Navigation Links
First Electronic Healthcare Network in the U.S. Begins Operations in Buffalo, NY

BUFFALO, N.Y., Feb. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- HealthTransaction Network(R) has begun operations with the first national, electronic healthcare transaction network in the United States. The long-awaited program, started by electronic-transaction entrepreneur Joseph Wolfson, came to life last week with the launch of low-cost basic services at community health-care facilities, a new technologically advanced identification card, and an electronic transaction network to facilitate transactions between consumers and healthcare providers.

(Logo: )

With the launch of this unique Network, individuals can now get discounted healthcare services at five regional hospital systems and urgent-care centers throughout the Western New York region that participate in the new electronic network.

Through the new HealthTransaction Network(R), consumers can now access routine physical examinations, eye care, dental exams, mammograms, blood pressure screenings, prescription drugs and other services that might otherwise be out of their reach. Services are provided on a pay-as-you-go basis, with no billing or insurance.

The initiative, under development for sixteen months since its announcement, is aimed at uninsured or underinsured individuals, who can't afford coverage for even primary medical care. The goal is to enable them to get wellness services so they can prevent more serious conditions.

"We're really focusing on that. If people do that, they don't end up with a lot of costly care later," Wolfson said. "If you're a young mom without the money, this is an opportunity to take your young baby to the pediatrician. And it's affordable."

So far, participating hospitals include TLC Health Network's Lake Shore Health Center in Irving and Tri-County Memorial Hospital in Gowanda, Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center, Medina Memorial Health Care System and MedFirst Urgent Care in Amherst. Sharma Family Medicine and Lake Shore Eyecare, both in Irving, are also signed on. In all, the institutions have 21 locations.

Additionally, Bertrand Chaffee, Brooks Memorial and Western New York ImmediateCare are expected to join shortly, along with five pediatric practices, one dental practice and an occupational health group.

Officials are also talking to most other area hospitals and practices -- including Catholic Health System, Erie County Medical Center, Buffalo Medical Group and Lifetime Health Medical Group -- to sign them up as well. Only Kaleida Health, the area's biggest hospital system, remains a holdout, Wolfson said. The Company is also aggressively pursuing plans for expansion of the Network nationwide.

Costs vary depending on the provider, with a routine physical exam for illness costing $45 at TLC but $62 at Niagara Falls and $90 at MedFirst. A woman's annual physical is $88 to $90, while mammograms are $76 or $85. X-rays are as low as $40 at TLC's sites. Flu vaccines are free at the hospitals, and $15.50 at MedFirst.

TLC also has a $20 dental exam and $40 cleaning, and a $25 basic eye exam and $69 eyeglasses.

The only other cost is $10 to first get the ID card, and $10 a year to renew it. The card can be obtained at any of the hospitals, and is good at any of the participating facilities. Prices are posted online at

"We are excited about the benefit the new Health Card will provide the under and uninsured citizens of our community," said Kendrick Bentham, Vice President of Marketing and Community relations at TLC. "The program will provide individuals without adequate health insurance the ability to address small health problems before they become bigger ones which many times can become a prescription for disaster."

Even consumers with insurance can benefit, Wolfson said, noting that some plans require a consumer to pay a high deductible before major coverage kicks in. Also, not all plans include dental, vision or drug coverage.

The launch of the new system marks the culmination of a five-year odyssey for Wolfson, an ATM industry veteran known for previously launching the MetroTeller and Cartel card networks before shifting gears in 2003. That's when he saw a chance to modernize the health insurance business, which has remained a time-consuming and paper-driven business.

His plans for Health Transaction Network initially called for automating insurance verifications, referrals, and claims processing using "smart cards" with microchips to identify patients at a provider's office, confirm their eligibility for coverage, and begin seeking reimbursement from insurers. But the idea didn't catch on.

The new idea, unveiled in October 2007, bypasses the insurers, and proved attractive to area hospitals, especially in outlying areas. That's because they get paid right away, by cash, check, or credit or debit card. There's no billing or paperwork, and no claims processing, eliminating the delay and administrative costs that typically account for 20 to 30 percent of the cost of a medical transaction.

"This is all cash, on the spot," Wolfson said. "There's no paper. They get paid right away."

Additionally, the providers benefit from increased business, seeing patients that might not normally even come in for treatment. And it could lessen the burden on emergency rooms, as people getting wellness or basic sick care don't need to go to the ER for such treatment.

"Primary and preventative care is the key to reducing healthcare costs," said Joseph A. Ruffolo, CEO of Niagara Falls Memorial. "Hopefully cardholders will now be able to seek primary care providers that will enable them to get the preventative care they deserve."

About 45.7 million Americans were uninsured in 2007, including 8.1 million children, according to the federal government. At least 25 million more are "underinsured," according to the Commonwealth Fund.

"We're in a position now where we can help people," Wolfson said. "This gives people hope."

To join, consumers must go to one of the hospitals or urgent-care sites, where they will receive what looks like a gold credit card, with their photo on the upper right corner.

More importantly, though, the "smart" card features both a magnetic stripe on the back and a microchip in the front. The stripe has the person's network account number, so that their treatments among the various hospitals are linked. The chip will contain a digitized version of the person's fingerprint, encoded when they sign up.

The digital image is used to verify their identity when they obtain services, and is compared against the person's actual fingerprint when they press down on a finger scanner. It can only be read with a special card reader and computer program set up at the respective medical offices, but is not retained.

Besides the basic system, the company also offers "stored-value" small business and gift cards that are "reloadable." A small business that can't afford full insurance premiums for its workers could instead provide a lower-cost catastrophic plan and then give employees the HTN card, with money "loaded" on it every pay period. Stored value accounts are managed by Lake Shore Savings Bank.

"Many employers are eliminating the coverage as an employee benefit. With the HTN, local businesses are provided with another option," said Niagara Falls Memorial Chief Operating Officer Anthony F. Zito. "It's a win-win for the patients and the hospital."

    Contact:  Joseph E. Wolfson
              President and CEO
              HealthTransaction Network(R)
              (716) 250-5042

SOURCE HealthTransaction Network
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Winner Medical Reports First Quarter Fiscal 2009 Results
2. Wanted: Pioneer IVF Babies Bay Area Fertility Doctors Launch National Search for First IVF Babies Born 25 Years Ago
3. Linking Up the Cold Chain is Focus of The JoC Conferences First Cool Cargoes Conference, May 12-13, in Portland, Oregon
4. Resurrection Health Care & Merit Sleep Centers Launch Chicagos First Sleep Network
5. Health First Healthcare System Awards Harris Corporation Enterprise-wide Network Management and IT Services Contract
6. Gaza strip families give first clue to condition causing blindness and tooth decay
7. First Dutch Patients Treated With the Percutaneous MitraClip(R) System
8. Sensiotec Announces FDA 510(k) Class II Clearance for the Worlds First UWB Healthcare Unbound, Wireless, Non-Contact, Vital Signs and Movement Monitor
9. Worlds First Cardiac Adult Stem Cell Trial to Take Place in Louisville
10. Solos Endoscopy, Inc. Posts First Nine Months Financials for 2008 on
11. Peregrine Pharmaceuticals Bavituximab Achieves Primary Endpoint in First Stage of Phase II Breast Cancer Study
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/25/2015)... Cleveland, OH (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... dental implants in Cleveland, OH , are invited to attend Dr. Mark Iacobelli’s Advanced ... 5th this year in Cleveland, OH. , As the co-founders of Advanced Implant ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... The McHenry ... a recent successful appellate decision obtained by Attorneys Francisco J. Botto and Alex C. ... v. Illinois Workers’ Compensation Comm’n, 2015 IL App (2d) 130884WC. , According to court ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... SCOTTSDALE, AZ) - ... surgeon specializing in both surgical and non-surgical treatments, announced the expansion of his ... Facial Plastic Surgery. , Highly trained and nationally recognized for his natural ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... ... In an ongoing Clinical Study conducted by an independent physician, Andrew Gostine, ... evaluating the efficacy of its product and its disinfection protocol. This study is taking ... 2014 through October 2015 at a 360-bed, acute-care, academic medical center located in Chicago, ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... provide scholarships for people struggling with eating disorders as a result of the ... second annual event, held at Fox Run Golf Club in Eureka, will help ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... , Nov. 26, 2015  The total global healthcare industry ... over 2015-2016. Latin America has the ... , (excluding Japan ), is second with ... continues to face increased healthcare expenditure. In 2013-2014, total government ... from 43.5% in 2008-2009 to 41.2% in 2013-2014. In real ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... 25, 2015 AAIPharma Services Corp./Cambridge Major ... at least $15.8  Million to expand its laboratories ... . The expansion will provide additional office ... growing demands of the pharmaceutical and biotechnology markets. ... will provide up to 40,000 square feet of ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... November 25, 2015 Kitov Pharma ... (TASE: KTOV), a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development ... clinical conditions, today announced the closing of its previously ... ( ADSs ), each representing 20 ordinary shares of ... ADSs. The ADSs and warrants were issued in a ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: