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Independence Blue Cross Harnesses Technology to Connect the Dots on Patient Care
Date:7/27/2009

PHILADELPHIA, July 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Like a warning light on your car's dashboard that alerts you when routine maintenance is overdue, Independence Blue Cross (IBC) is now providing timely notices to physicians and specialists through a new electronic messaging tool: Clinical Alerts. The notices help a doctor identify before a patient's appointment whether the patient is missing an important recommended preventive health service, such as a mammogram or a cholesterol screening.

Traditionally, a physician relies on information the patient provides during an office visit or on reports about diagnostic tests conducted by another doctor to find out whether patients have had recommended health services. But if critical information is not reported during the visit, or if the patient is unaware that he or she is late for a test, the doctor may not be aware of the need for a preventive screening or other test. That's when a gap in care might occur.

"Clinical Alerts will help physicians avoid these gaps. This is important since studies show that people get recommended care only half the time," says I. Steven Udvarhelyi, M.D., senior vice president and chief medical officer for Independence Blue Cross. "As the leading health plan in the region, we believe Clinical Alerts are an important step toward improving the health of our members by increasing the quality of care, which ultimately helps reduce medical costs."

To create Clinical Alerts, IBC leverages its database of claims information from physicians, hospitals, labs, and pharmacies and identifies care opportunities for its members. Physicians in the Greater Philadelphia region can view the alerts in their offices when prepping for upcoming appointments. IBC began sending alerts in April to physicians through its secure health care provider web portal, which is administered by NaviNet, the country's largest real-time health care com
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SOURCE Independence Blue Cross
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