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MEDFIELD, Mass.—March 18, 2004—Benemax, a recognized innovator in consumer-directed health plans and Leagold Miller, a full service UK brokerage, are the first employee benefit management firms to offer an online second opinion service from Harvard-affiliated Partners Telemedicine as part of health plans for employers. There is no cost to employers or employees.

UK companies with US subsidiaries that are insured by Leagold Miller and Benemax can take advantage of this free service.

“Third-party coverage of this service from Leagold Miller and Benemax is a tremendous advance in employer-funded health benefits and a great step towards better medical care,” said Joseph C. Kvedar, M.D., director of Partners Telemedicine. “Second opinions on diagnoses and treatments have long been essential to achieving quality health care,” added Kvedar, who is also president-elect of the American Telemedicine Association.

Employees covered under the plans from can arrange, through their doctors, for a second opinion from more than 4,000 specialists in the Partners HealthCare network, including the Harvard-affiliated teaching hospitals Massachusetts General and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Typically, within five days of submitting a request, the local physician receives a detailed consultation and treatment plan based on symptoms presented. Partners Telemedicine (www.telemedicine.partners.org) has found that in 90 percent of cases, specialists from the Partners system recommend a significant change in treatment, often resulting in a better outcome.

“Employers can provide this exceptional service without increasing premiums. In fact, we believe this program will improve health care efficiency, thereby reducing employers’ US health benefit costs over time,” said David Cowles, executive vice president of Benemax. “Physician and patient can consult with top-flight specialists regarding a complex diagnosis—without traveling thousands of miles.”

“Patients and their families who are dealing with a life-altering illness want to uncover every stone,” said Kvedar. “It’s often overwhelming to find the right specialist and navigate the system. A second opinion through Partners Telemedicine removes these obstacles. Care remains personal and local as the doctor takes advantage of the expertise of specialists who treat many patients with the same condition.”

About Benemax
Benemax, based in Medfield, Mass. (www.benemax.com), was founded in 1975 and manages employee benefits for 225 corporate clients ranging from start-ups to divisions of Fortune 500 companies. Benemax designs and administers attractive yet highly cost-effective employee benefit packages, including consumer-directed health and dental plans. The company has grown by an average of 30 percent annually for the past four years. Benemax and Leagold Miller (www.leagoldmiller.co.uk) have joined forces to provide health insurance and other benefits to employers with operations in both the US and the UK.
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Contact:
Edna Kaplan
KOGS Communication
Marblehead, MA
+781-639-1910
cell:+ 617-974-8659
kaplan@kogspr.com


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