Deals, Deployments, and Short News

Washington Health Information Collaborative announced applications for 2007 grants last week. Awards of up to $20,000 each will be given to physician clinics and hospitals throughout the Pacific Northwest to support greater use of electronic medical record systems. The grants are intended to promote great patient safety and quality of care, by helping doctors and other health practitioners transition away from old- fashioned, inefficient paper record keeping. Generally, grants and support services will be awarded to smaller physician practices and hospitals in rural areas. Applications for the awards will be accepted from health care providers throughout Washington, Alaska, Oregon, and Idaho. The program is sponsored by First Choice Health Network, which is providing the initial $500,000, and by the Puget Sound Health Alliance, Qualis Health and the Washington State Health Care Authority. The final awards are expected to be announced in October.

PSS/World Medical has made a $22.5 million equity investment, approximately 5% of current outstanding shares, in athenahealth, a leading provider of internet-based healthcare information technology and business services to physician practices. Additionally, the PSS/World Medical’s Physician Business, Physician Sales & Service, has entered into a two-year exclusive distribution agreement with athenahealth to market its web-based practice management, billing, and electronic medical record (EMR) solutions to the U.S. physician market. athenahealth will also provide enhanced product and customer support services to the Company’s physician customers. Future product developments are expected to integrate customer ordering and inventory management functionality into athenahealth’s existing service offering.

MEDecision, a provider of software, services and clinical content to health care payers, has announced that Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota (BCBSMN) will implement MEDecision's technology platform to strengthen its case management and utilization management functions. Designed to enable health care organizations to improve care and lower costs, the MEDecision technology platform provides advanced resources for optimizing data analysis and automating workflow processes. This fosters better clinical decision making, reduces costs and produces more favorable medical outcomes.

CIGNA HealthCare announced today that it will begin providing online precertification this fall to more than 365,000 physicians in its national network. NaviNet, one of the nation’s leading provider-communications portals, from NaviMedix, will power the new service. This new capability will make it faster and easier for providers across the country to submit and check the status of precertification requests for most inpatient services, certain outpatient services, and injectable medications. Precertification is the online service most requested by CIGNA network providers. Information about eligibility, benefits and claims status for CIGNA HealthCare members is already available at no charge to providers online, through the CIGNA for HealthCare Professionals website and NaviNet.

MEDSEEK announced today that it has been selected by Baptist Health System, one of the largest healthcare systems in Alabama, to assist the hospital system in strengthening its relationship with key constituents and their experience with the organization through its redesigned consumer and employee web portals. The contract includes MEDSEEK's Content Management System, Strategic Marketing Services, Channel Manager Module and integrated health content from A.D.A.M., Inc., a leading publisher of interactive, visually engaging health and medical information. Baptist Health System will deploy SiteMaker E, MEDSEEK's rapid-development enterprise content management system, to develop and manage its consumer and employee websites in an effort to serve the evolving needs of the communities and employees its four hospitals serve. It will use MEDSEEK's Channel Manager, one of 60 plug-in modules, to dynamically publish and present relevant context-sensitive information across the health system websites.

ICW America (ICW), a leading international e-Health provider and the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University’s Center for Primary Care and Prevention (the Center) at Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island have reached agreement to enter into a strategic collaboration to develop and test a 21st century patient-centered, e-Health model of care. The key objective of the strategic collaboration is to show evidence of improvement in quality of care and patient safety by linking, and in this case, actually integrating a patient-owned and controlled personal health record (PHR) to their provider’s electronic medical record (EMR). The collaboration will present the opportunity for a demonstration project that will support, promote and illustrate the value of ICW’s integrated LifeSensor PHR. When integrated, LifeSensor becomes a trusted source of patient health information for providers, and serves as the patient’s source system.

Adaptis announced that it has signed a strategic partnership with Tampa, Florida-based CompCare, an NCQA-accredited, specialty health care company dedicated to integrating behavioral and medical care. As a result of this agreement, Adaptis will expand its current service offerings to include CompCare’s suite of Behavioral Health Benefits Management, Integrated Health Care Management, Substance Abuse Disease Management and ADHD Disease Management offerings.

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