NU Online News Service, June 13, 1:07 p.m. – International Business Machines Corp., White Plains, N.Y., says it has signed an agreement with Empire Blue Cross and Blue Shield, New York, to provide automated claims-processing services for Empire’s 4.7 million subscribers.

IBM says the agreement is the first in what it hopes will be a series of deals with health insurance carriers.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

The claims-processing service will run on software developed by deNovis Inc., Lexington, Mass. The deNovis software can read policy statements, rules and regulations electronically and issue payments automatically.

The IBM/Empire agreement calls for both companies to work on developing and maintaining the carrier’s core applications, including software modifications and modernization projects.

IBM will also assist Empire’s data center and its technical help desk.