AmeriHealth Taps NaviNet For Mobile Care Management - InformationWeek

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9/14/2011
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AmeriHealth Taps NaviNet For Mobile Care Management

Pilot study will send patient information to physicians' smartphones in the exam room, where critical clinical decisions are made.

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With the goal of improving medication adherence, preventing illness, and reducing medical costs, Medicaid managed care organization AmeriHealth Mercy recently announced a pilot project that will allow 167 physicians in its Pennsylvania network to gain access to clinical care alerts and e-prescribing services through their mobile devices.

The pilot project, which will begin October 1, will use NaviNet Mobile Connect to deliver care alerts and e-prescribing at no cost to physicians. NaviNet Mobile Connect is a mobile care management platform that enables health plans to send patient-related information to physicians using mobile devices. The mobile platform integrates with the office's practice management system, and is compatible with Apple iOS, Android, and Windows Mobile platforms.

According to Jay Feldstein, DO, AmeriHealth Mercy's northern division president, AmeriHealth Mercy providers are currently accessing patient information from their office computers. The goal is to drive that information to physicians' mobile devices so that it is readily available in the exam room, where critical clinical decisions are made.

"What we are trying to do with this pilot is close the care gaps," Feldstein told InformationWeek Healthcare. "For example, if a woman has not had a mammogram in a year, that alert will come up, or if a patient's lipids are out of control and they are not on medication, that care gap will be accessed by the doctor with their handheld device."

As the healthcare sector moves toward an era in which providers will be paid for quality and not quantity of care, health insurance companies are acutely aware of the need to adopt technology that will provide a higher quality of care, especially to Medicaid patients that often have multiple healthcare providers and many medications.

"We want to increase medication adherence and increase the use of preventive measures," Feldstein said. "This will improve the health of our members and thereby lower costs by reducing ER visits and hospital admissions and readmissions for those with chronic diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, and asthma."

In a joint statement with NaviNet, AmeriHealth Mercy said the mobile services will include NaviNet Prescribe, an e-prescribing and clinical decision support system available via mobile device and desktop access. It will provide information about medications and prescription insurance benefits from PerformRx, AmeriHealth Mercy's pharmacy benefit manager (PBM). Physicians can use this information to discuss treatment plans and lower-cost drug alternatives with the patient, in addition to flagging potentially harmful drug interactions and side effects.

Based on the results of the six-month pilot program, AmeriHealth Mercy plans to expand mobile services throughout Pennsylvania as well as to its other operations in South Carolina, Louisiana, and Indiana.

NaviNet, one of America's largest healthcare communication networks, links health plans, industry partners, and the government to hundreds of thousands of physicians, clinicians, and other healthcare professionals. More than 70% of the nation's physicians are enrolled in the NaviNet Network.

Find out how health IT leaders are dealing with the industry's pain points, from allowing unfettered patient data access to sharing electronic records. Also in the new, all-digital issue of InformationWeek Healthcare: There needs to be better e-communication between technologists and clinicians. Download the issue now. (Free registration required.)

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