ROUNDUP: Healtheon/WebMD Joins Humana to Provide Online Services
Internet health care giant Healtheon/WebMD has teamed up with Humana, Inc. to allow plan members in certain markets -- Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky and Florida -- to manage their benefits online using WebMD BenefitCentral services. Select Humana employer groups will have access to BenefitCentral, allowing them to better manage enrollment and administration. Using the service, benefit administrators will have the ability to approve or deny enrollment transactions, add new hires and perform other functions. Employees will have access to benefit information, such as co-payments and deductibles, and they will have the option of enrolling in plans or changing benefits online (Healtheon/WebMD release, 7/24).
WellPoint, Drugstore.com Link Up
WellPoint Health Networks Inc. has joined forces with Drugstore.com to provide customized online pharmacy services to more than 22 million network members, the Los Angeles Times reports. Using its pharmacy benefits manager subsidiary WellPoint Pharmacy Management, the plan will offer discounts on over-the-counter products, online prescription processing and access to Drugstore.com's pharmacy services (Murphy, 7/25).
drkoop.com Says Track Your Health!
Consumer health company drkoop.com recently announced the beta launch of its new Health Tracker series that will allow consumers to better manage their health care. The Health Tracker series will provide subscribers with a secure means to store and maintain health care information about themselves and family members online. First in the series will be the Medications Tracker. An expansion of drkoop.com's www.DrugChecker.com product, the Medications Tracker will help patients better manage their prescription drug regimen. In addition, the Medications Tracker will provide the correct dosages for over-the-counter and prescription drugs. Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare will be the first member of the drkoop.com Community Partnership Program to test the product (drkoop.com release, 7/27).
Ferno-Washington Vaults into Cyberspace
Joining the eHealth rage, health supply manufacturer Ferno-Washington Inc. will sell its products to health care institutions worldwide as part of Global Healthcare Exchange LLC, an online business formed by five companies, including Johnson & Johnson, GE Medical Systems and Baxter International Inc., the Business News of Dayton reports. Ferno-Washington, which manufactures ambulance carts, stretchers and mortuary and physical therapy equipment, hopes to capture new markets and boost sales through the Internet. Ferno-Washington marketing director Gordon Shields said, "For [smaller] companies like us ... it makes sense to join [the consortium]." According to Paula Sanders, professor of marketing at Wright State University, smaller companies often successfully join with larger firms to sell products. She said, "These kinds of things are becoming more common, and eCommerce is one way to expand because the Internet makes it easy for companies to communicate" (Thimangu, 7/24).