Microsoft Announces Availability of the BizTalk Accelerator for HIPAA

SAN DIEGO, Oct. 30, 2001 — Microsoft Corp. today announced the availability of the Microsoft® BizTalk™
Accelerator for HIPAA, a solution designed to address the requirement that all covered healthcare organizations be able to submit and receive HIPAA-compliant transactions by Oct. 16, 2002. Microsoft made the announcement at the Windows on Healthcare VII conference sponsored by the Microsoft Healthcare Users Group.

The BizTalk Accelerator for HIPAA represents the first offering developed by Microsoft to specifically help healthcare organizations reduce the time and complexity in implementing a HIPAA solution. Microsoft and Washington Publishing Co. (WPC), domain expert and exclusive publisher of the HIPAA implementation guides, formed a strategic relationship to offer healthcare organizations the BizTalk Accelerator for HIPAA. This relationship enables healthcare organizations to receive XML HIPAA schemas directly from WPC without the risk of misinterpretation.

The BizTalk Accelerator for HIPAA natively supports all 12 of the HIPAA transaction sets required by the federal government and manages the transactions as XML documents. BizTalk users looking for HL7 support can find it with the NeoTool HL7 Accelerator, which is a seamless add-on tool designed by NeoTool Development LLC to extend BizTalk Server 2000 integration capabilities with extensive HL7 messaging and connectivity capabilities. NeoTool Development specializes in HL7 healthcare software interfacing and worked with Microsoft to ensure compatibility between the HL7 Accelerator and the BizTalk Accelerator for HIPAA. NeoTool is unveiling the HL7 Accelerator today at the Windows on Healthcare conference.

The BizTalk Accelerator for HIPAA can be deployed by integrating into a software vendors solution or in standalone implementation. Two Microsoft Certified Solution Providers Healthaxis Inc. and Quality Care Solutions Inc. (QCSI) were early adopters of the BizTalk Accelerator and built end-to-end healthcare solutions in a matter of months based on the offering.

Healthaxis customer The MEGA Life and Health Insurance Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of UICI with 500,000 covered lives last year, submitted more than 2 million paper claims, resulting in $300 million in paid benefits. Using the Microsoft platform, Healthaxis built a solution for the company to adopt three HIPAA-mandated EDI transaction sets in only 70 days. MEGA expects that its new capabilities, when fully used by EDI-capable providers, will reduce claims processing costs significantly.

“We originally estimated 18 months to realize EDI capabilities and HIPAA-transaction compliance,”
said Sharon Dickson, vice president of Claims and EDI at MEGA.
“The Microsoft offering enabled us to attain a significant part of this goal in only 70 days. Its a tremendous relief to know were now well-positioned to meet the deadline and can react to any further changes in HIPAA transaction requirements quickly and painlessly.”

The BizTalk Accelerator for HIPAA provides healthcare organizations of all sizes with interoperability and integration between multiple platforms, interfaces and business processes to quickly implement and continually maintain HIPAA standards. By having the initial integration work done by Microsoft on the pieces that form the BizTalk Accelerator for HIPAA, healthcare organizations are free to concentrate on their core business.

Speed to Implementation

In combination with HIPAA guidelines from WPC, the BizTalk Accelerator provides businesses with the tools they need, including healthcare organization business templates, test data and prescriptive architectures to help reduce the time needed to adjust to the new federal transaction standards. The Accelerator will make new schemas available to healthcare organizations soon after the guides are published.

“Microsoft developed the BizTalk Accelerator for HIPAA in an effort to help healthcare organizations speed up HIPAA transaction compliance,”
said David Lubinski, general manager for Healthcare and Public Sector at Microsoft.
“Tapping the industry expertise of Washington Publishing Co., the implementation expertise of global systems integrators, and the product expertise of Microsoft, the Accelerator allows healthcare organizations to reduce the time and risk associated with HIPAA compliance and to realize significant return on investment.”

Lisa Miller, chief operating officer of Washington Publishing Co., added:
“The relationship between WPC and Microsoft is unique because each company chose the other for its complementary strengths and attitude toward solving the HIPAA transaction set integration problem. While evaluating possible tools that could assist with the HIPAA problem, we were so impressed with BizTalk Server and the way it easily facilitated the building, deploying and orchestration of complex business processes that we formed our first-ever strategic alliance with a vendor.”

QCSI has worked with Horizon Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Jersey to deploy QCSIs QMACs product and the BizTalk Accelerator for HIPAA.

“The Microsoft BizTalk Accelerator for HIPAA and QCSIs QMACS are enabling Horizon to quickly and cost-effectively accommodate the healthcare EDI transactions for HIPAA while leveraging our past investments in mainframe and other legacy systems. That means we can spend less time worrying about technology and more time focusing on the business of healthcare,”
said Charles C. Emery Jr., Ph.D., senior vice president of Information Systems and CIO at Horizon Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Jersey.
“Knowing that Washington Publishing Co. will be working with Microsoft and QCSI on an ongoing basis to keep us up to date with the latest HIPAA requirements really increases our peace of mind as well. The bottom line is that this solution is going to help us reach new levels of integration with our customers and partners, and make us a more agile organization.”

In addition to healthcare solution providers Healthaxis and QCSI, Microsoft is working closely with global systems integrators Cap Gemini Ernst & Young, Compuware Corp. and KPMG Consulting Inc. to deploy the accelerator.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.

Microsoft and BizTalk are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

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