|Humana And Wisconsin Health Information Exchange Enter Into Collaborative Business Program
Humana Inc. has begun working with the Wisconsin Health
Information Exchange (WHIE) to ensurethat clinicians have access to the
most comprehensive community-wide data available for emergency
As part of their on-going emergency care initiatives,
Humana Inc. plans entered into a pilot program with the WHIE, the first
health information exchange in Wisconsin. Health information exchanges,
such as WHIE, use information technology to provide secure authorized
access to clinical data, improving communication among clinicians, care
coordination and reducing unnecessary duplication of services.
"I have seen the positive impact of a physician having a
patient’s historical view – it reduces the chance the
patient will have unnecessary or redundant tests and results in steps
that positively influence the patient’s cost of care delivery,"
said Dr. Albert Tzeel, Humana’s regional medical market officer.
In this program, Humana recognizes the value of applying
health information exchange technology, and has agreed to provide a
WHIE-administered incentive to providers for utilization of the WHIE.
"We are excited to see an insurer like Humana involved
with WHIE and look forward to working with Humana on these initiatives.
WHIE now has more than one year of patient history data online, with 13
hospitals contributing to the exchange and five emergency departments
using WHIE as a standard in patient care," said Kim Pemble, chairman of
the board and executive director of WHIE. "2009 will bring continued
growth for WHIE, building on this new relationship with Humana and an
ongoing relationship with Milwaukee Health Care Partnership."
Additionally, as part of a complementary emergency
department program, in August 2008, Humana initiated a pilot program to
help members potentially seeking emergency department care. All members
in the pilot program who may need emergency services at some point have
received information on self-management strategies and on urgent care
as a possible alternative to emergency department use.
In addition, members with two visits within a one-year
period receive an age specific self-care education book promoting
options for urgent and emergent care. Also, as a further service to
members, those individuals with three or more emergency department
visits within a one-year period receive a referral to a Humana personal
nurse to help address questions on chronic conditions and potentially a
referral into one of Humana’s clinical programs.
These programs seek to improve utilization by directing
patients with conditions more appropriate for a primary care physician
or urgent care centers away from busy emergency departments. Examples
include sore throat and flu symptoms, which for a typical patient with
no other diagnosed illness are easily addressed in non-emergent
Addresses: Humana Inc., 500 W. Main St., Louisville, KY 40202; (502) 580-5005, www.humana.com. Wisconsin Health Information Exchange, 1009 Glen Oak Lane Suite 101, Mequon, WI 53092; (262) 240-0198, www.whie.org.