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Latest Studies Show Consumer-Directed Telemedicine Solutions Like Consult A Doctor Lower Costs While Providing Greater Access to Affordable, Quality Healthcare.
Date:4/22/2008

New studies determine that telemedicine is the key to transforming

healthcare by making medical care more accessible and convenient to patients while reducing cost. Solutions are needed in response to the

following problems that plague patients and practitioners in today's

inefficient U.S. healthcare system: * Doctors are hard to see. As many as one-in-three people have trouble seeing their primary care physician, and nearly one-in-four have problems

taking time from work to see a doctor. * Patients have trouble contacting physicians by telephone or e-mail. Very few doctors will consult by telephone and less than one-in-four are set up

to communicate with patients electronically. * There are too few doctors in rural areas. Compared to metropolitan areas, there are fewer physicians serving rural patients and patients must travel

further for office visits. * Patients overuse emergency rooms. Because their primary care physicians

are inaccessible by telephone or after hours, many patients turn to hospital emergency rooms. More than one-half of all ER visits are for

non-emergency health problems. * Patients have difficulty getting information during office visits. More

than one-third of physicians do not have the time to deliver enough information to their patients during office visits, and 60 percent of

patients later say they forgot to ask questions during their visits. * Convenience. Telephone medical consults support healthcare consumerism

with a proven solution that is easy to access.

MIAMI, April 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Consult A Doctor (http://www.consultadr.com), a leading provider of consumer-driven telemedicine services is a powerful and timely solution to the fractured U.S. healthcare system. Consult A Doctor's innovative and disruptive service will transform the inefficiencies of the healthcare marketplace and reduce costs by as much as 25% if not more, for employer-sponsored plans, individuals and families. Consult A Doctor offers easy, convenient and immediate access to physicians who provide specific answers to medical questions, advice regarding non-emergency, preventative, maintenance and/or routine medical conditions, discuss symptoms, recommend treatment options, diagnose many common, minor/brief illnesses and prescribe medication if appropriate.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20071203/CLM015LOGO )

The National Center for Policy Analysis and The Center for Health Transformation have both recently released comprehensive reports about the use of information technology for diagnosis, treatment and monitoring of patients' conditions. Both reports detail the problems in the current healthcare system and profile how innovative companies are using the Internet, improvements in computer software and the advent of high-speed telecommunications networks in innovative ways to make medical care more accessible and convenient to patients, to raise quality and to reduce costs. Both studies independently conclude that companies offering such services will enjoy rapid adoption of their services and growth in the coming months.

Consult A Doctor members have unlimited access to consult with physicians by phone or secure e-mail from anywhere, day or night. All it takes is a phone call or Internet access to consult with a doctor fast, eliminating unnecessary trips to the doctor or emergency room. Members can even be prescribed medication if appropriate for common illnesses and have it called into their local pharmacy or sent directly via overnight delivery. "Accessible by anyone, from anywhere ... 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, the benefits in a time of need are truly priceless, but we are able to offer them for pennies a day." Says Wolf Shlagman, Consult A Doctor founder and CEO.

According to the American Medical Association up to 70% of doctor office

visits are merely informational and unnecessary and could be avoided with a
phone or e-mail consultation. Consult A Doctor's proven and convenient solutions dramatically reduce unnecessary visits to the doctor or emergency room, allowing members alternatives to visiting their primary care physician purely for information, refills and other basic reasons. This correlates to less time off work for minor health issues, increased productivity and reduced overall healthcare claims and costs by up to 25%.

Employers realize savings and increased productivity from lower absenteeism attributable to preventable illness and unnecessary doctors' office visits, lower costs to the employer and employee for not having to pay for those visits, and prevention education that improves the overall health of the employees.

The American Journal of Health Promotion recently found a 26% reduction in healthcare costs and 28% reduction in sick leave absenteeism in companies with
telemedicine and preventative health programs. The Center for Health Transformation recently released a report entitled: "Telephone Medical Consults Answer the Call for Accessible, Affordable and Convenient Healthcare". According to the report, "America's healthcare facilities and medical professionals are perceived as the best in the world. Yet our healthcare system appears to be outdated or even broken, with persistent challenges regarding access to care, quality, affordability and convenience". The report contends the current healthcare system is failing and needs a complete overhaul. And that "telephonic medical consults performed by qualified family practice physicians are now proving an affordable and efficient treatment option for routine medical care ... the telephone cross-coverage model, whereby physicians 'cover' for one another via the telephone on a round-the-clock basis, emerges as one of the best examples of the power of telemedicine to make medical care more accessible and convenient to patients while maintaining quality and reducing costs."

"Consult A Doctor's innovative solutions remove the many barriers that currently exist between patients and physicians -- geographical, economical and psychological -- that discourage consumers from seeking needed preventative and/or ongoing healthcare," says Wolf Shlagman, CEO of Consult A Doctor.

The National Center for Policy Analysis released the Convenient Care and Telemedicine Report, by Devon M. Herrick in November of 2007 which stated "the use of information technology for diagnosis, treatment and monitoring of patients' conditions -- brings a new dimension to 21st century healthcare. Entrepreneurs are using the Internet, improvements in computer software and the advent of high-speed telecommunications networks in innovative ways to make medical care more accessible and convenient to patients, to raise quality and to reduce costs."

As the most accessible and comprehensive service available, Consult A Doctor's solutions have made medical care more convenient for patients while raising quality and reducing costs. Consult A Doctor is the most accessible because its physicians can be contacted either via telephone or secure e-mail at any time including nights weekends, and holidays. It is the most comprehensive because in conjunction to unfettered access to licensed physicians, Consult A Doctor offers the most informative interactive educational Personal Health Manager available, integrating an Electronic Medical Record and many other health management, risk assessment and decision support tools that empower users to lead healthier lives.

"Back in November of 2007, we stated that 'Consult A Doctor's Nationwide Consumer-Directed Telemedicine Service would REVOLUTIONIZE AFFORDABLE HEALTHCARE ACCESS FOR ALL' with a powerful solution to the current healthcare crisis, expecting over one million members to join in next 12-18 months," said Shlagman. Mr. Shlagman goes on to say "We are thrilled that these two very important and timely studies were conducted as they unequivocally highlight the issues with today's inefficient healthcare system, as in its current state, it is failing everyone from our largest employers to individuals and families. The studies show innovative consumer-driven telemedicine companies like Consult A Doctor, with its revolutionary services, are a POWERFUL ANSWER to reducing costs and providing quality healthcare access to everyone."

For more information about Consult A Doctor, please visit http://www.consultadr.com.

About Consult A Doctor

Consult A Doctor is an innovative consumer-directed telemedicine company providing individuals and families with employer sponsored healthcare benefits that gives them 24/7/365 access to a cross-coverage network of licensed physicians via telephone or secure e-mail. Accessible from work or home, physicians provide specific answers to non-emergency, preventative, maintenance and routine medical conditions and questions, discussing symptoms, recommending treatment, diagnosing many common, minor/brief illnesses and prescribing medication if appropriate. For more information about Consult A Doctor, visit the website at http://www.consultadr.com, or call toll free 877-DOC- CONSULT.

About the Center for Health Transformation

The Center for Health Transformation is a high-impact collaboration of private and public sector leaders committed to creating a 21st Century Intelligent Health System that saves lives and saves money for all Americans. The Center is a for-profit, bi-partisan membership-based organization with over 100 members who participate in member meetings, collaborative workshops, training sessions and workgroups, and projects such as Developing a Roadmap to Cure Alzheimer's, Affordable Coverage for All Americans, Diabetes Transformation and more. For more information please visit http://www.healthtransformation.net

About the NCPA

The NCPA is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization established in 1983. Its aim is to examine public policies in areas that have a significant impact on the lives of all Americans -- retirement, healthcare, education, taxes, the economy, the environment -- and to propose innovative, market-driven solutions. The NCPA is probably best known for developing the concept of Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), previously known as Medical Savings Accounts (MSAs). The NCPA outlined the concept of using federal tax credits to encourage private health insurance and helped formulate bipartisan proposals in both the Senate and the House. For more information please visit http://www.ncpa.org.


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SOURCE Consult A Doctor
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