Monday, November 20, 2006

Fairview, HealthPartners and Allina medical groups are using MyChart online from EPIC to correspond online with patients

E-mails and phone calls paid at least in part by insurers are a fast-growing solution to a common ailment in health care: the unnecessary visit to the doctor's office.

Doctors have used phone calls for years to cut down on these visits — to tell patients with simple colds to stay home, counsel patients with chronic diseases or prescribe obvious treatments. But now clinic groups and insurers have begun to make this a more formal medical service. And insurers have agreed in the past year to pay at least for medical advice via e-mail, also known as e-care.

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