Leading Healthcare Product Vendors, AAPPO Transforming Patient Insurance Verification Through CAQH CORE Effort

WASHINGTON, DC - 6/3/08

CAQH announced today that four more organizations have joined in its national initiative to streamline patient insurance coverage verification before or at the point of care.

CSC (NYSE: CSC) and Post-N-Track now have products certified as operating in compliance with CAQH Committee on Operating Rules for Information Exchange (CORE) Phase I rules. As a result, providers and hospitals using CSC’s DirectConnect and/or Post-N-Track’s DoohickeyTM Web Services product can access consistent eligibility and benefits information in seconds.

Additionally, CAQH announced that Omega Technology Solutions will contribute to CORE rules development as a participating organization; and the American Association of Preferred Provider Organizations has endorsed the CORE mission and Phase I rules.

CAQH, a nonprofit alliance of health plans and trade associations working to streamline healthcare administration, launched CORE to create an all-payer solution that gives providers access to insurance information before or at the time of service using the electronic system of their choice for any patient or health plan. The CORE rules, developed by more than 100 healthcare industry stakeholders, are built on existing national standards, such as HIPAA.

“Efficient administrative data exchange should be an essential component of any eHealth strategy,” said Deward Watts, president, CSC’s Global Healthcare Sector. “The CORE rules are a very effective approach for achieving that goal.”

More than 30 healthcare organizations, including health plans covering approximately 65 million or one-third of U.S. commercially insured lives, are now CAQH CORE-certified. Over 20 other healthcare associations, accrediting bodies, networks and businesses have endorsed the CORE rules.

Attesting to the growing importance of CORE certification, Aetna now requires all of its administrative data exchange vendors to be certified in compliance with the CORE rules.

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association recently expressed its support for the initiative with the following statement: "BCBSA is pleased to participate in CAQH CORE's efforts to streamline electronic eligibility. Simplifying provider access to patient insurance coverage information is critical and the Blues believe that CORE is a key initiative to bring the industry together for collaboration and consensus building."

A multi-phased initiative, CAQH expects to launch the CORE Phase II rules in July 2008. CORE’s second set of rules builds on those from Phase I, with additional rules for patient identifiers, patient accumulators, claims status and connectivity. Phase II also requires reporting of patient financial responsibility for an increased number of service codes.

CAQH has already begun work on the CORE Phase III rules, which will focus on improving the electronic exchange of additional administrative transactions, such as prior authorization.

About Blue Cross Blue Shield Association
The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association is a national federation of 39 independent, community-based and locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies that collectively provide healthcare coverage for more than 102 million individuals – nearly one-in-three Americans. For more information on the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and its member companies, please visit www.BCBS.com.

About CAQH
CAQH, a nonprofit alliance of health plans and trade associations, is a catalyst for healthcare industry collaboration on initiatives that streamline healthcare administration, resulting in a better care experience for patients and caregivers. CAQH solutions – like CORE - help promote quality interactions between plans, providers and other stakeholders, reduce costs and frustrations associated with healthcare administration and encourage administrative-clinical data integration. More than 100 healthcare industry stakeholders are collaborating on CORE. Participating health plans cover more than 130 million lives or more than 75 percent of the commercially insured plus Medicare and state-based Medicaid beneficiaries. Over 35 health plans, large provider groups and health IT products are Phase I CORE-certified and committed to Phase II certification. Visit www.caqh.org for more information.

About HIMSS
The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) is the healthcare industry's membership organization exclusively focused on providing global leadership for the optimal use of healthcare information technology (IT) and management systems for the betterment of healthcare. Founded in 1961 with offices in Chicago, Washington D.C., Brussels, Singapore and other locations across the United States and Europe, HIMSS represents more than 20,000 individual members and over 350 corporate members that collectively represent organizations employing millions of people. HIMSS frames and leads healthcare public policy and industry practices through its advocacy, educational and professional development initiatives designed to promote information and management systems’ contributions to ensuring quality patient care. Visit www.himss.org for more information.

About IHE
IHE (www.ihe.net) is a global initiative, now in its ninth year, that creates the framework for passing vital health information seamlessly – from application to application, system to system, and setting to setting – across multiple healthcare enterprises. IHE brings together health information technology stakeholders to implement standards for communicating patient information efficiently throughout and among healthcare enterprises by developing a framework of interoperability. Because of its proven process of collaboration, demonstration and real world implementation of interoperable solutions, IHE is in a unique position to significantly accelerate the process for defining, testing, and implementing standards-based interoperability among electronic health record systems.

CONTACTS:
Kelly K. Miller, (202) 626-4825, BCBSA
Chris McNamara, (202) 778-3271, CAQH
Sharolyn Hyson, (703) 562-8819, HIMSS
Joyce Lofstrom, (312) 915-9237, IHE

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