This excerpt taken from the WBMD 10-K filed Mar 16, 2006.
Professional Portals in The WebMD Health Network
Introduction. The Internet has become a primary source of information for physicians and other healthcare professionals, and is growing relative to other sources, such as conferences, meetings and offline journals. We believe that our professional portals, which include Medscape from WebMD, theheart.org and eMedicine, reach more physicians than any other professional Web sites. We believe we are well positioned to
increase usage by existing and new members because we offer physicians and other healthcare professionals a broad range of current clinical information and resources across more than 30 medical specialties. We believe that Medscape from WebMD and our other professional portals should benefit from the general trend towards increased reliance on, and usage of, the Internet by physicians and other healthcare professionals.
We generate revenue from our professional portals by selling advertising and sponsorship programs primarily to companies that wish to target physicians and other healthcare professionals, and also through educational grants. Users of the professional portal do not pay any fees to us for the right to access any of our services.
Medscape from WebMD enables physicians and other healthcare professionals to stay abreast of the latest clinical information through access to resources that include:
Content. Original content includes daily medical news, commentary, conference coverage, expert columns and CME activities written by authors from widely respected academic institutions and edited and managed by our in-house editorial staff. We regularly produce in-depth interviews with medical experts and newsmakers, and provide alerts on critical clinical issues, including pharmaceutical recalls and product advisories. We also provide access to wire service stories and other news-related content and CME programs. We develop the majority of our content internally and supplement with third party content in areas such as drug information and full-text journal articles.
We also publish an original electronic-only journal, Medscape General Medicine (which we refer to as MedGenMed), indexed in the National Library of Medicines MEDLINE reference database. MedGenMed, the worlds first online-only, primary source, peer-reviewed general medical journal, was established in April 1999. Visitors to www.medgenmed.com also can access MedGenMeds innovative Webcast Video Editorials as well as specialty content sections.
Membership. Users must register to access the content and features of our professional portals. Registration by users enables us to deliver targeted medical content based on such users registration profiles. Our professional portals are generally organized by specialty and profession, and include sites for nurses, pharmacists, medical students, and members interested in medical policy and business of medicine topics. The registration process enables professional members to choose a home page tailored to their medical specialty or interest. We offer more than 30 specialty areas for our users. There are no membership fees and no general usage charges for our professional portals. Medscape members receive MedPulse®, our weekly e-mail newsletter, which is published in more than 30 specialty-specific editions and highlights new information and CME activities on the Medscape site.
Continuing Medical Education (CME). We are the leading distributor of online CME to physicians and other healthcare professionals, offering a wide selection of free, regularly updated online CME activities designed to educate healthcare professionals about important diagnostic and therapeutic issues. Our CME programs include both original programs and third-party programs that we distribute on our professional sites. In addition, our CME Live offerings provide real-time Webcasts of CME programs on key topics and conditions. These live Webcasts combine streaming audio and slide presentations and allow participants to interact with faculty. Based on data published by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (or ACCME), which oversees providers of CME credit and other applicable accreditation standards, Medscape provided approximately 67% of all CME programs completed online in 2004. In 2005, over 1.3 million physicians and other healthcare professionals completed continuing education programs (a majority of which were physician CME) on Medscape, an increase of 41% over 2004.
We have organized the operations of our professional portals to provide for appropriate separation of our education and promotion programs. Our educational activities for healthcare professionals are managed by
Medscape, LLC, our professional education subsidiary, including the activities of the CME unit of Conceptis, Crescendo Medical Education. Individuals who work on educational matters are not involved with promotional programs.
Our CME activities are planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and Policies of ACCME. In addition, some of our programs have been produced in collaboration with other ACCME-accredited CME providers. We received provisional ACCME accreditation as a CME provider in July 2002 and full accreditation, for the maximum six-year period, beginning in July 2004. Such accreditation allows Medscape to continue to certify online CME activities. In September 2004, ACCME revised its standards for commercial support of CME. The revised standards are intended to ensure that CME activities of ACCME-accredited providers are independent of providers of healthcare goods and services that fund the development of CME. ACCME required accredited providers to implement these standards by May 2005. We believe that we have modified our procedures as appropriate to meet the revised standards. In order for us to renew our accreditation at the end of July 2010, we will be required to demonstrate to ACCME that we continue to meet ACCME requirements. For more information relating to ACCMEs new CME standards, see Government Regulation Regulation of Drug and Medical Device Advertising and Promotion.