NU Online News Service, April 11, 2005, 3:12 p.m. EDT

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan has budgeted more than $200 million for efforts to modernize the systems it uses to communicate with doctors, hospitals and customers.[@@]

The Detroit carrier, which provides or administers health coverage for 4.8 million people, says the latest project has been a move to move its provider communication system onto the Web.

Before, providers could reach Michigan Blue’s provider information system only through private, point-to-point connections, Michigan Blue says.

Now, doctors and hospitals can get to the carrier’s “web-DENIS” system through the Web.

About 20,000 providers already are using the web-DENIS system, and those providers are averaging about 100,000 transactions per day, Michigan Blue says.