The assignee for this patent, patent number 8719047, is
Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present disclosure is directed to connecting consumers with service providers.
"Systems have been developed to connect consumers and their providers over the Internet and the World Wide Web. Some systems use e-mail messaging and web-based forms to increase the level of connectivity between a member of a health plan and his assigned health care provider. The consumer sends an e-mail or goes to a website that generates and sends a message (typically an e-mail or an e-mail type message) to a local provider.
"These types of services have been broadly referred to as 'e-visits.' While generally viewed as an addition to the spectrum of services that may be desired by consumers, the benefits of such services are not clear. One of the concerns associated with offering additional communication channels, such as e-mail, is that it can result in over consumption of services, rather than provide for better coordination.
"Until recently, the notion of an electronic encounter was not even coded in the standard financial coding schemes used for submitting medical claims, preventing proper reimbursement of providers for such encounters. This gap has been recently corrected by the introduction of CPT (current procedural terminology) code 0074T, allowing providers to submit a reimbursement claim for an electronic encounter (e.g., e-visit) with their patients. Most plans at this time, however, do not include this service code as a covered service (i.e., a benefit) making it an out-of-pocket expense for members and an unattractive offering for providers (who need to charge members directly for such encounters).
"Recently, a number of health plans announced their intention to begin remunerating providers for electronic visits (i.e., paying a certain consideration for claims submitted with a CPT 0074T code). While limited to pilot projects, plans are embracing the notion of consumerism by offering advanced tools for consumers to become informed and acquire medical services. Facilitating timely and more organized communication between the member and their provider is perceived as a natural investment in the new consumer-driven healthcare world. While still at an early stage, interest in e-visits has picked up both in the commercial world as well as in the strategic planning sessions of health plans around the country. Vendors offering health portals for health plans typically now describe their roadmap for the incorporation (or interfacing with) e-visit platforms."
In addition to obtaining background information on this patent, VerticalNews editors also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent: "A brokerage system that identifies a service provider satisfying at least some attributes in a set of consumer defined attributes for providing a service is accessed. A request for records corresponding to the consumer's personal health information to a database that stores the health records is sent. A graphical user interface that when rendered on a display displays the consumer's personal health information is received. Consumer preferences regarding the display of personal health information are received. The personal health information displayed in the graphical user interface based on the consumer's preferences is filtered. A request to update records corresponding to the consumer's personal health information to the database that stores health records is sent. A link to the consumer's record containing the consumer's personal health information in the database that stores the health records."
For more information, see this patent: Schoenberg, Roy. Patient Directed Integration of Remotely Stored Medical Information with a Brokerage System. U.S. Patent Number 8719047, filed
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