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Press Release


Media Contact: Cheryl Monkhouse
(404) 842-8516
cheryl.monkhouse@bcbsga.com

Georgia Physicians to Benefit from Business Tools That Reduce Cost, Improve Efficiency in Local Practices

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia introduces the Availity® Health Information Network to help physicians meet increasingly challenging demands in managing their practices

ATLANTA – May 25, 2011 – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia (BCBSGa) today announces statewide participation in Availity, a leading health information network that streamlines business processes between more than 26,000 of Georgia’s health care providers and the state’s largest health plan. The announcement follows the successful completion of a pilot program with nearly 500 physicians in Georgia, including several with Emory Healthcare.

With Availity, health care providers in BCBSGa’s provider network can use a secure, Web-based exchange to quickly and easily:
• Obtain current insurance coverage information on patients (including eligibility and benefits),
• Submit claims online,
• Monitor the status of claim submissions, and
• Review patients’ longitudinal health records.

“Making patient information more readily accessible to providers throughout the state is of great value to both the physician and the patient,” said Morgan Kendrick, President of BCBSGa. “Availity’s efficiencies allow providers to spend more time with patients, not managing paperwork, ultimately reducing health care costs while improving patient outcomes.” 

The network will also deliver timely and relevant clinical messages to doctors through the Availity® CareProfile® —a longitudinal patient care record that includes information assimilated by BCBSGa from network physicians, pharmacies, labs and other providers of care. Clinical messages provide selected “reminder” information on disease symptoms, health risks and best practices in treatment protocols for certain chronic diseases. These messages can play an important role in improving efficiency and quality in health care that helps better-engage patients in their treatment, and provides decision support to treating physicians.

“Availity is a very efficient tool and it certainly fits our needs,” said Melanie Williams, Sr. Contract and Provider Services Manager for Emory Healthcare. “We have found the Web site to be very user- friendly and easy to navigate, and it contains many valuable resources. Equally important, we have found it to be easy to set up for both staff and payers.” 

Julie Klapstein, chief executive officer for Availity, says “Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia is underscoring their commitment to help providers manage their businesses even more efficiently in response to the financial pressures of health care reform. Ultimately, patients are the winners in this scenario, as greater efficiency can drive better outcomes at lower costs. Availity helps providers get connectivity to the information they need, and BCBSGa supports system-wide efficiencies. It’s a great partnership.”

Availity is the network of choice for a number of the nation’s prominent health plans to exchange business and clinical information. Its services enable health care providers to conduct electronic transactions with participating health plans, so provider staff can reduce time-intensive tasks like phone calls and paperwork. Access to Availity is offered at no cost to Georgia providers.

About Availity, LLC – Patients. Not Paperwork.®
A leader in health care technology and information exchange, Availity optimizes information exchange among multiple health care stakeholders through a single, secure network. The Availity® Health Information Network encompasses business and clinical services, supporting both real-time and batch electronic data interchange via the Web and business-to-business (B2B) integration. For more information, including an online demonstration, please visit www.availity.com or call 1.800.AVAILITY (282.4548).

About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia, Inc. and Blue Cross and Blue Shield Healthcare Plan of Georgia, Inc. are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association® . The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.  Additional information about Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia is available at www.bcbsga.com. Also, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/healthjoinin, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HealthJoinInBCBSGa, visit our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/healthjoinin or check out the Our Health Connects Us campaign site at http://connects.bcbsga.com/.

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