BOSTON and GRAY, Maine, Oct. 25, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- American Well™ announced today that it has entered into an agreement with Patient Advocates LLC that will result in the deployment of the Online Care For Providers telehealth solution for Maine clients. Patient Advocates is a health care management company that employers and patients count on to navigate the health care system. It maintains relationships with leading medical centers in order to ensure access to the highest levels of appropriate care.
Through this collaboration, Patient Advocates will use telehealth to allow select clients to conduct appropriate online visits with a variety of highly-skilled, Maine-licensed specialists – based in Boston, among other places – as a complement to their care. Patients, with the careful guidance of their existing Patient Advocates nurses and other healthcare professionals, will have the option to conduct telehealth visits as part of their overall care plans, with an initial focus on perioperative and chronic care. A complete record of each online visit will be captured by the American Well solution, enabling care coordination and continuity.
"For many patients in Maine, particularly those with complex medical conditions, access to highly-skilled specialty care is not only difficult – it can come at a great personal cost to those who must travel long distances and wait for their appointments," said Jim Ward, CEO of Patient Advocates LLC. "Our relationship with American Well allows us to provide our patients with more options to get in front of the best specialists in the field, at appropriate times in their care plans. At the same time, it can greatly reduce the various burdens placed on them and their families."
For residents of Maine, timely access to highly-skilled specialty care can be a challenge. A recent report by the Maine Department of Labor found that Maine's rural counties contain 75 percent fewer physicians and surgeons, and 65 percent fewer surgical technologists, than their peers elsewhere in the US on a per-capita basis*. Fortunately, Maine is one of the nation's most progressive states in embracing telehealth as a means of improving healthcare delivery. In January 2010, the state passed a law requiring private insurers to reimburse services provided via telemedicine just as they would if the services were provided in person**.
"We are proud to work with Patient Advocates to improve access to needed care for patients in Maine," said Joe Sawyer, vice president of marketing at American Well. "With this collaboration, Patient Advocates is using our Online Care For Providers solution to remove the traditional geographic barriers to the availability and delivery of specialty healthcare services."
The Patient Advocates telehealth service will launch in early 2012. Employers in Maine who would like more information about it should contact Justin Ward of Patient Advocates LLC at 1-800-290-8559.
About Patient Advocates LLC
Patient Advocates LLC has been helping clients navigate the health care system since 1995. Employers trust PA to help manage their costs while ensuring the highest quality of care for their employees. Built on the premise that access to the highest quality health care results in greater cost-savings over time, Patient Advocates offers innovative patient advocacy and disease management services, award-winning wellness programs and creative benefit plan designs with third-party administration. www.patientadvocatesllc.com
About American Well
American Well™ brings healthcare into the homes and workplaces of patients. Its Online Care Suite is the industry's leading telehealth solution, connecting providers and patients for live, immediate, and clinically meaningful encounters using the Web or phone. With its patented technology, the Online Care Suite removes traditional barriers to healthcare access – such as geography, mobility, and time constraints – while enabling providers to deliver quality care in a flexible, convenient manner, generating revenue along the way.
*The State of Maine: Department of Labor Center for Workforce Research and Information. Workforce Analysis of Maine's Health Services Sector, 2010 Healthcare Occupations Report - Augusta, Maine, Issued April 2010.
**HP0740, LD 1073, item 1,124th Maine State Legislature: An Act to Provide for Insurance Coverage of Telemedicine Services, Section 1. 24-A MRSA Section 2765.
Julie Goldman or Dave McKee
SOURCE American Well