Anthem, Epic team to enhance data sharing with providers

Anthem is teaming with Epic to more effectively facilitate direct and bilateral data exchange with its providers.

The insurer announced Wednesday that the partnership would harness Epic's Payer Platform, which will be embedded directly into Anthem's Health OS and thus into providers' workflows. The platform will allow the payer and providers to share clinical data and information at discharge from the hospital, for example.

Ashok Chennuru, chief data and insights officer at Anthem, told Fierce Healthcare that, for example, when a patient is discharged from the hospital, instructions and additional information can be provided to their primary care doctor in near real time using the platform.

"The opportunity for us is really, 'How do we change the narrative with the providers to more focus on interoperability and data exchange?'" he said.

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In addition, the partnership aims to ease administrative burdens and address potential gaps in care. Easing the impact of prior authorization was a key consideration, for example.

Chennuru said prior authorization is a frequently cited pain point for providers, and more effective data exchange can drive a more automated process for prior auth.

"It is an administrative burden for the providers and our members, and we see a great opportunity with automation there," he said.

The breadth of information available to providers through the platform can assist in identifying potential gaps in care more quickly, and access to all of those data is another challenge that is frequently identified by providers, Chennuru said.

Access to more data about medication adherence, for example, can allow providers to adjust and craft a care plan that works more effectively for individual patients, Anthem said.

Cleveland-based MetroHealth System, which has signed on with the platform, is planning to harness it for this purpose initially, executives said.

“Being able to better communicate and reduce the amount of time we need to spend on administrative processes will allow our clinicians to spend more time delivering care,” said David Kaelber, M.D., chief medical informatics officer at MetroHealth, in a statement. “Improving exchange and interoperability of data will help us give consumers the healthcare experience they have come to expect.”