Medem, a physician communications network founded by the nation's medical societies and the American Medical Association (AMA), announced it has exceeded projections in 2001 network growth. More than 40 medical societies have partnered with the Medem network in the past year. During June, the network swelled to 30,000 participating physicians, with more than 5,000 of these practices initiating secure messaging to communicate with patients.

``The network growth has been truly rewarding,'' said H. Dunbar Hoskins, Medem's Chairman and the Executive Vice President of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, ``and can be directly attributed to the opportunities our network provides to physicians and their medical organizations in creating a true business and clinical service through a secure communications network. Our physician members are looking to their medical societies to provide a trusted, secure and eRisk-compliant service to help reduce the massive administrative burdens of the healthcare system.''

Further increasing the reach of the network, Medem has forged agreements with integrated delivery networks (IDNs), including Cooper Health System, who are extending the Medem service to their enrolled and affiliated physicians through a Virtual Secure Network (VSN). These groups are primarily interested in Medem's Secure Messaging to enable physician-to-physician and physician-to-patient communication in a secure network, without needing to invest in a complicated information technology (IT) infrastructure.

``Our IDN partners receive a locally-branded, HIPAA-compliant network, with trusted clinical information from the nation's medical societies for communications between physicians, patients and the IDN, at a small fraction of the cost of any other comparable option,'' said Edward Fotsch, MD, CEO of Medem. ``The service offers immediate value for the IDN and affiliated physicians and patients.''

Medem has also begun working with a growing number of health plans to link their provider directories to the Medem network, providing increased access to millions of new insured patients for Medem-participating physicians. ``Our health plan partners, including major national plans as well as regionally dominant 'Blues' organizations, such as Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Carolina, will point their online provider directories at Medem network and to Medem physicians,'' said Dr. Fotsch.

About Medem
Established in October 1999 by the nation's medical societies, Medem's network consists of organizations whose membership includes more than two-thirds of American physicians. Medem is building a patient-physician network featuring the clinical content of medical societies and direct patient access to their own physician's Web site, with tools and services that adhere to the standards for physician-patient interaction on the Internet recommended by the nation's top medical malpractice liability carriers.

Medem was founded by the American Academy of Ophthalmology; the American Academy of Pediatrics; the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology; the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists; the American Medical Association; the American Psychiatric Association; and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Among the newest societies to join the Medem network are the Alaska State Medical Association; American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery; the American Academy of Physician Assistants; the American Association of Neurological Surgeons; the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine; the American College of Preventive Medicine; the American Society of Addiction Medicine; the American Society of Anesthesiologists; the American Society for Surgery of the Hand; Arkansas Medical Society; Connecticut State Medical Society; The Endocrine Society; Iowa Medical Society; Kentucky Medical Association; Maine Medical Association; MedChi, The Maryland State Medical Society; The Massachusetts Medical Society; Medical Society of the District of Columbia; Medical Society of Virginia; Michigan State Medical Society; Mississippi State Medical Association; Missouri State Medical Association; Montana Medical Association; New Hampshire Medical Society; Oklahoma State Medical Association; Rhode Island Medical Society; South Carolina Medical Association; South Dakota State Medical Association; State Medical Society of Wisconsin; Tennessee Medical Association; Texas Medical Association; and Vermont Medical Society.

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