WellPoint Health Networks, Thousand Oaks, Calif., has teamed up with Microsoft, Dell Computers and Cap Gemini Ernst & Young in an initiative to help physicians use information technology to improve patient care, reduce paperwork and cut administrative costs. The nation's second-largest health insurer will provide a total of $40 million in free equipment, including computers, printers and hand-held prescribing units, to almost 19,000 of its network doctors in California, Georgia, Missouri and Wisconsin. Through its partners, WellPoint also will offer discounts on the same equipment to all network doctors in good standing nationwide. "This program will help our network physicians more fully participate in the electronic medical community," WellPoint Chairman and CEO Leonard Schaeffer said in a news release. "We are giving physicians the opportunity to choose the technology package that will best meet the needs of their practice." According to studies cited by WellPoint, use of information technology could prevent up to 95% of adverse drug events. WellPoint is pursuing a merger with Anthem, Indianapolis. -- by Laura B. Benko
WellPoint to offer free computers to many docs
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