Health Care Consortium Taps Two for Services

Science Applications International Corp. and Cap Gemini Ernst & Young have signed preferred provider agreements with the University Healthsystem Consortium to provide consortium members with health insurance services.

SAIC of San Diego offers services and products to help health care organizations comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. Its services address standards and regulations for electronic health information transmission, patient data security and privacy, and the physical security of health information.

UHC of Oak Brook, Ill., is an alliance of 87 academic health centers and their affiliates, networks and associate members, including the University of California at Los Angeles and the University of Texas medical systems. The consortium pools resources, creating economies of scale and improving clinical and operating efficiencies.

"These are very complex institutions," said John Sampson, UHC's director of technology and management services. "Once you start scratching the surface on HIPAA [issues], you start running into complications ... such as student health issues."

The UHC consortium selected SAIC and CGEY, Paris, as "endorsed" providers of these services for its members. Each member organization will make its own purchase decisions, however, and there are no revenue guarantees for either company.

"Most of our members are government-owned institutions," said John Sampson, UHC's director of technology and management services. After the consortium's selection process came down to SAIC and CGEY, "members don't have to put [their contracts] out for competitive bidding," he said.

"Identifying the critical business processes in a health care organization and assessing those processes' exposure are key elements of our approach," said Lee Barrett, senior vice president and HIPAA practice leader for SAIC. "Our offerings include modular, tested and proven approaches and methodology that are both rigorous and flexible."

SAIC is in an alliance with Foley & Lardner, a Milwaukee health law firm, and the Guidry Group, a physical security consulting firm in the Woodlands, Texas, to provide services for HIPAA compliance.

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