ONLINE IDENTIFICATION: Medepass to Issue Digital IDs to Doctors
Medepass Inc., a not-for-profit company backed by the California Medical Association, will provide new "digital certificates" for doctors and other health care professionals, allowing them to communicate securely on the Internet, the Wall Street Journal reports. The company will use state medical board records and referrals from colleagues to verify the credentials of physicians and then issue them certificates -- computer files that serve as electronic identification cards -- through VeriSign, Inc., an Internet security company. The CMA plans to offer certificates to the nearly 93,000 licensed doctors in the state, and hopes eventually to make the IDs available to all of the roughly 600,000 practicing physicians in the nation, as well as pharmacists and other health professionals. The Social Security Administration and several health companies, including Kaiser Permanente, have already agreed to accept the digital certificates (Carrns, 5/8).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.