Online MD visits becoming accepted by insurers

Increasingly, it's beginning to look like health insurers are ready to accept to the online medicine trend. Recently, Aetna and Cigna agreed to reimburse doctors for online visits, and other insurers are expected to follow their lead. Typically, insurers are paying about the same fees for online visits as they do for in-person consultations. They are not a solution to all access problems--e-visits are more suited to seeing patients doctors already know than those they've never met--but they are handy. Not only can patients avoid long waits to see primary care doctors for minor conditions, e-visits also make it easier for chronically-ill patients to touch base with specialists for occasional check-ups. While some of these "visits" are done via Web and e-mail, with broadband Internet access becoming almost universal, doctors can easily conduct video visits using an inexpensive PC camera as well.

Meanwhile, telemedicine options are emerging which make such approaches more practical, observers note. Devices that can remotely check blood pressure and other vital signs, as well as diabetic patients' blood sugar levels, are growing cheaper and more common. 

To learn more about this trend:
- read this Los Angeles Times piece

Related Articles:
Health plans begin reimbursing for "virtual visits". Report
Study: MD e-mails could drain physician income. Report
Physicians offer 'e-care.' Report
Doctors slowly adopt patient/MD email. Report
It's high time for doctors to get email friendly. Editorial