iMedicor To Create USA MCO Health Info Exchange

The nationwide health information network will provide the managed care organization's 350,000 doctors with secure messaging and medical data exchange capabilities.

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iMedicor has signed a deal to create a health information exchange for managed care organization USA MCO's nationwide network of 350,000 physicians.

The HIE will support secure messaging for more simple electronic communication -- such as email -- between USA MCO healthcare providers, as well more robust interoperability supporting the transport and exchange of standardized data such as continuity of care records and documents, medical images and other information, said Tom Dorsett, iMedicor's VP of business development.

USA MCO, based in Austin, Texas, is one of the nation's largest preferred provider organizations. The company will also use the new National Healthcare Communications Network to correspond electronically with its network of 350,000 physicians, said Dorsett in an interview with InformationWeek.

Currently, much of the communication between USA MCO and its doctor network is via faxes, he said.

The new National Healthcare Communications Network, or NHCN, will be "easy, accessible and affordable" for USA MCO doctors to use, and will be "like a social network coupled with a health information exchange," said Dorsett.

Doctors can go onto NHCN's portal, register, authenticate, and "create a profile and a private network" within the exchange, allowing the physicians to invite other doctors, staff and patients to securely exchange information."

The new HIPAA-compliant exchange will also help USA MCO doctors meet data exchange requirements of the HITECH Act's meaningful use criteria, said Dorsett.

While the exchange can be used for secure communication between doctors who don't yet have e-health record systems running in their practices, iMedicor is also planning in the near future to make available to USA MCO physicians "other applications" that address meaningful use requirements, said Dorsett.

Among those applications will be an electronic health record for doctor practices, said Dorsett. iMedicor is in the process of evaluating various third-party EHR platforms but hasn't yet decided which package to offer to USA MCO doctors, he said.

The NHCN will also comply with the federal government's evolving National Health Information Network Direct protocols and utilize the NHIN Connect interoperability tools, Dorsett said.

Unlimited use of the NHCN will be $19.95 per month per physician. Additional healthcare providers and doctor practice staff members connected to the originating physician's subscription will be charged a discounted rate relative to the originating physician's subscription, said iMedicor.

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