Medicare/Medicaid transactions processor ABILITY Network Inc., formerly VisionShare, has introduced software to locate fragmented patient medical records or partial medical records on a real-time basis.

In addition to handling claims submission, eligibility, claim status and other transactions, the vendor offers a master patient index assessment service to identify duplicate records. It also resells records cleanup and verification services from consulting firm Just Associates.

The new product, called ABILITY AWARE, can identify fragmented records within a facility and partial records within a delivery system or geographic region, according to the Minneapolis-based vendor. Such information can be identified when a patient is still within a treatment facility, enabling clinicians to see a broader pool of historical data.

ABILITY finds the location of these records by mining its electronic transactions, using algorithms to identify data from electronic claims, eligibility verifications, Health Level Seven clinical messages and other transactions to identify additional information belonging to the same patient, says CEO Mark Briggs. With patient consent, a hospital can use the vendor's locator services to retrieve identified records.

The company serves about 3,500 hospitals and 20 to 25 percent of them use ABILITY as an all-payer clearinghouse in addition to handling Medicare and Medicaid transactions, Briggs says. This increases the pool of patients that the records locating technology can serve.

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