SAN FRANCISCO, May 8 /PRNewswire/ -- MEDePass Inc., the high technology affiliate of the California Medical Association, will tonight unveil its MEDePass(SM) electronic digital certificate. Digital certificates are electronic credentials that identify parties online, enabling private and secure communications and legally binding, valid, digital signatures. MEDePass Inc. announced today that it has selected VeriSign (Nasdaq: VRSN) to provide the managed services infrastructure for the issuance and management of the MEDePass(SM) certificates, providing the highest level of diligence in the healthcare industry. More than 2,000 California physicians have already applied for a MEDePass(SM) digital certificate. Pre-registration for other states will begin June 15, 2000. California physicians can pre-register for MEDePass(SM) now at www.cmanet.org. Tonight at San Francisco's Moscone Center, North Hall Room 132, CMA President Marie Kuffner, M.D., and CMA Past-President J.C. Pickett M.D., will be the first physicians to send and receive fully encrypted, secure e-mails using MEDePass(SM) digital certificates. For more information and to attend the demonstration, please contact: Claire Sears at MEDePass Inc. 415-882-3391 or Todd Bosta at CMA 415-882-5108. The Social Security Administration, Kaiser Permanente, and St. Joseph's Health System are the first major national organizations to agree to accept MEDePass(SM) as proof of physician identity in their online communications and transactions. MEDePass(SM) and VeriSign representatives met this past weekend with 14 state medical associations representing 170,000 physicians. Three state associations have already signed letters of intent to offer MEDePass(SM) to physicians in their states. "The MEDePass(SM)/VeriSign relationship forges the key link in the chain of Internet-based communications between physicians, and between physicians and pharmacies, health plans, and medical supply companies," said Jack Lewin, M.D., CMA executive vice president and MEDePass(SM), Inc. chairman. "We think that physicians, payers, government agencies and, ultimately, patients will be best served by a security system grounded in the physician community and managed by the leading Internet security company. MEDePass(SM) enables the transmission of sensitive medical information in a safe and confidential manner between physicians and health plans, e-commerce companies or technology vendors." MEDePass' fundamental philosophy is that health care professionals must be in complete control of their digital identities, rather than letting commercial entities have control. MEDePass(SM) will establish state medical associations, such as the CMA, as certificate authorities. These associations, which will use their central position in the medical community to identify and authenticate physicians, will extend the opportunity to receive a digital certificate to those whom they know to be bona-fide health care providers. In addition, every MEDePass(SM) holder will be able to "refer" other physicians for a MEDePass(SM). "We are teaming up with MEDePass(SM) to create a new level of online trust so patients, physicians and health plans can feel secure enough to take full advantage of Internet-based health services," said Stratton Sclavos, VeriSign president and CEO. "MEDePass(SM) will enable physicians to be efficient and reduce health care costs, and, most importantly, to improve patient satisfaction and quality of care." About MEDePass, Inc. San Francisco-based MEDePass, Inc., with support from the California Medical Association, was founded in 1999. The company's first product, MEDePass(SM), is a digital identification for physicians and other licensed health care professionals. About VeriSign VeriSign, Inc. is the leading provider of Internet trust services -- including authentication, validation and payment -- needed by Web sites, enterprises, electronic commerce service providers and individuals to conduct trusted and secure electronic commerce and communications over IP networks. VeriSign's trust services for enterprises and electronic commerce service providers are available through regional account representatives, resellers, and VeriSign affiliates worldwide. The company's digital certificate services for Web sites, developers and individuals are available through www.verisign.com. NOTE: VeriSign is a registered trademark exclusively licensed to VeriSign, Inc. All other trademarks are properties of their respective owners. About California Medical Association The California Medical Association represents more than 34,000 California physicians from all regions, modes of practice and medical specialties. CMA is dedicated to the health of all Californians.
SOURCE California Medical Association