SOURCE: AEP Networks

February 13, 2006 08:00 ET

AEP Networks and HealthCast Deliver Web-Based, HIPAA-Compliant Remote Access to Patient Billing Information

Temple University Hospital Chooses AEP/HealthCast Solution to Reduce Outstanding Receivables and Decrease Costs of Collection

SOMERSET, NJ and BOISE, ID -- (MARKET WIRE) -- February 13, 2006 -- AEP Networks, a leading provider of secure application access solutions, and HealthCast Inc., a leader in enterprise single sign-on and workflow solutions for hospitals, announce a joint solution that secures and controls external access to patient accounts receivable information. The AEP/HealthCast solution provides financial service companies that contract with hospitals secure, web-based read/write access to patient billing records while meeting the demands of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). The solution was installed at Temple University Hospital, a hospital within the Temple University Health System (TUHS).

TUHS employs outside financial agencies to collect over-due patient account receivables. Prior to implementing the Patient Data Browser from HealthCast in conjunction with the AEP Netilla Security Platform (NSP), TUHS downloaded thousands of patient accounting records and transmitted them electronically to the agencies responsible for collecting over-due bills. The agencies then created their own database of patient information, contacted the patients and mailed back summaries of their collection status, which Temple personnel entered into their computer system. This approach was costly, slowed down the collection process, and was a source of potential errors when the process didn't execute successfully.

Temple University Hospital wanted to computerize its paper system and provide remote access to the system for its various billing agencies, but knew it must find a cost-effective solution that would comply with HIPAA privacy laws. The hospital chose the AEP/HealthCast solution because it followed security regulations by requiring unique authentication by each user while controlling access to only specific authorized patient information. The solution also audits all user activity, including accessed records.

"It was critical that we put a system in place that was easy to use and efficient, but that also complied with HIPAA and JCAHO regulations," said Ron Bowersock, Chief Security Officer, TUHS. "Now, each collection agency can log into our system via the Internet, access specific patient billing info, and update the files as required. Plus, we now know that our system protects our patients' privacy."

HealthCast's Patient Data Browser (PDB) gives limited remote access to collection agencies so that only the specific pieces of patient information they need to do their work is available in a 'visually-integrated' web-based patient accounting record. The PDB's critical 'write-back' capability enables agencies to enter real-time collection information directly into the accounting system, eliminating all paperwork and the duplication of data entry.

The AEP Netilla Security Platform (NSP), a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) VPN appliance, provides a secure way for collection agencies to access PDB on the hospital's internal network through a standard web browser. The NSP implements a variety of high-security safeguards including client integrity, an integrated firewall, fine-grained access controls and application layer proxy protection.

"The AEP/HealthCast solution eliminates massive paper generation, reduces paper flow between organizations, speeds-up revenue collection and decreases training time because the system is intuitive and easy-to-use," said Joan Mehn, CEO, HealthCast. "Combining these benefits with increased data security streamlines the way hospitals provide access to information."

"The combination of HealthCast's PDB and AEP's NSP is well suited for the healthcare industry, which must safeguard access to patient information," said Reggie Best, executive vice president and general manager of AEP Networks' Secure Application Access Business. "Such a web-based access approach that combines ease-of-use with maximum security has the potential to dramatically change the way healthcare organizations manage information."

The AEP/HealthCast solution can be used by a variety of financial services and clinical groups within the hospital or outside service providers. The companies will showcase their solution at the HIMSS conference in San Diego, February 13-16, 2006.

About HealthCast®, Inc.

HealthCast enterprise solutions improve user satisfaction and productivity, support better patient care, and strengthen data security -- all without requiring any changes to backend systems or applications. Distinctive products include multiple approaches to managing shared workstations, including a unique session management approach and RoamingSessions™ with Citrix® or Terminal Services, and a single sign-on solution that creates role-based navigation within applications, in addition to Patient Data Browser. For additional information or to schedule a Webcast, visit www.gohealthcast.com.

About AEP Networks

AEP Networks (www.aepnetworks.com), the specialist in network and application access security, delivers infrastructure security solutions that are easy to use and manage while offering exceptional value and mission-critical reliability. The company provides a full range of solutions, including identity-based application security gateways, highly secure VPNs, SSL VPNs and cryptographic key management products, to meet the most demanding requirements of public-sector and commercial customers around the world. A privately held company backed by leading technology investors, AEP Networks is based in Somerset, NJ, with European headquarters in London and a Government Solutions Group in Rockville, MD.

Contact Information

  • For More Information:

    For AEP Networks:
    Melody Iffland
    Director, Corporate Marketing
    AEP Networks
    Phone: 1-732-652-5234
    melody.iffland@aepnetworks.com

    For Healthcast:
    Christine Kovash
    Director, Corporate Communications
    HealthCast Inc.
    Phone: 208.275.8202
    ckovash@gohealthcast.com