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 www.relayhealth.com.
SOURCE RelayHealth Corporation