ST. PAUL, Minn.-Two major Twin Cities healthcare providers have signed agreements with Care Delivery Management, a Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota subsidiary designed to combine electronic data interchange and managed-care functions. Care Delivery Management will be the clearinghouse for selected HMO claims for Minneapolis-based HealthPartners and Allina Health Systems. More than 500,000 claims will be processed by the two plans. "These agreements will save these health plans time and money because healthcare providers will send their claims to one source over a toll-free telephone line," said Al Anderson, president of Care Delivery Management's electronic data interchange group. He said the company "will collect, edit and forward the claims electronically to each payer to be processed independently." Terms and financial details weren't disclosed, but company executives said they expect the arrangement will save "millions of dollars."
AUSTIN, Minn.-Rochester-based Mayo Clinic will affiliate with the major healthcare providers in Austin. The 26-physician Austin Medical Clinic and 108-bed St. Olaf Hospital will become part of the Mayo Health System, executives said. Austin Medical Clinic and St. Olaf Hospital also announced they will merge and become Austin Medical Center next year, after the affiliation is complete. "Our patients will receive the vast majority of their healthcare services in their community," said Timothy Johnson, M.D., a family practice physician at Austin Medical Clinic. "If our patients need more specialized care, Mayo will be one option along with other centers."
CLEVELAND-The Cleveland Health Quality Choice Program has released its fourth report measuring outcomes of care at 29 local hospitals. The report includes individual hospital performances as well as overall area outcomes. Aggregate trends include a drop in mortality from 7.85 deaths per 100 patients to 7.04 from July 1991 to December 1993. For the first time, the report tracked rates of repeat Caesarean-section deliveries. C-sections accounted for 15.8% of total births from January 1993 to June 1993, while vaginal births accounted for 39.9% of births to women who previously had Caesareans. During 1992 and 1993 combined, the report estimates a reduction of 68,893 inpatient days.
CHICAGO-The Chicago Business Group on Health, a chapter of the Midwest Business Group on Health, has commissioned Hewitt Associates, Lincolnshire, Ill., and the Health Institute of the New England Medical Center in Boston to conduct an evaluation of managed care in the Chicago area. A dozen major employers and eight major health plans in Chicago's managed-care market are participating in the study, believed to be one of the largest and most comprehensive to date. The project will measure consumers' satisfaction with their health plans and with their own health. Also assessed will be employer satisfaction with managed care and the performance of networks in such areas as cost, access, quality and operation. Employers participating include Ameritech, Andrew Corp., Bank of America/Chicago, First Chicago, Kraft General Foods, Marriott International, Navistar International, The Northern Trust, Quaker Oats, Sears, United Airlines and Whitman Corp. Results are expected in April 1995.