Of late, doctors are increasingly offering e-mail based care, seeing it as a logical extension of the patient phone calls they're already making. What's interesting is that insurance companies agree, and have begun to pay for "e-care," as such services are often called. In Minnesota, some insurers will pay for e-care if it offers a new diagnosis, prescription or treatment. Meanwhile, three Minnesota health systems--Fairview, Allina and HealthPartners--have begun offering the "MyCharts" e-care system, which offers patients Web-based email access to their family doctors. Right now few patients take advantage of e-care services. With retail clinics offering convenience of a difference kind, doctors expect patients to demand time-saving options like email care soon.
For more information on this trend:
- read this article in the St. Paul Pioneer Press