AMA, Acxiom Debut Comprehensive Physician Database

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The American Medical Association and Acxiom Corp., Little Rock, AR, will launch a comprehensive physician database using the AMA's Physician Master File as its foundation.

Acxiom will use its AbiliTec CDI software in conjunction with physician information from the AMA's database, which contains information on the approximately 870,000 physicians in the United States. Acxiom and the AMA have created a new company, HealthCarePro Connect, to manage the data.

The AMA, Chicago, has licensed physician data to organizations and marketers for 50 years, offering basic information such as doctors' names and addresses as well as their educational and license data. HealthCarePro Connect plans to offer that data along with more comprehensive information, including hospital, healthcare group and insurance company affiliations.

HealthCarePro Connect hopes companies that currently use the master file will choose its service instead because of the additional information it offers, said Elizabeth Ruske, CEO of HealthCarePro Connect.

"We've created a new business to fill a void in the marketplace," Ruske said. "You can start talking to physicians on a one-to-one basis."

A price schedule has not been set yet, Ruske said. She declined to mention the names of any initial or prospective clients. However, she expects the enhanced version of the master file to have a customer base that will include pharmaceutical firms and online healthcare information providers.

Through direct mailings to be sent by HealthCarePro Connect and promotional efforts of the AMA, doctors will be encouraged to provide marketing information about themselves via HealthCarePro Connect's Web site. Physician data will be collected through other sources, including other healthcare marketing lists. The database will be updated constantly, providing clients with real-time data about doctors, Ruske said.

Doctors will have some control over the information that is released through the new service. Physicians will be able to view and update their personal information and preferences through HealthCarePro Connect's Web site. The service will be up and running in October.

Physicians will determine the information that will be available to marketers. Doctors will be able to opt out or indicate how they wish to be contacted. Physicians could choose not to receive telemarketing calls or receive offers by e-mail.

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