, while they get increased profits.

Don't let them spin this as something good for you, it's just another way to reduce costs (and this time, care quality too).

Doctors don't even listen in person (1)

Flentil (765056) | more than 4 years ago | (#31441924)

Many doctors I've gone to only listen to about half of what I say, so I have to repeat myself repeatedly to get the points across. Moving doctors to a chat room is a pretty silly idea. Anything a doctor can tell you in a chat room you can already find on WebMD or by googling.

Can I pay the doc in WoW Gold? (1)

sfled (231432) | more than 4 years ago | (#31447332)

Seems fair. Virtual money for a virtual visit...

Offshoring is the docs faults (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 4 years ago | (#31447692)

To keep their prices high, the AMA has prevented new med schools from being done. The last one was back in the 70's. So, part of the reason why docs get paid so much is that there is not enough of them. What is needed is for feds and states to say enough of this, come up with another standards groups, and start developing new med schools. I have written several congressmen and have suggested adding a med school at Colo State. Then have cut rate med school there, HOWEVER, the docs would only work in Colorado and would only do General lines (general practice, Peds, Ob/Gyn, Gen. Surgery, etc). Ideally, set up a state malpractice insurance for these docs, in which patients that use them would have to go through a different approach for suing. Finally, they would accept a different line of pay since they would not have the high med schools costs (i.e. pay up front, rather than down the road).

Now, insurances want to make cuts so they will outsource the docs, but not their expensive management. What a racket.

Telemedicine for AMD on the way (1)

iarons (1592483) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451152)

I've just written an in-depth article on the Notal Vision at home monitor for AMD sufferers, that is linked via a call center to a patient's retinal physician. The doc can monitor changes in retinal health of his patient, and arrange for an urgent visit if changes in vision require it. In this way, vision can be preserved/saved for those with late-stage dry AMD before it converts to blindness causing wet AMD. Here's the link: http://tinyurl.com/NotalVision [tinyurl.com] Irv Arons
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