State, Blue Cross Blue Shield Of Michigan Partner To Provide Online Access To Benefit Information

Contact: T.J. Bucholz (517) 241-2112
Agency: Community Health

May 25, 2005

The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan announced a joint effort today that will offer physicians and hospitals statewide access to Medicaid eligibility and benefit information online.

"This collaborative effort offers providers immediate access to critical benefit information. Physicians and hospitals alike should not have to use valuable time doing paperwork," said Janet Olszewski, MDCH Director. "By streamlining this process, healthcare providers will be able to spend more of their time with patients and less time bogged down in bureaucracy."

By having access to benefit information on the web, providers will be able to view the patient's eligibility and coverage instantly. They will be able to enter patient information into an online tool - called web-DENIS - to determine how services will be covered.

"We plan to keep expanding online access features for physicians over the next few years," said William P. Smith, senior vice president and CIO for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. "This is one example of how the public-private sector can work together to streamline the administrative process."

The new system is easy to read and easy to access. Screens will have a basic layout and the input menus will be easy to follow. The providers will be able to view up to one year of Medicaid eligibility information services, Medicaid HMO, Dental Fee for Services, CSHCS Services and the MOMs program. The system has the potential to handle 1.2 million Medicaid transactions each month.

The Medicaid enhancement expands an already highly used Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan service available to more than 20,000 physician offices and all hospitals in Michigan. Previously, web-DENIS carried information only on Blues members. Web-DENIS processed nearly 40 million Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan transactions last year.

"Web-DENIS is an invaluable business tool. With the addition of the Medicaid portal, IHA is able to obtain eligibility and billing information quickly," says Kris Wilde, insurance specialist for Integrated Health Associates (IHA), a physicians group in Ann Arbor, Michigan.