Final Results: webVisit(SM) Study Finds RelayHealth Reduces Cost of Care While Satisfying Doctors and Patients

Independent Large-scale Study Finds Significant Savings in Healthcare Cost

And a Shared Preference for webVisits among Participating Doctors and Patients

Jan 15, 2003, 00:00 ET from RelayHealth Corporation

    EMERYVILLE, Calif., Jan. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- RelayHealth Corporation
 (formerly Healinx), the nation's premier provider of secure Web-based,
 doctor-patient communication services, today announced that the final results
 of the webVisit Study are now available at The final
 analysis of healthcare claims data for 2,345 study patients -- compared to
 claims for 3,382 patients in a matched control group -- found that medical
 office-based claims were lower by $1.92 per member per month, and that total
 healthcare claims were reduced by over $3.00 per member per month for those
 with access to the RelayHealth(SM) service.
     The independent study, conducted by researchers at Stanford University and
 UC Berkeley, evaluated the impact of RelayHealth's online communication
 service on satisfaction among patients and physicians, and on the cost of care
 incurred by payors who reimburse doctors for "webVisits" -- secure, structured
 doctor/patient online consultations.
     "The results, based on analysis of over 110,000 patient-months of claims
 data, demonstrated statistically significant reductions in healthcare
 spending. In our preliminary analysis we saw evidence of a reduction in
 spending, particularly spending in doctor's office settings," stated Laurence
 Baker, Ph.D., the Stanford-based researcher who led the team analyzing the
 study data. "The larger data set available for the final claims analysis
 strengthens the findings.  The fact that the study included a matched control
 group also strengthens the argument that RelayHealth reduces healthcare
 spending," added Baker.
     Patients and physicians surveyed reported high levels of satisfaction and
 expressed a shared preference for this mode of communication for non-urgent
 health matters. Most of the physicians surveyed found the service satisfying,
 easy to use, easy to integrate into their practices, and preferred it to
 office visits for non-urgent patient needs. A substantial majority of patients
 rated the service favorably compared to a phone call or office visit, both in
 terms of convenience and quality. Over two-thirds of these patients reported
 an improvement in access to their own physician.
     These results suggest a substantial opportunity for health plans and
 employers to reduce costs while improving patient satisfaction and access to
 care. Study participants Blue Shield of California and ConnectiCare have
 announced plans to expand reimbursement within their respective health plan
 memberships, based on the strength of these results.
     "We have been extremely pleased with the results of our RelayHealth pilot
 program," said Jeff Rideout, MD, President of the Blue Shield of California
 Foundation and former chief medical officer of Blue Shield of California.
 "Members are satisfied with the service, and report improved physician access.
 Physicians likewise appreciate the service, as well as the opportunity to be
 reimbursed for time spent supporting patients online."
     "In addition, cost reductions to the healthcare system could be
 significant," Dr. Rideout adds.  "With savings that could reach several
 million dollars annually, we are looking to expand the service within our
 provider network and member population."
     "We are extremely pleased with these final results," said Giovanni
 Colella, MD, president and chief executive officer of RelayHealth Corporation.
 "They confirm what we've believed all along -- that clinical structure and
 physician reimbursement matter when it comes to online consultations between
 doctors and their patients. When done right, online communication can deliver
 clear clinical and economic benefits to doctors, patients and payors alike.
     About the RelayHealth webVisit Study
     The RelayHealth webVisit study was an independent study conducted by
 University of California, Berkeley and Stanford-based investigators.
 Participants included:  Blue Shield of California; the Blue Shield of
 California Foundation, ConnectiCare, GE Power Systems, Stanford University,
 the Silicon Valley Employers Forum whose members include Adobe Systems
 Incorporated, Cadence Design Systems Inc., Cisco Systems Inc., NEC Electronics
 Inc., Oracle Corporation, and Seagate Technology; Aetna and Cigna HealthCare.
 Conducted between February 2001 and May 2002, the study evaluated the effect
 of the RelayHealth service on healthcare utilization and costs, patient
 satisfaction, and physician satisfaction. Participants included 282 physicians
 and 3,688 patients in California and Connecticut. An executive summary of the
 study findings can be downloaded at or by contacting the
 company at 1-866-RELAY-ME.
     About RelayHealth Corporation
     RelayHealth (formerly Healinx) is the premier provider of secure online
 healthcare communication services linking patients, healthcare professionals,
 payors, and pharmacies. RelayHealth's Web-based, doctor-patient messaging
 platform connects doctors and their patients efficiently, affordably, and
 securely. Tuned for the group practice environment, the RelayHealth service
 improves and streamlines healthcare delivery and access through modular
 features built around clinical structure, practice workflow, and reimbursement
 featuring the webVisit online clinical consultation service. More secure and
 efficient than telephone or e-mail, RelayHealth combines HIPAA-ready messaging
 and eScript(R) end-to-end electronic prescribing service for the most
 seamless, comprehensive and powerful messaging platform available to
 healthcare professionals and their patients. For information, visit

SOURCE RelayHealth Corporation