Friday, July 11, 2008

Health Plan Signs Tech Software Deal

(previously published here at

Health Partners, the Philadelphia area's largest not-for-profit health plan serving Medicaid patients, signed a 10-year deal with health-care technology company Healthation to implement an e-business health care portal to enable 24-hour interaction between healthcare providers and the health plan, a press release announced yesterday.

The health-care portal, known as AboveHealth, is designed to provide real-time communication and the "capability to customize the types of interactions our providers would experience," according to Health Partners CIO Hal Augustine.

It was chosen because his constant access to shared information will both address the business needs of Health Partners' providers and increase efficiency with "a lot more self-service capabilities."

The new portal will first be implemented in October with a pilot group of providers that is estimated to last a couple of months.

Since Health Partners serves over 135,000 members in southeastern Pennsylvania is owned by a partnership of seven local hospitals and health systems, including the Albert Einstein Medical Center, St. Christopher's Hospital for Children, and the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, the new information portal will hopefully provide greater ease of access and communication to healthcare professionals throughout the region.

"We hope to provide real-time information to our members [about things such as] eligibility, ... claims status, claims reconsideration, and content such as formulary and clinical guidelines," said Mr. Augustine. "It should be a real advantage for our providers, ... [especially those who] find the Internet to be an efficient tool."

"Health Partners shares our vision for a transformed retail healthcare marketplace," Scott Kornhauser, Healthation CEO said in the press release. "We look forward to playing a key role in their innovative market advancement."

The agreement comes during a time when online technology and health care are finding ways to work together, whether by establishing privacy standards for online medical records or by merging e-prescription companies to facilitate a single network of communication.

Heather J. Chin can be reached at

©The Evening Bulletin 2008

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