Norton Healthcare in Louisville, Ky., will use the Amalga data integration and aggregation software and HealthVault personal health records applications of Microsoft Corp. to support establishment of a pilot Accountable Care Organization with insurer Humana Inc., also headquartered in Louisville.

Accountable Care Organizations, of which numerous pilots are authorized under the health care reform law, include payment mechanisms to incentivize providers to be accountable for managing patients across the continuum of care, while also increasing patients' engagement in their care.

Use of Amalga from Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft will ease access to and analysis of data across multiple information systems, according to the organizations. This will enable combining and analyzing clinical and financial data across inpatient and outpatient sites, supplemented with payment data from Humana and personal health record data to identify ways to improve care quality and coordination.

Through HealthVault, patients in the pilot program will be able to record and share health status measures such as blood pressure, glucose levels and weight, and have access to portions of their official electronic health records. Having clinical information from Norton available to non-Norton providers is expected to reduce duplicate tests and conflicting care instructions.

--Joseph Goedert


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