The U.S. leads the pack in the percentage of older adults who have trouble paying their medical bills.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla., May 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of
Florida, Inc. (BCBSF) and Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM) today announced their plans
for the statewide deployment of the nation's first multiple payer electronic
health record, the Availity(R) Care Profile (ACP). Approximately 400 Tampa
Bay area provider sites now have access to the ACP, and the capability is
expanding to other Florida geographies, including Gainesville, Jacksonville,
Miami and Tallahassee. The ACP is delivered through Availity, L.L.C., a
leading health care information exchange, in partnership with BCBSF and
The ACP is an electronic health record currently sourced by claims-based
information from multiple health plans. A consolidated view of patients'
health care services across physicians and providers helps improve patient
safety, eliminates duplicate medical procedures and aids in reducing
unnecessary services and fraud. The launch of the ACP facilitates improved
sharing of health information and interoperability between clinicians and
multiple payers, bringing efficiencies and cost savings to the health care
industry in Florida.
Point-of-Care Partners, a consortium of independent general management and
marketing health information technology consultants, recently evaluated the
success of the ACP pilot. The general questions framing their evaluation
centered on: the ACP's role in the emerging landscape of health information
exchange services; whether the ACP is providing value to physicians using the
service; and where BCBSF and Humana should make future investments in the ACP
to increase its value to physicians, as well as to accelerate adoption and
generate benefits for payers. Interviews and surveys of pilot users, research
of other health information exchanges and secondary information were also
included in the evaluation.
Key results of the study included:
-- As electronic health records evolve, "payer-sourced health records"
serve a vital, strategic role.
-- The ACP clearly fills a gap in the patient's medical record,
contributing to higher quality, safer and more efficient health care.
-- The use of ACP led to a time savings of three to six minutes on patient
assessments, leading to more productive and efficient encounters with
commensurate cost savings.
-- Consumers, employers, physicians and payers all benefit from the value
delivered by the ACP. For example, in the area of cost avoidance,
detection of non-compliance and potential adverse drug effects may
prevent more costly interventions due to complications. In addition,
identification of potentially duplicate and/or unnecessary tests is a
significant source of cost avoidance. Physicians utilizing the ACP have
the potential to detect these occurrences.
-- A general opinion exists that relying solely on provider-sourced
electronic medical records (EMRs) as the source of information for a
comprehensive, longitudinal electronic health record is impractical.
Current adoption rates of EMR systems remain low, suggesting physicians
will need alternative sources of electronic health information, and the
ACP complements the EMR in those practices that have one.
"We are very excited about the value the Availity Care Profile can add in
improving the quality and affordability of health care," said Catherine Peper,
vice president, health information technology, BCBSF. "The enthusiastic
feedback we are hearing from the market place is extremely encouraging. Our
network of physicians and members understand the advantages of the ACP. It
improves the physician-patient experience by allowing members and physicians
to make better informed health care decisions."
With the approaching hurricane season, Peper notes the additional value of
the ACP, "Just think of the peace of mind this can bring to Floridians
following a catastrophic event such as a hurricane. They would know that a
robust view of the medications they are using and the physicians they see is
available to authorized Availity users anytime and anywhere. We hope other
payers in Florida will join us in offering this valuable information to
"Expansion of this service provides clinically relevant information at the
point of care to more physicians and their patients," said Bruce J. Goodman,
chief service and information officer, Humana. "We see this as an important
and valuable step in improving the exchange of health information and our
"Payer-sourced electronic health records are an important component in the
public-private partnership that is contributing to the growth and development
of the Florida Health Information Network (FHIN) initiative," said Lisa
Rawlins, director, Florida Center for Health Information and Policy Analysis
and executive director of the governor's Health Information Infrastructure
Advisory Board. "One of the key goals of the FHIN and its partner Regional
Health Information Network Organizations is the integration of provider and
payer electronic health records to create a patient-centric medical record for
clinician use at the point of care."
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida is a leader in Florida's health
industry. BCBSF and its subsidiaries serve more than 8.6 million people. Since
1944, the company has been dedicated to meeting the diverse needs of all those
it serves by offering an array of choices. BCBSF is a not-for-profit,
policyholder-owned, tax-paying mutual company. Headquartered in Jacksonville,
Fla., BCBSF is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield
Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield
companies. For more information concerning BCBSF, please see its Web site at
Humana Inc., headquartered in Louisville, Ky., is one of the nation's
largest publicly traded health benefits companies, with approximately 11.3
million medical members. Humana offers a diversified portfolio of health
insurance products and related services - through traditional and consumer-
choice plans - to employer groups, government-sponsored plans, and
Humana is one of Florida's leading health benefits companies with more
than 350,000 commercial members, and is Florida's largest Medicare health
benefits provider with more than half a million Medicare members statewide.
Over its 46-year history, Humana has consistently seized opportunities to
meet changing customer needs. Today, the company is a leader in consumer
engagement, providing guidance that leads to lower costs and a better health
plan experience throughout its diversified customer portfolio. More
information regarding Humana is available to investors via the Investor
Relations page of the company's Web site at www.humana.com.
About Availity, L.L.C. - Patients. Not paperwork.(R)
Availity optimizes the flow of information between health care
professionals, health plans, and other health care stakeholders through a
secure internet-based exchange. The Availity(R) Health Information Network
encompasses administrative and clinical services, supports both real-time and
batch transactions via the Web and electronic data interchange (EDI), and is
HIPAA compliant. Availity is the recipient of several national and regional
awards, including Consumer Directed Health Care, A.S.A.P. Alliance Innovation,
eHealthcare Leadership, Northeast Florida Excellence in IT Leadership, E-
Fusion, Emerging Technologies and Healthcare Innovations Excellence (TETHIE),
and AstraZeneca-NMHCC Partnership. For more information, including an online
demonstration, visit www.availity.com or call 1.800.AVAILITY (282.4548).
SOURCE Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida
CONTACT: Mark Wright of BCBSF, +1-904-905-6935, firstname.lastname@example.org; or Mitch Lubitz of Humana, +1-813-287-6180, email@example.com