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NaviNet has announced that it will introduce by the end of the year an integrated electronic medical record and practice management solution for small medical practices to help them better manage patient information and office processes from a single website.
The company said on Monday that it will expand its multi-payer web portal by integrating administrative, clinical, and financial applications. The product will be offered in a Software-as-a-Service model.
NaviNet executives said its software currently offers real-time administrative, financial, and clinical transactions between healthcare professionals and leading health insurance companies like Cigna, Aetna, UnitedHealthcare, and Medicaid.
The integration of additional mission-critical, patient-centric information and capabilities with NaviNet's web portal will create a central, secure access point, the company said. The system will enable thousands of physicians and clinicians in the NaviNet network to capture health information at the point of care, perform billing and accounts receivable tasks, better communicate with health plans, and provide clinical decision support functions more efficiently and cost effectively.
"The intriguing part of NaviNet entering this space is that they are very aware of what is required to help with reimbursements from the payers," said Thomas Handler, research director covering clinical applications at Gartner Research. "If they are able to combine that with an EMR and practice management solution, the product could streamline the process and make it easier for small physician practices."
Handler said NaviNet is getting into a market where EMR systems have been integrated with practice management tools, but those systems have not been particularly well suited or knowledgeable about the claims process at health insurance companies.
According to Handler, any one of the handful of integrated practice management and EMR systems understands scheduling, registration, collecting demographic information, and what it takes to generally package information for claims. However, these systems aren't tailored to provide users with information on, for example, the differences in the price of medications and other data necessary for specific claims.
In the era of meaningful use of technology, NaviNet's solution could have an advantage in collecting detailed clinical data to verify that a physician appropriately took care of the patient to maximize reimbursements.
"That's where NaviNet's opportunity lies. NaviNet comes into the picture with that knowledge that conceivably many, if not all the practice management vendors don't have," Handler said.
Executives at NaviNet say that at a tactical level, the addition of these new capabilities will eliminate double-key entry for their customers, and will drive efficiency as well as improve the quality and accuracy of data entered. They also note that because these capabilities are offered in a hosted model, practices can achieve these benefits with little investment and a very rapid time-to-benefit as these capabilities will become part of the familiar NaviNet user interface.
"While technology adoption in the healthcare industry is on the rise, many providers still struggle to address the challenges of delivering quality care to their patients while simultaneously managing a continuous stream of complex inter-related processes -- primarily because the systems designed to streamline daily workflows are not integrated and patient information is not easily shared," said Kim Labow, NaviNet's senior VP of marketing and product management.
In addition to announcing the soon-to-be-released NaviNet-branded integrated applications, the company also said it will continue to partner with leading healthcare IT vendors to further enhance its unified patient information management system.