E-Ceptionist to launch real time Web-based telemedicine scheduling service across California

Los Angeles 01 November 2000The real time Internet-based E-Ceptionist scheduling service is currently being implemented across the State of California as part of a deal that the E-Ceptionist company has signed with WellPoint Health Networks Inc. on behalf of its affiliate, Blue Cross of California (BCC). The service is being used to support BCC's statewide telemedicine programme.

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E-Ceptionist allows Blue Cross general practitioners to schedule telemedicine appointments with specialists over the Internet in real time. "We are proud to be associated with Blue Cross of California, which is one of the most well recognised and respected names in California health care", stated Dirk Voorhees, E-Ceptionist's President and CEO.

E-Ceptionist enables the telemedicine programme to shift away from the traditional "hub and spoke" model to a "virtual Web" network in which any primary care site can link to available appointment times at any speciality hub. This allows the health plan and participating providers to maximise the utilisation and benefit of telemedicine.

E-Ceptionist made the announcement at the start of the recent Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society Telehealth 2000 Conference and Exhibition in Los Angeles. Speaking on the first day of the conference, E-Ceptionist's Chairman, Merrick Alpert, stated: "We are honoured to share this contract with the members of Blue Cross of California. We look forward to working with them in using the power of the Internet to provide the world's most advanced form of appointment scheduling to their doctors and patients."

E-Ceptionist Inc. was founded in May 1999 and is a privately held company based in Bellaire, Texas. The company owns and licenses the E-Ceptionist scheduling service that allows doctors and patients to schedule health care appointments in real time over the Internet. The service is encrypted and secure, and the privacy of patient information is protected. E-Ceptionist can be embedded in an organisation's existing Intranet site or be set up as an Extranet to give an organisation real time scheduling functionality.

The service allows primary care office staff to identify available specialist appointment times by speciality type, physician, day of the week, time of day, and other custom criteria. E-Ceptionist equally provides real time electronic confirmation as well as notification of appointments between the primary and speciality physicians and the health plan.

Blue Cross of California, with 5.4 million medical members, is the California operating subsidiary of WellPoint Health Networks Inc., one of the US largest publicly traded managed care companies. WellPoint serves the health care needs of more than 7.7 million medical and more than 38 million speciality members nationally.

WellPoint offers a broad spectrum of quality network-based health products including open access PPO, POS and hybrid products, HMO and speciality products. Speciality products include pharmacy benefit management, dental, utilisation management, vision, mental health, life and disability insurance, long term care insurance, flexible spending accounts, Medicare supplements, and COBRA administration.


Leslie Versweyveld

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