-- Service offers self-insured employers, small business owners and uninsured individuals cost-effective, around-the-clock telephone access to physicians
-- Visit TelaDoc at Booth #210, Consumer Directed Health Care Conference, May 4-6, 2005, Chicago, Ill.
TelaDoc Medical Services, Inc. (www.TelaDoc.com) today launched the first nationwide program to focus solely upon telephone medical consult services, offering consumers the convenience of simply picking up the telephone and receiving quality medical care at home, at work or on-the-road. TelaDoc quickly resolves routine medical issues in a fraction of the time people spend accessing care from urgent care facilities, emergency rooms or physician offices.
TelaDoc brings to reality an affordable around-the-clock healthcare benefit that meets consumer need for quick access to a doctor when the primary care physician is not available. A national physicians' association licensed in 50 states, TelaDoc provides consumer members and dependents age 12+ with 24-hour access to telephone medical consults with trained primary care doctors who diagnose medical problems and, when appropriate, prescribe medications. For employers, business owners and uninsured individuals, TelaDoc is a valuable benefit that enhances the effectiveness and employee satisfaction with existing benefit packages.
"TelaDoc significantly lowers the cost of medical care by connecting individuals to qualified doctors who review the patient's medical history and then address routine medical problems over the telephone, avoiding the expense, time and hassles of urgent care facilities, emergency rooms or visits to the doctor," states Michael Gorton, TelaDoc founder, chairman and CEO.
Since 70-75 percent of all non-emergent medical cases can be diagnosed over the phone, TelaDoc is ideal for business travelers or when the patient's primary doctor is not available.
"Patients have very few cost- or time-efficient options if they get sick in the middle of the night or on weekends," says Gorton. "With TelaDoc, there is a quick and easy alternative."
Members get fast answers to their medical needs and in cases where an Rx prescription is appropriate, TelaDoc phones in the script to the patient's pharmacy. With TelaDoc, patients can begin to take medication immediately, promoting faster recovery, so they return to work or daily routines more quickly.
Membership in TelaDoc costs just pennies a day, with a flat $35 charge for each physician telephone consult - about the same as many co-pays. The modest cost of this valuable medical benefit puts it within easy reach of most individuals, their families or dependents. TelaDoc accepts all major credit or debit cards.
Using the telephone, individuals connect with TelaDoc and are guaranteed a call back from a qualified primary care physician (PCP) within three hours or less. The average call-back time is 30-40 minutes. All TelaDoc physicians are board-eligible and licensed to practice telemedicine in every state they serve.
Prior to the consult, the TelaDoc physician electronically accesses the patient's medical history, which each patient provides at time of enrollment. Therefore, the doctor knows about the patient's chronic illnesses, current medications and any allergies to medication. The TelaDoc helpline is available 24 hours-a-day in English and Spanish, and all services conform to HIPAA guidelines.
Benefits administrators and human resource professionals find the TelaDoc program easy-to-offer and administer. There are no claims to manage, and members receive CMS 1500 receipts to file for reimbursement or to apply towards a deductible. TelaDoc also supports consumer-driven initiatives, and consults can be purchased with health savings account (HSA) dollars.
"The physicians who co-founded TelaDoc designed a program that not only saves money for all size employer groups, but also has a positive impact on employee productivity and satisfaction with existing health benefits packages," states Gorton, a successful entrepreneur who holds advanced degrees in physics, engineering and law.
Employers are also highly receptive to TelaDoc because in contrast to "Nurse Lines," TelaDoc puts patients in contact with a licensed physician who offers diagnosis, treatment and options for prescriptions or over-the-counter medications.
"While some companies may be offering nurse telephone consultations, which are often provided to them at very low or no cost by their managed care organizations, the utilization and value of that type of service is less than optimal," says Gorton. "Very often, the nurse has to refer the patient to a doctor, and as a result, the individual remains in the same predicament - without a diagnosis or prescription."
Gorton points to TelaDoc as an affordable healthcare solution for the 45 million Americans without medical insurance.
"With the escalating costs of family coverage likely to keep the ranks of the uninsured growing to as many as 56 million people by 2013, TelaDoc provides easy, inexpensive access to quality medical care," says Gorton.
Individuals can enroll online, by phone or via mail at anytime, and they are eligible to receive a consult on the same day of registration.
"As telephone technology evolves, adding picture taking and even recording vital signs, the scope of our physician consults will become broader," states Gorton. "TelaDoc is America's answer to rising healthcare costs. It saves people time and money and represents an important key to information-age ease-of-doctor access."
TelaDoc Medical Services is a privately held, Texas corporation founded in 2002. TelaDoc P.A. is a gold standard national physicians' association licensed in 50 states, providing consumer members affordable, around-the-clock access to telephone consults with trained primary care doctors who diagnose medical problems and, when necessary, prescribe medications. Contact: 800.835.2362 or www.TelaDoc.com.