Texas telemedicine via NowClinic

OptumHealth, a US health management company owned by leading insurer UnitedHealth Group, has started to roll out the American Well virtual clinic program as announced in June, starting in Texas.  OptumHealth’s version is called NowClinic.  Unlike American Well programs in Hawaii and Minnesota (in test with BlueCross), it’s available to anyone regardless of insurance by registering and paying a flat $45 for a 10 minute visit.  (Drawback: minimal information on website)  Most of the New York Times article is about how resistance to the service and the attitude of the Texas Medical Board, despite the fact that supposedly 70% of Texas patients can’t get a same-day visit with their primary doctor (I thought…only in NYC!) and 79% of emergency room visits are for routine problems.  The Virtual Visit May Expand Access to Doctors