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UnitedHealth planning 24-hour ask-a-doctor hot line

While the rest of the world moves on to Twitter and social networking, the health-care industry is finally figuring out how to communicate with its customers via the telephone and instant messaging.

UnitedHealth Group says it’s developing a service that will let people chat with a doctor online or on the phone any time of the day. The Associated Press reports that the 24-hour service would be offered nationwide to patients enlisted in UnitedHealth’s OptumHealth plans.

The endeavor is a collaboration with American Well Corp., a Boston-based health-care company.

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Comments (2)

  1. Submitted by Glenn Mesaros on 06/03/2009 - 01:54 pm.

    Keep that blood money flowing, HMOs issued a report to the White House on their “commitment to collaborate” on the Obama health care “reform.” On June 1, a 26-page “Dear President” letter was sent by six “stakeholder” groups, including the HMO association, AHIP—America’s Health Insurance Plans, and five others (“Big Pharma”—Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America; American Medical Association; American Hospital Association; Advanced Medical Technology Association; and the Service Employees International Union). The joint letter quantifies the “potential savings” that could accrue from the sweeping cuts they describe as “system-wide cost reduction”: “Utilization of Care: $150-$180 billion; Chronic Care: $350-$850 billion; Administrative Simplification and Cost of Doing Business: $500-700 billion.” The HMO/AHIP group in particular calls for squeezing lots more “value” and “quality” out of physicians, by strictly evaluating their performance [on cutting care] according to “consistent measures endorsed by the National Quality Forum.”

    Why don’t they publish the salaries of all their Nazi Doctor “administrators”? The University of Chicago Medical Center paid Michelle Obama #312,000 annually to be their “vice president of community affairs”.

  2. Submitted by Bernice Vetsch on 06/03/2009 - 02:50 pm.

    Let’s not forget, either, that the insurance industry now says the administration must have “misunderstood” their offer to save billions (was it $1.2 trillion?) over ten years. They apparently meant to say they would TRY to save money.

    Our for-profit-industry-managed health care system is — and will be, if the current “reform” is passed — managed to produce the highest profits. And it won’t be easy to overcome the “access” to congressional decision-makers purchased by industry:

    Daschle is paid something like $40,000 per speech for appearing before insurance industry groups.

    Baucus has received $3,902,785 from the insurance/drug/med devices/hospitals-nursing homes/and health services/HMO industry, $1.98 million of it in 2008 alone. Members of his Finance committee received $13,263,986 in 2008.

    See May 31 article, “Max Baucus should not be deciding health care issues,” by Kevin Zeese, at http://www.commondreams.org AND WRITE YOUR SENATOR AND REPRESENTATIVE to remind him/her that the only “interest” group neglected in the current move toward reform is us — the patients now at the mercy of the current system.

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