NU Online News Service, March 29, 4:30 p.m. – MedUnite Inc., a health insurance transaction processing consortium, agreed last week to work with Medi-Gate.net, L.L.C., East Brunswick, N.J., to make it easier for doctors to link their practice management systems to the Internet.
The move is one of several recent announcements that show MedUnite is starting to deliver on its promises, according to Lauri Ingram, senior program director for the Meta Group, a Stamford, Conn., research firm.
A few weeks before, MedUnite announced it had linked 70% of Connecticut’s commercially insured lives to the MedUnite Transaction Platform. The company says it is now starting a national rollout in key target areas, including the New York metropolitan area and California.
MedUnite “had some slow going to get started,” Ingram says. “They’re trying to turn it around. The recent announcements show they’re making headway.”
The San Diego-based outfit was founded by seven large managed care companies?Aetna Inc., Hartford; Anthem Inc., Indianapolis; CIGNA Corp., Philadelphia; Health Net Inc., Woodland Hills, Calif.; Oxford Health Networks Inc., Trumbull, Conn.; PacifiCare Health Systems Inc., Santa Ana, Calif.; and WellPoint Health Networks Inc., Thousand Oaks, Calif.
MedUnite promotes a shift to Internet-based communications for physicians, insurers, laboratories and other health care organizations, away from the old, inefficient paper-based systems.
The Medi-Gate agreement represents an effort to lure physicians online.
“All physicians’ offices have practice management systems, and they need to extract information from and get information into those systems,” says Glenn Woodworth, MedUnite’s chief medical officer. “Medi-Gate is an integrator offering the capability for bi-directional linkages between disparate physician practice management systems.”