Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Jersey and Integrated Systems Solutions Corp., an IBM subsidiary, announced plans to create and market a community health information network.
The computer-based network will enable New Jersey physicians, hospitals, payers and suppliers to share information electronically, reducing administrative costs, the companies said. The network also features a clearinghouse for electronic submission, verification and payment of insurance claims.
In addition, the network will automate 13 administrative functions now performed manually, including precertification, authorization of admissions, insurance membership and enrollment, and operating room scheduling. In the future, video image, voice and data transmission, and tele-medicine features will be added.
Long-term plans call for the network to connect all 85 acute-care hospitals and 18,000 physicians in New Jersey, as well as state agencies, pharmacies, labs and other parties.
The companies didn't release figures on how much would be invested in the network or provider costs to participate.
The network represents another step in the Newark-based insurer's attempt to create a total managed-care company. Previously, the Blues plan, which covers 2 million lives, created a preferred provider network and announced plans to open family health centers across the state.
This is the second major venture between the insurer and White Plains, N.Y.-based ISSC. Along with IBM's managed-care unit, ISSC is creating the information system infrastructure needed to move the Blues plan from fee-for-service to managed care.