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NASCO awards IBM five-year extension for infrastructure and application development services.

National Account Service Company LLC (NASCO) has awarded IBM a five-year extension to its existing 10-year IT services contract. IBM will continue to support NASCO's systems infrastructure, helping NASCO process claims faster as a benefit for insurance customers, while increasing performance and lowering costs.

NASCO provides comprehensive health claim and membership solutions for administering traditional, point of service, preferred provider, consumer-directed and other health benefits for BlueCross and BlueShield Plans across the country. This year, the system will handle over 130 million health claims for participating BlueCross and BlueShield Plans.

"While we're only halfway through our existing contract, we are very pleased with IBM's performance and, as such, we're signing on for five more years," said NASCO's Chief Executive Officer, Mark Barnard. "IBM offers the industry knowledge, technology leadership and rocksolid stability that can't be matched anywhere."

Mr. Barnard noted that during the past five years, the annual number of claims NASCO processes has skyrocketed--an increase that has been enabled by the seamless IT scalability afforded by IBM's services and technology. During this time, IBM shortened the nightly batch claims adjudication process by over three hours, while adding significant new functionality and capabilities to the applications in response to new regulations and market driven business demands.

"NASCO is one of the healthcare industry's innovators in the use of technology to improve customer service," said Dave Liederbach, vice president, IBM healthcare and life sciences industry. "IBM's on demand technology will continue to help enable NASCO to achieve its business goals in the future."

In addition to the original IT services contract with NASCO, signed in 2000, IBM assisted NASCO in its compliance with new and emerging HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) regulations. This helped to enable NASCO to transmit and process patient claims in a secure manner. IBM also managed NASCO's IT infrastructure, enabling NASCO to have its "best year ever" in 2004 both operationally and in terms of revenue, says Mr. Barnard, resulting from improvements in system performance and uptime and in prompt delivery of high-quality application changes.

Formed in 1987, NASCO provides system and service solutions exclusively to the BlueCross BlueShield (BCBS) network of Plans. NASCO's flexible, cost-effective approach to health benefits processing through its centralized processing system offers solutions that give customers a competitive edge in the healthcare marketplace. A single system connecting BCBS Plans across the country, NASCO is currently used to process healthcare claims for more than 1,500 accounts. In 2004, BlueCross and BlueShield Plans used NASCO to process about 120 million claims for over 10 million members.
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Title Annotation:National Account Service Company LLC
Publication:EDP Weekly's IT Monitor
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 25, 2005
Words:425
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