Healthcare News June 29, 2012

  • Aetna and Consult A Doctor™ Come Together As A 24/7 Telemedicine And Work Life Service


    Aetna’s (NYSE: AET) work life platform Aetna Resources For Living has been combined with the Consult A Doctor™ 24/7 telemedicine service to provide employees with easier access to resources that help improve overall health, work/life balance and workplace productivity.

    Providence Financial Group (PFG) teamed up with Aetna and Consult A Doctor to offer a bundled array of telemedicine and work life services to employers, agents and brokers throughout the U.S.

    Miami, June 19, 2012— Aetna’s (NYSE: AET) work life platform Aetna Resources For Living has been combined with the Consult A Doctor™ 24/7 telemedicine service to provide employees with easier access to resources that help improve overall health, work/life balance and workplace productivity. Consult A Doctor Plus™ is a unique, on-demand solution that also allows employers to better manage health care costs by providing members with the help and support they need – where, when and how they need it.

    Consult A Doctor Plus (CADR+) enables consumers to contact physicians, either by phone or email, for specific questions they may have. This product provides members with a variety of benefits, including:
    •       Confidential 24/7 telephonic consultation and prescription-writing.
    •       Access to Aetna Resources for Living work life resources and support.
    •       Patient advocacy bill review/mediation, provided by The Karis Group.
    •       Access to online wellness tools and health records.
    •       Legal and financial consulting.

    “We are pleased to work with Providence Financial Group to provide those in need with support and services in all areas of physical, emotional, psychological and social well-being,” said Louise Murphy, head of Aetna Behavioral Health. “Aetna Resources For Living is a suite of offerings designed to engage people in addressing lifestyle issues and workplace stresses by providing a comfortable and safe environment for our members. This platform together with Consult A Doctor creates a concrete combination of medical and work life services.”

    Powered by TeleCare 3.0, Consult A Doctor provides customized versions of its telemedicine platform to meet the needs of all the major constituents in healthcare, including practices, hospitals, clinics, health plans and employers.

    “With Consult A Doctor Plus, we are able to work hand-in-hand with Aetna to reach beyond traditional, primary care settings and explore new opportunities within the telemedicine spectrum of health care,” said Wolf Shlagman, founder and CEO, Consult A Doctor. “We are excited to provide employers with a faster, more convenient and affordable resource that gives members access to such services anytime and anywhere.”

    Consult A Doctor Plus (CADR+) is offered through Providence Financial Group (www.pfgef.com), program administrator. For more information about the program visit www.CADRPlus.com  or email jhoekman@cadrplus.com  or call Jonathan Hoekman, CADR+ Program Manager, 805 704 8788.

    About Providence Financial Group

    Providence Financial Group (PFG) is a sales and marketing organization of industry-leading financial products and services, marketed primarily through contracted agents and brokers.
    PFG is an authorized representative of both Aetna Behavioral Health and Consult A Doctor, and Reseller/Administrator of the Consult A Doctor Plus program. For more information please visit www.pfgef.com or contact us at www.pfgef.com/contact.

    About Consult A Doctor

    Consult A Doctor is the leading innovator of cloud-based telemedicine services and technology platform solutions empowering organizations to lower healthcare costs, provide revolutionary access and improve outcomes. With years of experience delivering direct-to-employer and consumer telemedicine services that offer convenient 24/7 access to doctor consultations by phone, email and video, Consult a Doctor has saved employers millions of dollars in unnecessary healthcare costs.  Its telemedicine network of U.S. board certified physicians in all 50 states has made it possible to give on-demand care, anytime, anywhere with access to care in the lowest cost setting. Consult A Doctor is further transforming the economic equation of care by partnering with payers, providers, health systems and other organizations to deploy TeleCare 3.0, its telemedicine services delivery platform that grants its members and patients unmatched access to quality care, offers a new revenue source for providers, and lowers costs for health plans, employers and groups. For more information about Consult A Doctor, please visit www.consultadr.com, email telecare@consultadr.com or call 888-688-DOCT (3628).

    About Aetna

    Aetna is one of the nation’s leading diversified health care benefits companies, serving approximately 36.1 million people with information and resources to help them make better informed decisions about their health care. Aetna offers a broad range of traditional, voluntary and consumer-directed health insurance products and related services, including medical, pharmacy, dental, behavioral health, group life and disability plans, and medical management capabilities, Medicaid health care management services and health information technology services. Our customers include employer groups, individuals, college students, part-time and hourly workers, health plans, health care providers, governmental units, government-sponsored plans, labor groups and expatriates. For more information, see www.aetna.com.

    Related posts:

    1. Employee Benefit Design of Missouri Boosts Sales With Consult A Doctor’s Telemedicine Offering
    2. Consult A Doctor Brings 24/7 Medical Consultations to the iPhone with iDr 24/7, the World’s First, Most Complete Telemedicine App
    3. The Telemedicine Revolution Begins Today with A Free, Cloud-Based Platform for Practices From Consult A Doctor

  • Availity Expands Network with Clinical Capabilities and Connectivity


    Automates the exchange of clinical information needed to support new payment models

    Helps streamline quality reporting and care coordination efforts

    JACKSONVILLE, Fla.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Health information network Availity today launched its suite of expanded clinical documentation capabilities, announcing that four major health plans, seven vendor partners, and multiple physician groups and hospitals are live and successfully utilizing these solutions across its network. The solution suite automates the costly, manual exchange of clinical information needed to support today’s revenue cycle, as well as emerging value-based payment models and quality improvement programs. The announcement comes as Availity participates in the annual conference for America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) in Salt Lake City, Utah.

    “Our business has always been about solving workflow inefficiencies faced by health plans and physicians. These challenges get bigger as the industry innovates payment structures based on quality and patient outcomes, driving greater demand for trusted clinical information,” said Russ Thomas, CEO of Availity. “With our newly launched clinical network capabilities, we are extending our proven ability to drive workflow efficiencies and cost reductions to an evolving set of payment models, while accelerating our ability to solve problems today.”

    Clinical capabilities launched today by Availity include:

    Inpatient Information Exchange — Enables the real-time exchange of patient admission, concurrent review, lab results and discharge information between hospitals and health plan case management staff.

    Medical Attachments — Allows physician practices and hospitals to track and respond to health plan requests for documentation electronically.

    Clinical Summaries — Facilitates automated extracts and submissions of information from physician EMRs to health plans for HEDIS reporting and Medicare star ratings, reducing the need for manual chart reviews.

    EMR Integration with Availity® CareProfile® — Integrates patient care history information sourced from the health plans with physician EMRs, providing physicians with a more holistic view of the patient.

    “The Availity network is ideally suited to expand from our core business solutions to solving tomorrow’s demand for integrated business and clinical data,” said Jon Zimmerman, general manager of clinical solutions for Availity. “Not only does today’s fee-for-service payment structure require it, but our customers are migrating toward fee-for-value models that demand an expanded information suite to support the efficient delivery of patient-centered, coordinated care.”

    Availity collaborated with multiple health plans, physicians, and key solution vendors in developing these clinical capabilities, and is proud to announce a number of “early adopter” network participants who are successfully live with one or more clinical solutions:

    Health Plans

    • Florida Blue
    • Health Care Service Corporation
    • Humana Inc.
    • WellPoint, Inc.

    Practice Management/ Technology Partners

    • athenahealth
    • Care360 EHR from Quest Diagnostics
    • Greenway
    • Jopari Solutions, Inc.
    • NextGen Healthcare
    • Passport
    • Recondo Technology

    “Announcing new capabilities is always exciting. Doing so with a list of outstanding partners on our network who are already live and benefiting from our solutions makes it real,” said Russ Thomas. “The early adoption by so many is a testament to the industry’s need for these solutions.”

    “As we move forward with new physician payment models such as ACO and PCMH, we believe that it’s important to leverage our existing success and the trusted relationship our providers have with Availity. We’re particularly excited because the new suite of clinical documentation services will help us – and our network providers – become more efficient and effective in the care management process,” said Joyce Kramzer, senior vice president of business operations at Florida Blue.

    “As the nation’s largest member-owned health insurer, our extensive provider relationships help us promote healthier outcomes for our members and allow us increased opportunity to partner on programs that enable improved quality and coordination of care,” said Terri Kline, senior vice president and chief health care management officer, Health Care Service Corporation. “Availity’s expanded clinical capabilities will further enhance our relationships with providers, ultimately helping the entire health care system work more effectively.”

    “Humana and Availity are now deploying our health information technology solution that enables the secure, electronic exchange of patient information between health plans, hospitals and providers,” said Brian LeClaire, senior vice president and chief service and information officer of Humana Inc. “This solution replaces costly, paper-based procedures and processes; reduces administrative burden at providers’ offices; and supports the coordinated care of patients.”

    “As we have more information about the history of members in our affiliated health plans, our staff and the members’ physicians can more accurately fill in the gaps of members’ health records,” said Elizabeth Bigham, WellPoint vice president of health information technology strategy. “With a broader sharing of medical record information, gaps in care, admission, discharge and authorization information made through Availity’s network, we hope to facilitate better decision-making and more timely, effective interventions, as well as help us to maintain affordable care.”

    “Through the Availity network, the Care360 platform now has increased capabilities to help improve the coordination of care by healthcare professionals,” said Richard A. Mahoney, vice president of healthcare information solutions for Quest Diagnostics, and president of its healthcare IT subsidiary MedPlus. “Care360 is a pivot point for 80,000 physician offices across the country with the 24/7 aim of access to data that supports evidence-based decision making. The addition of the Availity network strengthens this offer to those on the front lines of healing and caring.”

    “The clinical data exchange made possible through the cooperation between Availity and Greenway is another success for care coordination,” said Greenway chief operating officer Greg Schulenburg. “This program is a good step forward to improve quality of care, and it is the right thing to do for our providers and their patients.”

    “The ability to submit Workers’ Compensation billing and attachments electronically is a significant advantage for Availity customers,” explains Don St. Jacques, senior vice president of business development and client services for Jopari Solutions, Inc., a leading nationwide eBilling connectivity supplier to the rapidly expanding Property & Casualty (Workers’ Compensation and Auto Medical) marketplace. “Enabling medical practices to have one system to handle all lines and nuances of billing workflows is the cornerstone to achieving overall administrative simplification. Workers’ Compensation revenue cycle management has long been a challenge for providers, particularly due to the attachment issue. The integrated capability provided by Availity streamlines the process, and already is achieving improved results for both the provider and payer communities.”

    “Exchanging clinical data is an obvious next phase in Passport’s long-standing partnership with Availity; more specifically, doing so in the context of reimbursement and care coordination. Together, we create an unrivaled real-time network for innovation. It is exciting to see providers and plans collaborating to improve processes such as authorization, concurrent review and discharge,” said Paul K. Joiner, vice president of corporate development for Passport.

    “Recondo is pleased to be offering our capabilities in hospital and health plan integration and communication to help streamline the care process,” said Rick Adam, chairman and CEO of Recondo Technology.

    About Availity – Patients. Not Paperwork.®

    Availity and its subsidiary, RealMed, make the health care system run faster and better. We provide physicians, hospitals, and health plans with essential business and clinical information to streamline care delivery, drive productivity and better revenue cycle management, and enable better patient experiences. The Availity® Health Information Network encompasses business and clinical services, supporting both real-time and batch electronic data interchange via the Web and business-to-business (B2B) integration. For more information, including an online demonstration, please visit www.availity.com/clinical or call 1.800.AVAILITY (282.4548).

    Related posts:

    1. Miller Joins Availity as SVP of Strategy and Corporate Development
    2. Russ Thomas Named Incoming CEO of Availity
    3. Parsons Joins Availity as Chief Financial Officer

  • Shareable Ink Secures $5M in Series B Preferred Financing from Lemhi Venture


    Shareable Ink has secured $5M in Series B Financing. The funding will allow the company, for the next 18 months, to address the overarching goal of  judiciously growing the business (e.g., more customers, more products, and lots more system activity) and also convincingly demonstrating the potential for future growth beyond 2013.  This will mean recruiting good people and putting the right infrastructure and processes in place.

    Sophisticated Healthcare Investors Back Enterprise Cloud-Computing Approach to Data & Predictive Analytics

    Nashville, TN (June 19, 2012) Shareable Ink®, an enterprise cloud computing company that transforms handwritten documentation to structured data and predictive analytics, today announced it has secured $5M in Series B Preferred financing from Lemhi Ventures, a top-tier, healthcare-focused venture capital firm dedicated to disruptive change in the marketplace. Shareable Ink plans to utilize the proceeds to expand operations in all areas of the business, including client services and R&D as the company manages the evolving needs of its rapidly growing customer base.

    “Today, quality venture capital is highly selective, only focusing on the companies and teams that showcase the most meaningful offerings and the best talent,” said Stephen S. Hau, President and CEO, Shareable Ink. “We are thrilled by Lemhi Ventures’ endorsement and our shared vision of helping the business and practice of healthcare become more data-driven.”

    Both providers and patients utilize Shareable Ink’s natural input tools to capture the “first inch” of clinical documentation without compromising productivity.  The Shareable Ink cloud platform converts handwritten text and gestures into structured and codified data, which are then fed into core hospital and practice systems. In addition, Shareable Ink Analytics provides unprecedented insight into efficiency, quality, and costs.

    “We are encouraged by the practical transformation that Shareable Ink brings to the intersection of clinical and administrative data.  We have studied the challenges of provider adoption to health information technology and have been impressed by the ease, cost, and flexibility of the Shareable Ink platform,” said Tony Miller, Managing Partner of Lemhi Ventures, who also becomes Chairman of the Board of Shareable Ink, under terms of the deal. “We are excited to partner with the Shareable Ink team to help them continue to extend their reach and capability in making healthcare more efficient, data-driven, and accountable.”

    Tony Miller, a self-described healthcare geek, is a recognized industry expert and frequent speaker on consumer-driven healthcare and health policy. As founder and managing partner, he draws on experiences as varied as a consultant and a CEO to drive Lemhi’s investment decisions and involvement with portfolio companies. Jodi Hubler, Managing Director of Lemhi Ventures, also joins the Shareable Ink Board. As the managing director and an active advisor to several portfolio companies, Hubler leverages a significant background in strategic human capital and in executive and board development.

    About Shareable Ink

    Shareable Ink helps healthcare organizations of all sizes transition to electronic health records without disruption to workflow or burdensome IT projects. Its enterprise cloud-based platform incorporates natural input tools, including iPads and digital pen and paper technology featuring Anoto functionality. The resulting structured and clinically-encoded output populates the EHR with discrete data, as if typed in directly. Built-in analytics give hospitals and practices insight into their operations — from a clinical, quality and efficiency standpoint — all previously inaccessible from traditional handwritten records. For additional information, visit www.shareableink.com.

    Related posts:

    1. Shareable Ink Appoints Keith R. Slater as Vice President of Client Services
    2. Shareable Ink Partners With Leading EHR Vendors to Accelerate Physician Adoption
    3. Resource Anesthesia Deploys Shareable Ink to Improve Reporting and Revenue Cycle Management

  • Just Associates Celebrates a Decade of Mastering Patient Identity, Improving Data Integrity


    CENTENNIAL, Colo. – June 18, 2012 – Just Associates, Inc., a consulting firm specializing in data integrity and data quality solutions for healthcare organizations, is celebrating a decade of delivering to hospitals and healthcare organizations the innovative services and solutions that drive quality care by mastering patient identity and improving data integrity.

    Established in 2002 by Beth Just, the consulting firm is dedicated to meeting the data integrity needs of the health information exchange (HIE), health information management (HIM), health informatics and health IT markets. Launched at a time when enterprise master patient index (EMPI) systems were just starting to appear on the market and adoption of clinical information systems was limited, Just and her small team of passionate professionals recognized the impact duplicate and overlaid patient records would have on the efficacy of these systems.

    “We realized early on that EMPI, EHR and other clinical information systems could not deliver the promised quality, safety and efficiency outcomes if data integrity was compromised,” said Just, MBA, RHIA, FAHIMA, the firm’s president and CEO. “These systems also lacked the sophisticated algorithms to accurately match inbound data with existing patient information, which exacerbated the situation by facilitating creation of new duplicates.”

    Armed with deep experience in master patient index (MPI) cleanups, technical sophistication and a passion for providing high-quality services that deliver superior value, Just Associates quickly established itself as a leader in MPI management. Over the past 10 years, it has grown to include more than 70 highly trained professionals and amassed a client list that includes many of the nation’s most prestigious healthcare institutions.

    “We have experienced firsthand Just Associates’ dedication and exceptional customer service,” said Barb Manor, MA, RHIA, senior director of HIM, Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth Health System. “They tackle every challenge with determination, peeling back the layers to find and eradicate the source of data integrity issues. They also design innovative, long-term solutions and governance processes to ensure that the data we rely on to provide our patients with safe, high-quality care remain uncompromised. They have earned their reputation as an industry leader.”

    The firm works with nearly every vendor solution and delivers services encompassing every aspect of data integrity, including MPI cleanup, data migration, and patient access training and consulting. Other services include HIE and EMPI consulting, such as requirements definition, testing, record linking and matching, data mapping, cleanup and maintenance. Software vendors turn to Just Associates for its expertise in optimizing record-matching algorithm performance.

    Most recently, Just Associates launched IDMaster®, its proprietary duplicate record workflow software. It also pioneered outsourced MPI management with Repair™, its customized patient identity management service that provides hospitals with a more efficient duplicate record resolution process that overcomes staffing and other resource challenges. Business intelligence tools also identify areas of weakness where additional education or process adjustments can help prevent duplicate creation on the front end.

    “We uncover the root causes of data integrity issues and provide guidance on the governance necessary to ensure it stays that way,” said Just.

    Maintaining data integrity is more complex and critical now than it was a decade ago, thanks to the increased prevalence of computerized physician order entry (CPOE), EHR, EMPI and other clinical information systems. As more of these systems are interfaced, higher volumes of data flow between patient records and clinical, administrative and financial systems. An error at any point quickly snowballs as the information travels from one system to the next.

    “It’s not just a domino effect. It’s exponential. Inaccurate data captured in one system can feed into as many as 50 others before it is detected … if it ever is detected,” said Just. “That is why Just Associates continues pushing its clients to higher levels of data integrity by delivering the innovative services necessary to ensure the information upon which care decisions are based is accurate, regardless of where it enters the system.”

    About Just Associates, Inc.

    A recognized leader in health information data integrity and management, Just Associates, Inc. (www.justassociates.com) is a healthcare data integration consulting firm that delivers superior value to its clients through improved data integrity. Just Associates has the process expertise and systems knowledge to deliver tailored, value-added solutions that improve clients’ financial outcomes and business processes, support delivery of quality patient care, and meet the expectations of diverse stakeholders through improved data integrity.

    Related posts:

    1. Just Associates Appoints Deborah Burnett CIO
    2. Just Associates Appoints Karen Proffitt as Vice President of Consulting Services
    3. Just Associates to Provide Remote Duplicate Record “Repair” Services to Sharon Regional Health System

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