Getting Healthcare Healthy

Both Microsoft Corp. and Sun Microsystems Inc.
Monday launched new initiatives aimed at providing technology to help the
healthcare industry standardize its administrative processes and reduce
paperwork.

Microsoft delivered the BizTalk Server Accelerator for HIPAA — The Health
Insurance Portability and Accountability Act – which mandates that the
healthcare industry get its paperwork house in order.

Sun meanwhile announced stepped-up efforts for the development and deployment
of advanced technology solutions for the healthcare industry, saying that it
it wants to “safely and securely ascend from the quicksand of existing IT
infrastructures to the rock-solid technology platform requirements of the Net
economy.”

By Oct. 16, 2002, all covered healthcare organizations will need to be able
to submit and receive HIPAA-compliant transactions.

The announcements from both companies came at the annual meeting of the
Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society in New Orleans.

Microsoft, in conjunction with Washington Publishing Co., a domain expert and
exclusive publisher of the HIPAA implementation guides, said its BizTalk
Server Accelerator for HIPAA will help the healthcare industry build
standards-based technology solutions.

“The combination of Microsoft’s technical expertise and WPC’s position as
publisher of the HIPAA Implementation Guides ensures that customers will have
the clearest path to HIPAA compliance,” said Lisa Miller, chief technical
officer for Washington Publishing.

The BizTalk Server Accelerator for HIPAA, which will be interoperable with
legacy systems, is expected to be available during the second quarter of
2001. Pricing is yet to be determined.

“It’s no secret healthcare organizations are under fire to securely manage
vast amounts of complex, and often confidential, patient information, before
the HIPAA time bomb detonates,” said Murtz Kizilbash, manager for Sun
Microsystems global sales organization in healthcare.

Sun said it has assembled veterans from its think-tanks and product groups
across the company to focus on packaging security products, services and
solutions for the healthcare industry.

As an example of what it can do, Sun said it has joined with XCare.net
help create the backbone of MedUnite’s payor-to-provider
portal. Sun said its technology has also been used to help develop
MDanywhere’s system for delivering clinical information to physicians
anytime, anywhere over browser-based and hand-held wireless devices.

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