Blue Shield, Hewlett Packard sign five-year infrastructure contract

Insurance provider Blue Shield of California (BSC) have signed a five-year contract with computer hardware manufacturing giant Hewlett-Packard (HP) to improve healthcare IT infrastructure throughout the state, reports Healthcare IT News.

As part of the agreement, HP will provide healthcare IT infrastructure support and application development and management services to BCS, which has more than 3 million members throughout California. Tiered service levels will be introduced to enable BCS officials to manage systems depending on demand, as well as adopt additional healthcare IT support services in a scalable manner.

“In an industry facing constant change, we remain committed to improving service to customers, providers and employers while keeping costs down,” Elinor MacKinnon, senior vice president and chief information officer of BCS, told the news source. “HP is uniquely positioned to provide the hardware, software and services we need to deliver new products at a lower cost to our customers throughout California.”

BCS’s primary computer systems are located in secure locations centrally supported by HP Managed Mainframe Services. Data security will be handled by HP Continuity Services in order to provide healthcare IT personnel with information backup functionality. Sue Arthur, vice president of healthcare for HP Enterprise Services, said that the changing healthcare IT landscape necessitated a more streamlined approach to health insurance coverage.

Many private sector software and hardware companies are providing health insurance providers with such tools. Oracle Corporation recently announced the launch of its Oracle Insurance Claims Adjudication for Health software suite. The new program will offer insurance companies complex claims adjudication resolution functionality, increased transparency and accountability reporting tools and improved scalability.

Such developments highlight the growing need for innovation in the healthcare IT landscape, in both care and business environments. As the aging population of the U.S. increases in coming years, the industry will likely see continued development of new ways to leverage the power of healthcare IT to provide patients with a better, more affordable quality of care.

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