Denver-based iTriage, maker of a mobile and Web app that helps consumers find physicians based on symptoms they are experiencing, is working with parent company Aetna to offer mid-sized employer groups a customizable version of the app that guides users to in-network providers. iTriage expects the newly released update to save employers money and cut the administrative burden for hospitals and medical practices.
About 4,000 employer clients of insurance giant Aetna, ranging from about 150 to more than 3,000 employees each are now able to customize iTriage based on members' benefits. That means the app guides individuals to providers in their insurance plan's network that can treat their specific conditions. In fact, according to Aetna, the app sends a pop-up message when a user picks an out-of-network provider, and also educates members about the lower copayments associated with staying in the network.
The iTriage app can access a digital representation of each person's insurance ID card, claims history and employer's provider network, according to iTriage CEO Dr. Peter Hudson. "In the process of finding care," Hudson explained, "they have full transparency on their [provider] networks."
In building the update, iTriage interfaced its technology with Aetna's enterprise system and with employer benefits systems, allowing the app to authenticate members, connect people to their own data and match users to the appropriate provider database. "We've proven that we can securely access employer systems," Hudson told MobiHealthNews. "We can do it within the core platform and we can do it at massive scale."
This is meant to provide better service to insured employees, help employers – and, of course, the insurer – save money by directing patients to in-network doctors and hospitals and ease administrative hassle on the provider side, "who will benefit from informed patients who have selected the right physician, facility and level of care based on their individual needs," according to an Aetna statement.
Though Aetna bought iTriage in 2011, Hudson said that the consumer health information company is "payer-agnostic in our ability to work with others." He hinted that there would be news soon about additional integrations with employer groups, but declined to comment further.
iTriage, which apparently has fans in the White House, reported that its free app has been downloaded nearly 10 million times from the iTunes and Google Play app stores, and is used 50 million times a year.