PACIFICARE: Health Plan to Offer Electronic Disease Management System
PacifiCare of Colorado recently signed a $2.8 million contract with Global Med Technologies Inc. for a new software system that will allow the health plan to "electronically manage care for its chronically ill members," the Denver Rocky Mountain News reports. The software, called DyniSoft, enables transmission of patients' pharmacy records, laboratory tests, claims data and medical records to a "secure Web site that can easily be accessed by physicians or case managers." Under the system, patients "at high-risk of hospitalization" will receive electronic devices to measure their blood pressure, weight, oxygen and pulse. This information will be sent to the DyniSoft Web site, which will alert physicians and case managers to discrepancies, such as weight gain above an acceptable level or failure to pick up a prescription. PacifiCare President Val Dean said, "This allows our case managers to figure out which of our members with chronic illnesses are having problem[s] with compliance." Officials hope the alert system will reduce costly emergency room visits and hospitals stays by intervening before patients become too ill. Initially, PacifiCare plans to use the system for managing congestive heart failure, a disease that costs an estimated $20 billion annually, mostly due to hospitalizations. Physician participation will be voluntary, and Dean predicts that 10% of PacifiCare network physicians will use the system (Gonzalez, 8/18).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.