NU Online News Service, April 27, 2005, 3:22 p.m. EDT

TelaDoc Medical Services Inc. has started selling telephone consultations with physicians located throughout the United States.[@@]

The Dallas company says it believes its new service, which relies on the participation of a national physicians’ association, is the first national, 24-hour-a-day service that provides access to primary care doctors.

The doctors should be able to handle about 70% of the cases over the telephone and call any prescriptions that might be necessary in to patients’ pharmacies, TelaDoc says.

The doctors can help patients age 12 and older, and TelaDoc is promising that its association doctors will call members back within 3 hours. Service is available in Spanish as well as in English.

The annual membership cost is $60 per year for single members and $84 per year for couples with up to 4 dependents. Members also pay a flat $35 fee for each telephone consultation with a doctor.

TelaDoc will provide receipts that members can use to substantiate insurance claims and claims against health savings accounts and other personal health accounts, TelaDoc says.