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N.Y. health plans to pay for Web visits

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted March 29, 2010

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Physicians in some parts of New York will be paid for Web-based visits with patients beginning this summer, following an agreement between Blues parent company HealthNow New York and American Well, which has developed an online platform for physicians to see patients online via videoconference.

HealthNow, which owns BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York and BlueShield of Northeastern New York, reached the deal with Boston-based American Well in March. HealthNow will make online visits available to members within a few months and plans eventually to offer access to nonmembers across the state.

The platform allows patients to log in for a video visit with any credentialed physician in the Blues network.

Blues plans in Minnesota and Hawaii, along with UnitedHealth Group subsidiary OptumHealth, also have reached agreements with American Well to offer Web-based visits to subscribers.

Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2010/03/29/bibf0329.htm.

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