Humana to integrate real-time benefits check into Epic's EHR

Humana building
Humana and Epic are teaming up to boost data sharing. (Humana)

Humana is teaming up with the largest electronic health record (EHR) platform, Epic, to allow providers to see how much drugs will cost their patients in real time.

Humana announced Tuesday that it will integrate its IntelligentRx tool, which is used for real-time benefits checks, with Epic’s electronic prescribing platform.

Integrating the two platforms should ease administrative burdens for prescribers and allow for greater use of data at the point of care, so providers and patients can make informed decisions, Humana officials said. 

“The nexus of these technologies will both improve provider experience and patient access to care by empowering them to weigh evidence-based outcomes with patients’ individual medication cost and coverage,” Alan Wheatley, president of Humana’s retail segment, said in the announcement. 

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Wheatley said Humana estimates half of its Medicare Advantage members see a provider who uses Epic’s EHR.

In addition, Humana expects that the partnership could improve medication adherence, because providers would have easier access to information on cost alternatives. It could also reduce the cost of specialty care, as the platform would offer cost and quality data as a physician plans a referral.  

Providers that use IntelligentRx select the most cost-effective drug option about 40% of the time, according to Humana. 

The integration, Humana said, would also allow providers to more effectively monitor their performance in value-based payment arrangements and could speed up prior authorization approvals. The increased interoperability and data sharing will also allow Humana to better track quality measures and member data, according to the announcement.

“This transformative relationship brings together the provider, the payer and the patient in new ways so they’re all working from the same playbook,” Alan Hutchison, vice president of population health at Epic, said in the announcement. 

“This relationship is all about aligning information to reduce the administrative burden on providers and improve quality and transparency for patients,” he added.