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HealthTrio Sues Aetna for Patent Infringement

HealthTrio LLC, a vendor of personal health records, Web portal and member electronic health records software for health plans, is suing national insurer Aetna for infringement of its patents.

Denver-based HealthTrio, in the suit filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado, alleges Aetna has infringed on 10 patents, which cover dozens of functions within a health care information system. Aetna has not seen the suit and cannot yet comment, according to a spokesperson.

One patent alone, covering a method and system for generating personal/individual health records, includes nine steps that a PHR server system performs: enrollment, establishing communication links between the PHR and health plan, receiving payer claims data by the PHR, analyzing encounter data, translating encounter data into a health care concept code, creating the PHR, organizing the PHR by grouping entries, establishing communication links between the PHR and patient, and supplementing the PHR with data from one or more providers.

The lawsuit alleges that Aetna requested a demonstration of HealthTrio’s PHR for a potential business relationship in late 2006, shortly after the insurer’s ActiveHealth Management subsidiary introduced its own PHR. In two meetings, HealthTrio demonstrated its PHR to Aetna executives and later to technical staff, disclosing it had filed patent applications and answering technical questions. “But, soon after the February 2007 meeting, Aetna discontinued communications with HealthTrio and did not pursue a business relationship,” the suit contends.

The alleged infringements cover technologies used by ActiveHealth Management, as well as Aetna’s Medicity health information exchange and NaviNet administrative portal. HealthTrio is asking for a judgment of infringement on its patents and adequate compensation. For a copy of the lawsuit, send e-mail to joseph.goedert@sourcemedia.com.

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