Medical Group, VeriSign To Enhance Internet ID Service



The American Medical Association and Internet security vendor VeriSign Inc. say they will enhance the AMA's Internet ID service. According to the AMA, the Internet ID service is the only nationwide system available to physicians for secure communications and transactions over the Internet.

It's the first authentication system based on VeriSign's recently announced next-generation trust services, and the first application, expected by the third quarter this year, that'll be a new secure E-mail service for physicians. The AMA Internet ID service went live in December 2000, to help protect privacy and confidentiality when online medical information is transmitted.

The AMA and VeriSign hope doctors will use their Internet IDs to boost security when using Web-based applications such as claims, patient charting, and electronic prescriptions. The services will also support roaming capabilities so doctors can work from just about anywhere.

VeriSign says the managed trust services are designed to help health-care companies, and application makers that support this market, comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act regulations. No one knows exactly what that might mean, especially with the privacy regulations, but Jupiter Media Metrix Inc. analyst Stacey Rich says she doesn't expect any sweeping changes with the regulations.

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