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Minnesota Health Plans Select IGI and ORBIT(R) to Power First State-Mandated Shift to Standardized, Electronic Data Exchange between Plans and Providers
Date:6/1/2009

PISCATAWAY, N.J., June 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Minnesota has become the first state in the nation to cut red tape by requiring all health care providers to electronically submit insurance claims to health plans, using a single set of data standards. The law, referred to as the E3 Initiative, will also require plans and providers to electronically exchange information about patients' eligibility for insurance coverage and benefits, as well as payment remittance advice. While other states have initiated efforts to streamline healthcare administration by implementing electronic infrastructure to parts of their legacy systems, Minnesota is the first to issue a statewide mandate, a move that could reduce costs by more than $60 million this year. A study co-sponsored by health plans, physicians and hospitals showed that a single set of billing codes, for example, could reduce the cost of phone calls alone by $15.6 million to $21.8 million annually.

Minnesota's health plans have selected IGI to offer health care providers MN E-Connect (www.mneconnect.com), a web- based portal solution powered by IGI's ORBIT(R) software that will allow all health care stakeholders in Minnesota to seamlessly comply with the new provisions of the law. The web service, which opened for provider registration on May 15, 2009, is funded by Minnesota health plans at no cost to providers, and may be used by any provider, regardless of size. Specifically, MN E-Connect allows providers to file three free claims types -- medical, hospital and dental -- while rigorously maintaining HIPAA standards. Participating health plans include: Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, FirstPlan of Minnesota, HealthPartners, Medica, Metropolitan Health Plan, PreferredOne, Sanford Health Plan and UCare.

"IGI presented a solution that met our most critical requirements: MN E-Connect is easy to use, even for providers who have limited technical resources -- and can also meet the needs of rapidly changing offices, hospitals and payer systems," said Julie Brunner, executive director of the Minnesota Council of Health Plans. "The technology is straightforward, cost-effective and interoperable. Interoperability is key -- health plans were already conducting electronic billing transactions -- ORBIT(R) provides access to payer systems to all providers."

Minnesota's partnership with IGI complements the state's other collaborative work in health care IT including e-prescribing, transportable patient health information, credentialing and the Minnesota Health Information Exchange (MN HIE), a statewide secure network that shares clinical and administrative information among health care providers.

"We're excited that Minnesota has chosen ORBIT(R) as the engine to fuel innovative health care reform," said Arthur Kapoor, CEO of IGI. "This move positions Minnesota health care providers and health plans as leaders in streamlining back office operations, turning their vision for the electronic exchange of health information into reality." More information about the E3 Initiative can be found at http://www.health.state.mn.us/auc.

About IGI

IGI leads in developing health care IT solutions focused on connecting trading partners, a critical part of emerging initiatives such as Health Information Exchanges (HIE), Health Information Networks (HIN) and Electronic Health Records (EHR). ORBIT(R) software provides the foundation for custom and packaged portal solutions, such as the ORBIT(R) Affiliated Physicians Portal, that allow health care consumers, providers, payers, pharmacies, labs, application vendors and financial institutions to reduce administrative costs, improve financial transparency, and enhance clinical information exchange. IGI provides a range of IT and BPO services that enable organizations to integrate diverse systems, translate data, enhance workflow, improve overall administrative efficiencies and meet federal and state mandates for administrative simplification and health information exchange.

    For more information, please contact:
    Sharmila Venkatasubban
    Corporate Communications Executive
    (Phone) 732-652-1522   (Email) sharmila.v@igiusa.com


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SOURCE IGI (Infotech Global, Inc.)
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