May 27, 2009

Unified participates in IHIE's healthcare management service

Indiana-based payer adds value-driven Quality Health First program as a mechanism for improving patient care.

May 27, 2009. (Indianapolis) – Providing more Hoosiers with an innovative approach to quality healthcare, Anderson, Ind.-based Unified Group Services, a third party administrator, is participating in the Indiana Health Information Exchange (IHIE)’s Quality Health First (QHF) program, which helps physicians and patients achieve better health outcomes and helps reduce the overall cost of care. Unified Group Services is the first third party administrator to participate in QHF.

The QHF program was designed by IHIE and the Employers’ Forum of Indiana, building upon a system that securely aggregates and accurately delivers patient information such as lab results, medication histories, treatment histories and other clinical data in a standardized, electronic format, across all providers. This information helps to improve patients’ health and care management.

The QHF service, which is available at no cost to physicians, allows them to view a list of their patients who are due for preventive screenings and chronic disease follow-up care for conditions like diabetes and heart disease, along with screenings like mammography and well-child visits. Currently over 900 physicians have signed up to participate in the service. “As our newest partner in the Quality Health First program, Unified Group Services is providing its members with a cutting-edge service that brings proactive information to physicians in order to improve the quality of patient care,” said Dr. J. Marc Overhage, President and CEO of the Indiana Health Information Exchange. “This innovative approach is transforming healthcare delivery, and patients throughout the state of Indiana will benefit from Unified’s progressive move.”

Overhage also serves as Director of Medical Informatics at the Regenstrief Institute, Inc. and is Regenstrief Professor of Medical Informatics at the Indiana University School of Medicine. He has also been recently appointed to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Health Information Technology Standards Committee.

With almost 50,000 Indiana members, Unified Group Services provides health, dental, vision, short-term disability and COBRA benefit administration to self-funded companies. “Unified has always had a commitment to help our clients reduce healthcare costs without reducing the quality of care, and we believe that being part of the Quality Health First program will help our members further achieve this standard,” said Rich Mousty, President of Unified Group Services. “We look forward to bringing this progressive program to our members as it furthers our company’s, our clients’, and our nation’s desire to provide high quality health care in a cost-effective manner.”

As an example of the QHF program in action in the Indianapolis community, the health information exchange platform has found that 30% of area diabetics aren’t receiving timely A1c tests and 35% of women aren’t having timely mammograms. This data has implications at the individual and community level while also impacting public health and educational initiatives across the state.

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