Thursday, February 28, 2002

AUSTIN, Texas - Another company is launching an e-CMN initiative that would let HME providers exchange certificates of medical necessity via the Internet. Early last month, eClickMD, said it began testing its e-CMN product with two HMEs in Houston and Lake Charles, La.

The company also signed an alliance agreement Jan. 30 with bConnected Software, a Boulder, Colo.-based company that launched an order processing initiative in the HME industry several years ago. With eClickMD, bConnected plans to integrate its order-entry process with the e-CMN process for larger HME providers, according to eClickMD's president and COO, Deborah Kaufman.

Although new to HME, eClickMD is not new to home care. For several years, the Web service applications company has been facilitating the exchange of documents between physicians and home health agencies. The company counts 300 physicians in Texas and Louisiana as regular users of its SecureCare platform.

eClickMD envisions its platform as a place where physicians will eventually log in to process a whole suite of documents: e-CMNs, home health 486s, lab reports, pharmaceutical orders and other documents that require secure exchange.

"The solution for a physician is to have one application, not four or five different applications, to move documents back and forth," said Kaufman.

She said that doctors would not be charged to process their e-CMNs electronically. HMEs would pay a monthly licensing fee that would depend on usage. She suspects the licensing fee would break down to about $8-10 per e-CMN.

Until the launch of a 3rd generation version of SecureCare, physicians accessed the platform via a Web portal. Concern over security issues and compatibility between whatever browser the physician was using and the forms that eClickMD was transmitting prompted a change. Now, physicians and HMEs have to load a Windows application on their desktop to use SecureCare.

Kaufman describes the application as a "very light footprint," which means it doesn't require much space on a physician's desktop. The bulk of the SecureCare software resides on eClickMD's servers. When a physician logs on, SecureCare retrieves the documents via the Internet and notifies the physician with an e-mail-like alert. HME