August 09, 2010

Louisville, Ky.-based health insurance company Humana has joined its Primary Care Rewards program with Watertown, Mass.-based technology provider Athenahealth's electronic health record service, in an alliance designed to spur provider adoption of EHR platforms.

Humana will subsidize the implementation cost of the EHR service, AthenaClinicalsSM, for physicians who are part of Humana’s national provider network. The companies said in a statement they expect to subsidize the implementation cost for 100 physician practices projected to represent 1,000 physicians. Athenahealth will also offer a service package to participants that will include the company’s full suite of services.

Health information network Availity will deliver information captured in the Availity CareProfile to Athenahealth. Humana currently delivers health information and clinical messaging regarding its members through this platform. Physician encounters will be measured in conjunction with Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set quality measures. Practices will be provided with individualized goals and measured regularly to provide performance feedback. Physician practices may also be eligible to receive additional financial benefits through a shared-savings program after the practices meet or exceed certain quality benchmarks.

“This partnership not only makes it possible, but makes it easy and affordable for providers to capture patient-care activity into an integrated EHR,” Bruce Perkins, senior vice president of Humana’s Healthcare Delivery Systems and Clinical Processes organization, says in a statement. “This will facilitate enhanced care coordination; serve as a patient-centric repository for specific gaps-in-care alerts; and be the centerpiece for multi-provider communication – all of which must exist to improve outcomes and reduce cost.”

Insurers are increasingly looking to drive EHR adoption among physicians through financial or other means. Aetna, UnitedHealth Group and WellPoint have announced programs to that end recently. Independence Blue Cross, meanwhile, launched a patient-directed personal health record initiative last month, as an alternative to provider-hosted EHRs.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nathan Golia is senior editor of Insurance & Technology. He joined the publication in 2010 as associate editor and covers all aspects of the nexus between insurance and information technology, including mobility, ...