AMA ON-LINE: Group Poised to Launch For-Profit Site
The AMA and six specialty medical associations are expected to confirm officially today the launch of a new Web venture called Medem Inc., a name derived from the phrase "medical empowerment." The San Francisco-based company, which will compete directly with drkoop.com and WebMD Inc., has signed up "several thousand" doctors for "YourMD," a service that will provide doctors with customized Web pages, secure e-mail accounts and specialty-specific news. Doctors may pay $70 a month per practice or receive the service free by allowing a commercial sponsor to host their individual site. Medem founders, who represent 400,000 physicians and include the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, have already spent $2 million and plan to raise up to $30 million more. Medem also will launch a consumer Web site early next year. The AMA -- which faced conflict of interest accusations two years ago over an aborted plan to endorse Sunbeam products -- insists Medem is "consistent with [its] goal of disseminating sound health information" (Carrns, Wall Street Journal, 10/28).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.