New Website Will Revolutionize Hospital & Surgeon Selection Process

PatientWise Targets Medical Errors & Rising Costs--Lets Patients Check Quality

And Value Before Scheduling Serious Surgery



Apr 16, 2001, 01:00 ET from PatientWise Corporation

    KENOSHA, Wis., April 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Patients in need of serious
 surgical procedures are often frustrated by their inability to make informed
 choices.  They have been able to compare quality and value of toasters, cars
 and hotel rooms, but not "life or death" options when choosing a hospital or a
 doctor for a major surgery.
     PatientWise Corporation, a Wisconsin-based company, has changed that.  By
 telephone or Internet access, patients can compare the experience, performance
 record, and costs of hospitals, and physician qualifications including
 experience, complication rates, and mortality rates with cases similar to
 their own.
     The critical importance of medical quality was highlighted by a report
 released by the Institute of Medicine last year.  It concluded that as many as
 98,000 lives are lost to medical mistakes each year.  The report also revealed
 that 1 in 30 physicians has been sanctioned for clinical faults, and a
 University of Chicago study concluded that 1 out of 7 hospitals provide
 sub-standard care in some specialties.
     Solucient Leadership Institute, a firm that has studied hospital
 performance for years, says the solution is to get all the nation's hospitals
 to function like the top 100 do.  It estimates this would save 87,000 lives
 annually and eliminate 57,000 in-hospital complications.
     PatientWise medical experts, Dr. Peter Heisen and Dr. Gwen Halaas, offer
 this advice to medical consumers:  "One person can't change hospital or
 physician performance.  The best way to avoid becoming a casualty statistic is
 to make certain you are scheduling your surgery with a team that has
 successful outcomes and an adequate volume of cases like yours."
     Usually with the help of their physician, patients provide information on
 their surgery needs and medical condition, on a secure web site located at
 http://www.PatientWise.net .  Patients receive responses from hospitals, in
 the geographic area of their choice, within three to five days.  Patients
 wishing to compare costs for their care will also receive price proposals from
 the hospitals and physicians.
     Patients are offered an available date for a visit with the surgeon and a
 week for the surgery.  Then they schedule an initial visit with a chosen
 surgeon and arrange care from the selected hospital on the company's website.
 In the assessment visit, the surgeon and the patient confirm that the right
 procedure and the right doctor-patient combination has been established.
     Health insurance benefits remain in effect without impact, as the majority
 of the cost of PatientWise services is borne by providers or employers who
 sponsor their employees and dependents.
     Patients or family members may access PatientWise services via the
 Internet or by telephone at the company's toll-free number, 877-728-9473,
 877-PATWISE.  Customer service personnel are available every day to help
 summarize case needs and medical information.
     "In addition to the valuable information PatientWise will offer to people
 about medical services, it will also help hospitals and physicians increase
 efficiency," reports the company's CEO Bradley C. Engel.  "A physician's staff
 can help patients get answers by using patientwise.net , freeing up the
 physician's time for other patients.  Hospitals will utilize excess capacity,
 improve efficiency and reduce facility needs.  Everyone wins except
 low-quality, high-cost providers who should be losing these cases anyway,"
 Engel added.
     PatientWise executives are fully convinced that high activity volume has
 been proven to produce high quality and efficiency, and that lower cost
 structures tend to result from this efficiency.  "Find the quality leader, and
 you will usually find a suitable price," observes Heisen.
     Engel also points out that the Solucient study revealed that marginal
 medical care is costing Americans $12 billion per year above the prices that
 the top 100 hospitals would have charged.  "This is a cost every major
 employer is concerned about," he added, "and many of them will be supporting
 the use of PatientWise.net to secure better value for employees and their
 families."
     Care for PatientWise users will come from the nation's leading medical
 centers as well as community hospitals and physicians with strong quality
 records.  Open-heart surgery, neurosurgery, cancer surgery, major orthopedic
 procedures and transplants are examples of the care obtainable using
 PatientWise.net.
     Engel and his staff hold no illusions that all healthcare providers will
 welcome PatientWise.net with open arms.  "Some physicians prefer to control
 the decisions of their patients, rather than help them reach informed
 conclusions.  Others simply don't want to be bothered.  Some hospitals know
 their quality scores won't stack up well in a side-by-side comparison.  They
 will all offer noble-sounding reasons why this is not a good idea.  We trust
 sensible medical consumers to sort this out, and we think more and more of
 them want freedom to make informed choices," he acknowledged.
     One expert on this dynamic is Timothy B. McCall, M.D., author of the book,
 "Examining Your Doctor: A Patient's Guide to Avoiding Harmful Medical Care."
 McCall stated in a recent nationally syndicated article, "Good doctors
 recognize that you can help them by gathering information about treatment
 options, educating yourself to ask better questions and playing a more
 meaningful role in your care.  If your doctor can't handle that, you should
 ask yourself if you're seeing the right one."
     PatientWise operations receive oversight by a national board of directors,
 including Ronald R. Aldrich, CEO, Catholic Health Services of Long Island, Jon
 Christianson, PhD, James A. Hamilton Chair in Health Policy and Management at
 the University of Minnesota, Kelby Krabbenhoft, CEO of Sioux Valley Health
 System, and Bruce E. Spivey, MD, former CEO of Columbia-Cornell Care and
 president-elect of the Counsel of Special Medical Societies.  Other directors
 are William R. Engel, retired president of American Mutual Life Insurance Co.,
 William R. Halling, a former managing partner and board member of KMPG Peat
 Marwick, Earl L. Mummert, actuary-benefits consultant, and Tom Johnson,
 retired Chairman and CEO of CNA Health Partners.
     "The bottom line," suggests Engel, "is in the hands of the Baby Boomers
 who are now reaching age 55 and coming to need serious medical care.  We think
 they are going to demand different treatment than their parents and
 grandparents accepted from America's healthcare providers.  We believe they
 want freedom, choice and good information, and we will be here to provide it."
     The unique PatientWise service is designed to offer patients and family
 members a new way to choose hospitals and physicians for serious, schedulable
 surgery by enabling them to secure information on experience, quality, value
 and costs before they choose their care providers.  For more information call
 262-656-9750 or log onto the web site at http://www.PatientWise.net
 
 

SOURCE PatientWise Corporation
    KENOSHA, Wis., April 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Patients in need of serious
 surgical procedures are often frustrated by their inability to make informed
 choices.  They have been able to compare quality and value of toasters, cars
 and hotel rooms, but not "life or death" options when choosing a hospital or a
 doctor for a major surgery.
     PatientWise Corporation, a Wisconsin-based company, has changed that.  By
 telephone or Internet access, patients can compare the experience, performance
 record, and costs of hospitals, and physician qualifications including
 experience, complication rates, and mortality rates with cases similar to
 their own.
     The critical importance of medical quality was highlighted by a report
 released by the Institute of Medicine last year.  It concluded that as many as
 98,000 lives are lost to medical mistakes each year.  The report also revealed
 that 1 in 30 physicians has been sanctioned for clinical faults, and a
 University of Chicago study concluded that 1 out of 7 hospitals provide
 sub-standard care in some specialties.
     Solucient Leadership Institute, a firm that has studied hospital
 performance for years, says the solution is to get all the nation's hospitals
 to function like the top 100 do.  It estimates this would save 87,000 lives
 annually and eliminate 57,000 in-hospital complications.
     PatientWise medical experts, Dr. Peter Heisen and Dr. Gwen Halaas, offer
 this advice to medical consumers:  "One person can't change hospital or
 physician performance.  The best way to avoid becoming a casualty statistic is
 to make certain you are scheduling your surgery with a team that has
 successful outcomes and an adequate volume of cases like yours."
     Usually with the help of their physician, patients provide information on
 their surgery needs and medical condition, on a secure web site located at
 http://www.PatientWise.net .  Patients receive responses from hospitals, in
 the geographic area of their choice, within three to five days.  Patients
 wishing to compare costs for their care will also receive price proposals from
 the hospitals and physicians.
     Patients are offered an available date for a visit with the surgeon and a
 week for the surgery.  Then they schedule an initial visit with a chosen
 surgeon and arrange care from the selected hospital on the company's website.
 In the assessment visit, the surgeon and the patient confirm that the right
 procedure and the right doctor-patient combination has been established.
     Health insurance benefits remain in effect without impact, as the majority
 of the cost of PatientWise services is borne by providers or employers who
 sponsor their employees and dependents.
     Patients or family members may access PatientWise services via the
 Internet or by telephone at the company's toll-free number, 877-728-9473,
 877-PATWISE.  Customer service personnel are available every day to help
 summarize case needs and medical information.
     "In addition to the valuable information PatientWise will offer to people
 about medical services, it will also help hospitals and physicians increase
 efficiency," reports the company's CEO Bradley C. Engel.  "A physician's staff
 can help patients get answers by using patientwise.net , freeing up the
 physician's time for other patients.  Hospitals will utilize excess capacity,
 improve efficiency and reduce facility needs.  Everyone wins except
 low-quality, high-cost providers who should be losing these cases anyway,"
 Engel added.
     PatientWise executives are fully convinced that high activity volume has
 been proven to produce high quality and efficiency, and that lower cost
 structures tend to result from this efficiency.  "Find the quality leader, and
 you will usually find a suitable price," observes Heisen.
     Engel also points out that the Solucient study revealed that marginal
 medical care is costing Americans $12 billion per year above the prices that
 the top 100 hospitals would have charged.  "This is a cost every major
 employer is concerned about," he added, "and many of them will be supporting
 the use of PatientWise.net to secure better value for employees and their
 families."
     Care for PatientWise users will come from the nation's leading medical
 centers as well as community hospitals and physicians with strong quality
 records.  Open-heart surgery, neurosurgery, cancer surgery, major orthopedic
 procedures and transplants are examples of the care obtainable using
 PatientWise.net.
     Engel and his staff hold no illusions that all healthcare providers will
 welcome PatientWise.net with open arms.  "Some physicians prefer to control
 the decisions of their patients, rather than help them reach informed
 conclusions.  Others simply don't want to be bothered.  Some hospitals know
 their quality scores won't stack up well in a side-by-side comparison.  They
 will all offer noble-sounding reasons why this is not a good idea.  We trust
 sensible medical consumers to sort this out, and we think more and more of
 them want freedom to make informed choices," he acknowledged.
     One expert on this dynamic is Timothy B. McCall, M.D., author of the book,
 "Examining Your Doctor: A Patient's Guide to Avoiding Harmful Medical Care."
 McCall stated in a recent nationally syndicated article, "Good doctors
 recognize that you can help them by gathering information about treatment
 options, educating yourself to ask better questions and playing a more
 meaningful role in your care.  If your doctor can't handle that, you should
 ask yourself if you're seeing the right one."
     PatientWise operations receive oversight by a national board of directors,
 including Ronald R. Aldrich, CEO, Catholic Health Services of Long Island, Jon
 Christianson, PhD, James A. Hamilton Chair in Health Policy and Management at
 the University of Minnesota, Kelby Krabbenhoft, CEO of Sioux Valley Health
 System, and Bruce E. Spivey, MD, former CEO of Columbia-Cornell Care and
 president-elect of the Counsel of Special Medical Societies.  Other directors
 are William R. Engel, retired president of American Mutual Life Insurance Co.,
 William R. Halling, a former managing partner and board member of KMPG Peat
 Marwick, Earl L. Mummert, actuary-benefits consultant, and Tom Johnson,
 retired Chairman and CEO of CNA Health Partners.
     "The bottom line," suggests Engel, "is in the hands of the Baby Boomers
 who are now reaching age 55 and coming to need serious medical care.  We think
 they are going to demand different treatment than their parents and
 grandparents accepted from America's healthcare providers.  We believe they
 want freedom, choice and good information, and we will be here to provide it."
     The unique PatientWise service is designed to offer patients and family
 members a new way to choose hospitals and physicians for serious, schedulable
 surgery by enabling them to secure information on experience, quality, value
 and costs before they choose their care providers.  For more information call
 262-656-9750 or log onto the web site at http://www.PatientWise.net
 
 SOURCE  PatientWise Corporation