Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Jersey has announced several new initiatives that move the Newark-based insurer further away from its indemnity insurance roots.
Last week, the Blues plan announced a joint venture with the National Registry, a publicly traded company based in St. Petersburg, Fla., that develops and markets electronic identification systems and services using "finger-image technology." They have formed a new company called Biometrx to market products to the healthcare industry that employ the fingerprint-image technology.
Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.
The National Registry's technology is used to collect, process, match and transmit digitally coded maps of fingertip surfaces. The codes can be electronically stored and retrieved for identification purposes.
The technology is said to have many potential applications. For example, providers could use it to verify insurance coverage, gain instant access to medical records and prevent the fraudulent use of state and federal healthcare benefit programs.
Biometrx plans to develop and market a system that hospitals and other providers can use to access a patient's personal, medical and insurance information. The company also will market a service that allows providers to create a data base containing medical information on mothers and newborns.
In another development, the New Jersey Blues announced entry into the healthcare delivery business. The Newark-based insurer said it reached a 10-year agreement with PHP Healthcare Corp. in Alexandria, Va., to design, build and manage 10 primary-care family health centers across the state.
The centers will open Jan. 1, 1995, with additional sites planned for the future. The New Jersey Blues will spend $13 million on the first 10 centers.