CARE ASSURED: Insurance Execs, Tech Wizards Offer Online Health Plan
Senior executives from some of the largest not-for-profit health insurers have joined forces with leading information technology companies to form Care Assured, a new Internet-based health plan, the San Francisco Business Times reports. CEO Dr. Charles Kennedy, former director of technology for Blue Shield, said that the program will offer "competitively priced coverage without reimbursing physicians on a capitated basis." He added, "We will build a health plan with administrative costs less than half the cost of a traditional plan, with a cost of care at or below leaders in the industry, with a quality as good or better than you can buy in the industry." According to Kennedy, the plan will derive competitive pricing by using real-time transactions online, allowing patients to purchase insurance, verify eligibility, submit claims and receive referrals for treatment over the Internet. Unlike Healtheon, which faces the challenge of "convert[ing] existing technology," Kennedy said that Care Assured will begin with Web-based capabilities. Care Assured, headquartered in Oakland, received an undisclosed amount of funding from the venture capital firm Softbank (Robinson, 6/19).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.