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Blue Cross and AllScripts Going to Pick Up the Tab for Doctors Electronic Medical Records In North Carolina

Posted Sep 28 2011 9:44pm

This is interesting as Blue Cross doesn’t have a medical record program and I have said in the past the next move will be insurers buying up the EHR folks.  NCPath is image the name of the program and 85% of the tab will be picked up, except the free clinics will not have to pay at all.  So it sounds like with the certified records system in place they will all be able to attest for stimulus money too.  Right on websites it seems like we used to see more about better patient outcomes but like most on healthcare anymore, well you can see the image below to where profitability is the focus. 

image

Some carriers, such as United have sold their medical records programs for a number of years under the Optima name, formerly known as Ingenix so it makes one wonder how long and what companies the insurers will be buying next. We have already seen a big rush in this area with both United and Aetna in the last couple years with load of acquisitions.  In imaging company purchased by a United subsidiary put the VA right into business with United, Picis was the company purchased.  Everywhere you turn today with Health IT, it’s not hard to find some dollars going right to United’s pockets today. 

Presently Blue Cross in California bought a huge Medicare HMO called CareMore and United is doing the same so when you look at the race to consume and build monopolies, the health insurance business sure looks that way as the daily chains of subsidiaries gets longer and more complex all the time, so I just wonder if Blue Cross going to buy an EHR company soon?  If you follow the partnerships they sometimes offer some clues in that area, not all the time, but it certainly is becoming much more frequent as data systems get connected, as it’s all about the data.  Let’s see by the time this gets rolling I might guess Blue Cross might be out there shopping around for an HIE company or two so that could also be tied into the entire configuration too.  Wellpoint just bought a private insurance company exchange a couple weeks ago from their own Blue Cross VC company, Sandbox. 

As a side note I have not been able to figure out why the government REC center in Orange County California never got off the ground and the fact that the state Medicaid contractor, Cal-Optima got the contract might have something to do with it as they are buried but I still do wonder where the $7 million in grants went?  If insurers are coming in to provide medical records, and the REC offices were only supposed to be temporary, maybe that’s the deal coming in the OC and why the REC office never got off the ground, but still who got the $7 million?  BD 

Chapel Hill, N.C. — North Carolina's largest health insurer is part of a $23 million effort to get hundreds of physicians statewide to produce patient records electronically instead of using paper files.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina and Chicago-based Allscripts, which creates and markets electronic health records, announced a partnership Wednesday to offer software, training and support to more than 750 physicians, including those who work in 39 free clinics across the state.

"It's meaningful when a family receives vital, faster, better care because vital records are available when doctors need them most wherever a patient might be," Blue Cross President and Chief Executive Brad Wilson said.

Blue Cross is investing $15 million and Allscripts is kicking in $8 million for the initiative.

Under the federal health care reform law, the government is offering subsidies of up to $44,000 over several years to physician practices that convert to electronic medical records.


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