A-Life Medical to Become Part of Ingenix

A-Life Medical will become part of the Ingenix's health care delivery business.

Ingenix, an Eden Prairie-based health information provider, announced Tuesday that San Diego-based A-Life Medical will become part of the company's health care delivery business. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

A-Life's solutions address medical coding needs within the physician and hospital sectors. The company processes more than five million transactions monthly and provides coding services to more than 40,000 physicians nationwide.

Ingenix said that its leading medical coding research and encoding tools, coupled with A-Life's computer-assisted coding (CAC) software, will accelerate development of advanced coding solutions for all billing services providers, physician practices, in-patient and out-patient providers, and medical specialties.

A-Life Medical President and CEO Jaye Connolly believes that together, the two companies can “truly advance the science of coding technology to create a single, advanced CAC platform that supports coding across all venues of care.”

“Combining A-Life Medical with Ingenix is an extension of our strategic alliance that enables deeper integration of our complementary technologies to create more powerful coding solutions for our clients,” Bill Miller, executive vice president of health care delivery solutions at Ingenix, said in a statement.

Currently, medical claims coders use manual processes, supported by un-connected, single-purpose systems. Clinical documentation is reviewed individually by medical coding staff, who through a series of steps, identify diagnoses and related procedures provided during patient care. According to Ingenix, inefficiencies in medical coding account for more than $8 billion in administrative costs to the health care system.

By October 1, 2013, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is requiring all health care organizations to use the Statistical Classification of Disease and Related Health Problems (ICD-10) when encoding medical documentation.

The expanded code set could increase the time required to process documentation and the potential for errors, but CAC technologies from Ingenix and A-Life Medical should enable physician practices and hospitals to transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10 efficiently and without additional staff, according to the companies.

Ingenix is a subsidiary of Minnetonka-based UnitedHealth Group-Minnesota's largest public company based on revenue, which totaled $87.1 billion in 2009.

-Rachel Youngberg