The Indiana Health Information Exchange Inc., or IHIE, signed a collaboration agreement with Texas-based AT&T to use AT&T’s clinical message exchange system to help integrate new health care providers into IHIE’s database. The organizations think their collaboration could be used around the country. “Our vision is to establish a model of health information exchange for the nation,” said Harold J. Apple, CEO of IHIE, an Indianapolis-based not-for-profit . “We operate the most advanced system for connecting disparate health care IT systems in the nation, and AT&T is helping us take our efforts to the next level.” In fact, IHIE is launching a services organization to help other health information exchanges and large health care systems establish their own systems around the country. AT&T will also work with IHIE on that consulting effort. IHIE is the nation’s largest health information exchange. It has more than 80 hospital and long-term-care systems, more than 19,000 physicians and 10 million patients. IHIE’s services allow hospitals and doctors to exchange patient records electronically, as needed.
CHV Capital Inc., the venture capital arm of Indiana University Health, and Indianapolis-based Spring Mill Venture Partners participated in a $10.9 million investment in PerfectServe Inc. The Tennessee-based company provides communication software systems that route calls and messages to the right doctor on whatever platform they choose at a given moment: office phone, cell phone, text messaging, pager or e-mail. The “series C” funding round was led by PJC Capital LLC, the private equity arm of Minneapolis-based investment banking firm Piper Jaffray. PerfectServe already serves more than 17,500 physicians around the country, processing 30 million transactions each year.
A lawsuit contends that a Carmel-based health insurer ran a scheme to avoid paying in-home-care claims for potentially thousands of California's elderly, according to the Associated Press. Senior Health Insurance Company of Pennsylvania, or SHIP, had a claims process "designed to frustrate and confuse policyholders with needless demands for irrelevant information" in violation of its own policies and California law, according to the suit filed Feb. 4 in San Bernardino County Superior Court by the group Consumer Watchdog. The not-for-profit insurer is run by a trust created by the Pennsylvania Insurance Department. Senior Health Insurance operated as Conseco Senior Health Insurance until late 2008, but Carmel-based Conseco Inc. (now CNO Financial Group Inc.) transferred the unit to an independent trust based in Pennsylvania due to heavy losses. Conseco took a $1.2 billion charge to unload the unit. The new lawsuit claims that SHIP tried to avoid reimbursing policyholders for long-term care by ignoring or taking an unreasonably long time to respond to claims; requiring unnecessary paperwork and medical examinations, and requiring that the care givers have licenses in violation of company policy and California law. The suit, which seeks class-action status, was filed on behalf of Dr. William Hall, 78, of Upland. Hall, a retired chief of medicine at a California hospital, bought a long-term-care policy in 1994 and submitted claims in 2010. SHIP refused to reimburse all but 20 percent of his expenses, the lawsuit claims.