National Physician Hotline Responds to Health
OK — January 22, 2003 — The time is right for Doctor
On Call, a national 24-hour physician healthline. Proposed changes
in the health care environment and the growing rate of uninsured
Americans demonstrates the need for the physician access now available
through the Doctor On Call network. To wit:
- Last week, on the heels
of a doctor strike in West Virginia and threatened work stoppages
in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, President
Bush trumpeted a plan aimed at addressing doctor shortages and
reducing the soaring costs of health care and insurance.
- Last week,
White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said an issue in the Bush
administration's new health care policy is "to
make sure emergency rooms are used for emergencies" rather
than primary care.
- Last week, the Associated Press reported an estimated
1.4 million Americans lost insurance coverage in the past year
due to layoffs,
boosting the total number of uninsured people in the U.S. to
Developed in 1995, this national physician network has
quietly provided service to approximately 20,000 members. The success
the healthline, combined with the public's growing need for
immediate access to physicians, prompted the national rollout.
"The system's been successful because people really appreciate
being able to speak to a physician directly on an immediate basis.
If they call their physician's office, they're lucky
if they get a call back within the hour, and usually then it's
only a nurse. And if they call an emergency room to get information,
they'll be told to come in," said Dr. Brent Blue, who
developed the network and personally interviews and selects the
board certified physicians for Doctor On Call. "In our system,
they can call and talk to a physician immediately, and since more
than 70 percent of all office visits and emergency room visits
are informational only, we provide a very valuable service and
save a great deal of time and money."
The service is available
24 hours a day and seven days a week, including holidays. Members
pay a low annual fee that entitles
them to unlimited calls and unlimited minutes. Members are issued
a personal PIN number and utilize a toll-free number for immediate
access to a board certified physician. With 240 board certified
physicians currently on the network, Doctor On Call is the only
health information service staffed exclusively by doctors.
"The Centers for Disease Control has documented that one
reason for rising health care costs is the increased use of emergency
rooms for non-emergencies. This puts a huge financial burden on
employers, employees, health care systems and insurance companies," Doctor
On Call chief executive officer Karl Nigg said. "It's
estimated that $300 billion of health care costs are unnecessary.
Doctor On Call can give consumers the access to health information
they want and need — and the peace of mind that comes with
it — at a fraction of the cost and in a fraction of the time."
addition to the information and convenience Doctor On Call provides
consumers, the service's ability to customize a program to
the specific needs of health plans or groups — while at the
same time improving production and providing a large potential
savings to the insured group and its employees — can make
Doctor On Call an attractive partner for businesses.
and membership in Doctor On Call is immediately available for both
individuals and groups. For more information, prospective
members can visit the service's Web site at www.DoctorOnCall.com
or call 800-834-8558.
- Administrative Bios Below -
Doctor On Call Administrative Bios
Brent Blue, M.D.
Dr. Brent Blue is the founder of Doctor On Call. His experience
practicing medicine in both the primary care and emergency
arenas led to the development of the Doctor
On Call service in October 1995 after seven years of research and development.
Dr. Blue has practiced family and tourist medicine in Jackson Hole, Wyo., for
more than 20 years. He and his staff provide medical care at Emerg+A+Care in
Jackson and Grand Teton Medical Clinic in Grand Teton National Park. Dr. Blue
is Board Certified in both Family Practice and Emergency Medicine. He frequently
takes shifts in emergency rooms in San Jose, Calif., to maintain his emergency
skill levels. In addition, Dr. Blue has been a regular columnist for the Jackson
Hole Guide newspaper and several other consumer print magazines and computer
journals. He is active in aviation medicine and lectures frequently on health
issues. Born and raised in Louisville, Ky., Dr. Blue attended Vanderbilt University
and the University of Louisville School of Medicine. He received his postdoctoral
training at the University of California-San Francisco.
Karl K. Nigg, CEO
Karl Nigg is an experienced healthcare executive with proven leadership
and expertise in the areas of sales, marketing, strategic planning
and development, P & L
management, distribution and logistics, business development, restructuring and
turnaround situations. With experience at UroCor, Inc., saniVex Technologies,
Inc., and Amersham Healthcare, North America, Mr. Nigg most notably is known
for his ability to increase the financial discipline and organizational focus
of corporations, achieving sustainable improvements in operating efficiency,
quality and customer satisfaction. Early in his career, Mr. Nigg developed and
founded a highly-successful pharmaceutical distribution service, which he subsequently
sold to Roche Pharmaceuticals. He holds a B.S. in Pharmacy from the University
of New Mexico and a Juris Doctorate from Santa Clara University.
Mike McAuliffe is the managing principal of McAuliffe,
Norick & Associates,
an Oklahoma City advertising agency. Prior to forming the agency in 1998, Mr.
McAuliffe was a vice president with Ackerman McQueen Advertising. His professional
career also included serving as chief of staff for Oklahoma City mayors Ron Norick
and Andy Coats. Mr. McAuliffe has served on numerous boards, including Leadership
OKC, United Way and the Oklahoma City Philharmonic. He currently is president
of the organization that oversees the restoration, preservation and improvements
to the Oklahoma Governor's mansion. He also is on the board of the American
Red Cross and a member of Leadership Oklahoma. The Oklahoma City Rotary Club
named him Rotarian of the Year in 1997. In 1995, he received a Distinguished
Leadership Award from the National Association for Community Leadership in Washington,
D.C. He received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Public Relations from the University
of Central Oklahoma and earned his Master's Degree in Management from
Southern Nazarene University.
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