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Humana Demonstrates Insurance's Leadership Role in Data Management

The health insurer's CIO says that the company has prioritized building a data organization that can improve healthcare on its own.

Brian LeClaire's focus on building a world-class healthcare data organization from his position as CIO at Humana was a major factor in his being named one of Insurance & Technology's Elite 8 CIOs this year. Now, he tells I&T sister site InformationWeek that the company's vision of an end-to-end data infrastructure is nearly complete.

Humana recently acquired Certify Data Systems (CDS), a vendor of enterprise health information exchanges, which LeClaire says is a final component of a "virtual integrated delivery health care system" bound together by health IT. He cited the company's development along with several other health insurers of Availity, an information exchange; as well as the acquistiion of Anvita's clinical analytics engine that Humana acquired in 2011.

According to the InformationWeek report:

What was still lacking, LeClaire said, was "last mile" connectivity between Humana and its providers' electronic health records. The health plan needed that link -- as well as clinical data that is more timely and accurate than claims information -- to inform physicians at the point of care about the services their members required. "We needed a final piece of the puzzle to deliver on the promise of health IT and that was the Certify acquisition," he noted.

Sharing expertise in data analysis and exchange is the best entry point for insurers in any line of business into new and improved models. LeClaire's leadership on this issue, backed by senior Humana management, shows how forward-thinking insurers can help survive in a world of increased regulation and scrutiny. By working with providers and other stakeholders in the healthcare delivery chain, Humana will be seen as less of a monolithic "payer" and more of an enabler of efficient, effective healthcare.

Nathan Golia is senior editor of Insurance & Technology. He joined the publication in 2010 as associate editor and covers all aspects of the nexus between insurance and information technology, including mobility, distribution, core systems, customer interaction, and risk ... View Full Bio

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