SOURCE: A-Life Medical

February 21, 2008 06:00 ET

A-Life Medical Announces ICODE™, a Revolutionary Tool to Automate Hospital Coding

SAN DIEGO, CA--(Marketwire - February 21, 2008) - In an effort to dramatically improve the accuracy, consistency and productivity of hospital coding, A-Life Medical announced that its A-Life Hospital partnership will be deploying its new ICODE medical coding software this summer at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), one of the nation's largest and most well-regarded academic medical centers. A-Life will be demonstrating the new ICODE product at the HIMSS (Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society) conference in Orlando, Florida, February 24th-28th, 2008 at booth number 6981.

ICODE, which uses the power of Natural Language Processing (NLP), was developed by A-Life Hospital, a partnership between A-Life Medical and UPMC. A-Life Medical, Inc., a privately held medical informatics company based in San Diego, CA, is the market leader in computer-assisted coding solutions for billing services companies and physician groups. This partnership combines the expertise required for developing a hospital-based computer-assisted coding tool, including a superior NLP engine, and the vast clinical experience and documentation required for identifying and addressing users' needs.

"This new A-Life product, which incorporates the latest generation of our patented NLP LifeCode® engine, will forever change the way hospitals and their coding professionals process detailed physician notes and patient records to support the growing complexity of the acute care billing process," said A-Life Medical Chief Executive Officer Tom Bang. "By enhancing coder productivity and accuracy, while improving compliance and audit outcomes, we believe that this tool will create healthier bottom lines for our hospital customers. Our employees have once again demonstrated their commitment and the extensive capabilities of the A-Life NLP LifeCode technology."

ICODE, which will be deployed throughout UPMC, is designed to streamline and simplify the work done by human coders. Using A-Life's sophisticated NLP technology, which reads and understands ordinary English and medical terminology, ICODE rapidly analyzes text-based medical records throughout multiple data sources. The system then provides coders with recommended ICD-9-CM codes, principal diagnosis, possible complications and co-morbidities. ICODE improves audit outcomes by producing automatic audit trails and links to documented evidence for each code selected. Integrated with the hospital's existing electronic medical record system of choice, ICODE helps coders navigate the regulatory complexity created by the introduction of Medicare Severity Diagnosis-Related Groups (MS-DRGs) in 2007.

"We're excited about the advantages that ICODE will bring to our coders, our hospitals and ultimately to our patients because the efficiencies we expect to achieve will allow us to have more resources to reinvest in world-class patient care," said Nancy Soso, Director of Health Information Management Operations at UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside and UPMC South Side hospitals. The partnership with A-Life Medical was established after an extensive review by UPMC of all available competitive NLP technologies in the health care space. A-Life Medical's NLP was found to be both robust and accurate by leading academic experts in language technologies.

In addition, A-Life Medical announced that it has fully released its latest radiology coding product, Actus 6.0, which includes the industry's first Automated Procedure Mapping tool for Interventional Radiology procedures. Actus 6.0 and APM are currently being deployed throughout A-Life Medical's customer base. This is currently the largest installed base of physician groups and billing service companies using NLP computer assisted coding. A-Life Medical's continued investments in Actus 6.0 further extend its competitive product performance and demonstrate its continued leadership and commitment to the radiology market.

About A-Life Medical, Inc.

A-Life Medical is the leading provider of Natural Language Processing (NLP) based solutions for the healthcare industry. A-Life Medical's products extract meaning from unstructured free text and automate tedious, complicated and labor intensive tasks. A-Life Medical's mission is to provide world-class solutions to streamline and computerize the code to collection process and to fundamentally advance the way the healthcare industry gathers, applies and reports on patient information. A-Life Medical is a private company headquartered in San Diego, California. For more information about A-Life Medical and its products, call 888.224.6300 or visit www.alifemedical.com.

About the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center is the largest integrated health care enterprise in Pennsylvania and one of the leading nonprofit health systems in the country. It has appeared eight times on the prestigious U.S. News & World Report Honor Roll of "America's Best Hospitals," most recently earning 13th position in 2007. Widely recognized for its innovations in patient care, research, technology and health care management, UPMC has transformed the economic landscape in western Pennsylvania. The region's largest employer, with 48,000 employees and nearly $7 billion in revenue, UPMC comprises 20 tertiary, specialty and community hospitals, 400 outpatient sites and doctors' offices, retirement and long-term care facilities, an insurance plan with more than 1 million members, and commercial and international ventures. About 5,000 physicians are affiliated with UPMC, including more than 2,400 employed physicians. For more information, visit www.upmc.com.

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