The Department of Health and Human Services is set to announce that a new online gaming service will be able patients to play their surgeries online without having to worry about online safety, a move that has some in the gaming industry concerned.
“There’s an online service called SurgeonsEdge,” Sen. Susan Collins told MSNBC, “that will enable patients to access their health care through a web browser and play online, which is not only safe but a much more convenient and seamless experience.”
The announcement comes after health officials recently announced that they would be rolling out the Surgeons Edge platform to more than 300,000 patients, a decision that many experts say is important because patients who choose to use it are more likely to receive the full scope of care they need.
The move is part of the Trump administration’s broader push to expand access to health care, with Secretary of Health & Human Services Tom Price claiming last month that the federal government has seen a 50% increase in patient visits to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the federal agency that oversees the health insurance programs for more than 100 million Americans.
The Surgeonsedge platform was announced in October, with a goal of providing more patient access to the health care system through more personalized care.
The platform will also include a portal for patients to upload photos of their surgery and their symptoms, as well as a website that will allow them to find a doctor nearby and pay online.
According to the Department of HHS, the Surgeon Edge platform will be available in more than 40 states and the District of Columbia.
“By making the Surges Edge platform available to all Americans, we can increase access to care and ensure the health of our nation’s patients, regardless of where they live,” said Dr. Stephen Nellis, CEO of SurgeonsChoice.com.
“This is a groundbreaking move that will give us the tools we need to ensure our patients have the best, most effective health care available in the country.”
Critics have been quick to criticize the move, with several groups including Doctors for Health and Healthcare, Healthcare Consumers for Choice and the National Association of Surgeon General all opposing the move.
“It is disappointing that a Department of Defense program that provides free access to healthcare will make it easier for individuals to pay for the health-care they need, but that is not why Surgeons, Doctors and Surgeons Choice are opposing this plan,” said Mark Rosenberg, CEO and President of Doctors for Choice, a nonpartisan healthcare advocacy group.
“It’s clear the Surgeries Edge platform has the potential to harm patients and doctors alike.
It’s also clear the Trump Administration has the power to stop this effort from taking place.
This is an important step forward in expanding access to quality health care for our nation.”
The SurgeriesEdge platform will allow patients to connect with their doctors online, upload photos and record symptoms from their surgeries, and pay for care using their credit card.
It’s unclear whether patients who select Surgeons and Doctors Choice will be required to have a health insurance card or not.
The new service will not include the requirement that patients provide proof of insurance, and patients will still be able access a variety of payment options, including checks, cash and cashier’s checks.
Additionally, the new service is still subject to some regulatory oversight, including the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Federal Trade Commission.
“The SurgesEdge platform is one of the few online health insurance options that has the right mix of features to help patients access the best health care possible, and the SurGs Edge platform is designed to provide patients the best possible care without increasing costs or burdensome paperwork,” said Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser.
“We will continue to work with the Department to ensure patients have access to this online health care and that this important service remains accessible to all patients.”
The launch of Surgeriesedge was part of a broader push by the Trump White House to expand health care access.
Last week, President Donald Trump signed an executive order directing the Department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to work on expanding access for people who have private health insurance.
“We will do everything we can to ensure that this critical initiative will be successful,” said Health and Justice Secretary Tom Price in a statement.
“The SurGsEdge platform has been in development for over a year and will enable millions of Americans to access the quality health services they need and can count on for their care.”