BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York will offer to employer clients the option of giving their employees access to real-time online or telephone consultations with physicians in the plan's network, using technology from American Well, Boston.

American Well has integrated its Online Care consultation technology with the personal health records software and related tools of Microsoft Corp.'s HealthVault consumer health portal. This will enable consumers to maintain their personal information and share it with the consulting clinicians.

The initial launch of the service will start this summer in western New York and expand to the northeastern part of the state in late 2010. The first phase will offer the Online Care services to eligible Blues-covered members. Next year, the service will be offered to non-members and the uninsured throughout the state. Online Care integrates with the transactions processing services of RealMed, Indianapolis, to facilitate consumer payments for online consultations.

More information is available at

--Joseph Goedert


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