Physician Associates licenses RelayHealth service to enable on-line doctor-patient communications

Pasadena 27 April 2004Physician Associates of the Greater San Gabriel Valley has licensed the RelayHealth service to enable patients to securely communicate with their physicians and office staff. One of the largest Independent Practice Associations in California, Physicians Associates with a network of over 300 primary care physicians and 500 specialists serves more than 135.000 patients in the San Gabriel Valley.


Starting in April, 2004, Physician Associates will roll out RelayHealth to an initial group of Primary Care Physicians, enabling them to exchange secure Relay messages with their patients, staff, and colleagues. Participating physicians will gain access to the full suite of modular RelayHealth features, including the webVisit doctor-patient consultation service, the eScript electronic prescribing and renewal service, as well as appointment request, lab and test result reporting, referral requests, and secure messaging features.

"For us it's about developing a more integrated model of health care delivery, using information technology to connect patients, their doctors, and our organisation", commented Bart Wald, MD, president and chief executive officer of Physician Associates. "We view it as an important enabling technology and a valuable extension of our on-line PADocs initiative, which is used by over ninety percent of our network physicians", added Dr. Wald.

Patients who see participating Physician Associates network doctors can take advantage of this new channel for routine communications with their doctor's offices, and to seek non-urgent care using a webVisit, a clinically structured on-line medical consult. Participating physicians can improve patient services while reserving office hours for patients with more serious needs.

Physician Associates joins a growing roster of major medical groups statewide and is the first major medical group in the San Gabriel Valley offering webVisits with the support of participating health plans, such as Blue Shield of California. Members of Blue Shield who see participating physicians enjoy health plan coverage for webVisits. RelayHealth has doubled the number of participating health plans and major medical groups eligible for webVisit reimbursement over the past quarter, with programmes now underway in California, Massachusetts, Colorado and Tennessee.

"We are pleased at the recent growth in activity within key markets such as California fuelled by key players like Physician Associates in Southern California", stated Giovanni Colella, MD, president and chief executive officer of RelayHealth. "We look forward to working closely with Dr. Wald and his team as they pursue a more connected model of health care, one focused on quality, access and service", added Dr. Colella.

RelayHealth is a provider of secure on-line health care communication services linking patients, health care professionals, payers, and pharmacies. RelayHealth's Web-based, doctor-patient messaging platform connects doctors and their patients efficiently, affordably, and securely. Tuned for both the individual and group practice environments, the RelayHealth service improves and streamlines health care delivery and access through modular features like the webVisit clinical consultation which tackles complex issues unique to the health care market, including clinical structure, practice work flow, and reimbursement. More secure and efficient than telephone or e-mail, RelayHealth combines HIPAA-ready messaging and eScript end-to-end electronic prescribing for the most seamless, comprehensive, and powerful messaging platform available to health care professionals and their patients.

Established in 2000, Physician Associate's vision is to be a virtual physician group of interdependent physicians. As a physician-owned and physician-driven organisation, its business is focused on supporting physicians in improving the health and quality of life of their patients. The organisation supports each physician and each patient in a manner that promotes excellence in quality, access, and service.

Leslie Versweyveld

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