Thursday, February 23, 2006

WebMD Health to help consumers manage their own healthcare

WebMD Health has just announced a new initiative that takes advantage of the trend toward US employees managing and paying for their own healthcare. And it could see WebMD Health, the leading healthcare information site, develop revenues other than for information alone.

By helping people enrolled in employer health plans compile personal health information online, WebMD Health wants to tap into the growing corporate trend of having employees pay more, if not all, of their own health costs. With more of their own money at stake, the thinking goes, people need information to help make decisions about health care.

WebMD says it has signed contracts with big health insurers and employers to operate private-access sites where employees can keep track of their medical records, look up information about diseases and compare costs and ratings for doctors and hospitals. Employers or their insurers pay licensing fees to WebMD, based on the services and number of health plan members.

This is a smart idea for both WebMD, employers and consumers. Where are those old records of mine anyway?

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