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 www.relayhealth.com. 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 www.relayhealth.com 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