Health plans are using the Internet more intensively to provide services to physicians as well as members. A study by Cap Gemini Ernst & Young shows a big increase over the course of a year in the number of physician hits on HMO sites to get information on claims status, clinical guidelines, and many other topics.
The authors, who examined use patterns for 78 health plan Web sites, found that the information that providers want most has to do with a health plan's formulary.
Health plans should ensure that the information they provide is up to date and presented in a professional manner, notes Cap Gemini. "Internet users generally access a variety of different types of sites, not just health care. As a result, they are comparing their experience to that on other Web sites, including some of the most sophisticated commercial sites."
SOURCE: CAP GEMINI ERNST AND YOUNG, HOW HEALTH PLANS ARE USING THE INTERNET TO REACH CUSTOMERS, MAY 2002