Connectathon Bridges the Gap Between Health Care and Finance Professionals


| 3 min read

Connectathon Bridges the Gap Between Health Care and Finance Professionals
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is dedicated to ensuring our employees never stop learning and growing. That commitment is what drives our Information Technology team to continually enhance their industry knowledge and skillsets, ensuring they keep contributing to the mission of providing innovative products that improve member care. This can come by way of internal trainings on new technologies and software, mentorship opportunities and continuing education events outside of the office.

Moving the needle forward in health care tech

The Blue Cross IT team recently participated in the Michigan Health Information Network’s (MiHIN) Connectathon event. This hands-on competition brings together health care and finance professionals for the purpose of creating data exchange solutions in a secure environment. “Connectathon is a challenging-yet-fun event where participants are put to the test to brainstorm, build out and execute solutions addressing common themes found in the health care industry,” says Richard Boehm, Blue Cross IT Director – Claims/Service Operations, HCV & Informatics. Events like Connectathon help identify ways data-sharing technologies can be enhanced in the health care industry. “There has been a lot of movement as it pertains to data exchange from both a technology and regulatory perspective,” says Alan Byrnes, Blue Cross IT Director, Informatics. “Connectathon finds synergies between the health care and finance industries to enable interoperability and a simple, safer exchange of data in areas like improved coordination of care, patient and provider access to critical data and health care cost transparency.” During the event, Blue Cross IT employees were spread across several teams with members helping a variety of companies. “A few helped pilot ‘frictionless appointment scheduling,’ a program leveraging application program interfaces (APIs, or tools that allow one to exchange data and functionality in a standard way) to understand a provider’s appointment schedule and provide improved coordination of care,” says Byrnes. “Another group focused on digital identity proofing, using biometric data validation like fingerprint, facial and voice recognition to give patients access to clinical data.”

Bringing game-changing solutions to our members and network

After the event, the Blue Cross team was excited to incorporate the learnings gained during Connectathon into their day-to-day work. “We are focused on repurposing the experience and information we garnered, including an increased understanding of the landscape of API integration and interoperability that can be applied to our own development solutions,” says Byrnes. In fact, Connectathon’s cross-industry collaboration inspired Boehm to keep that spirit alive at Blue Cross. “We really want to keep this momentum going and are actually in talks with MiHIN to introduce a similar initiative here,” says Boehm. “Not only do we want to promote team-building and knowledge-sharing across our group, but we want to innovate and identify relevant and useful solutions that will streamline and enhance the work we produce every day.” Visit these MI Blues Perspectives blogs to learn more about the Blue Cross IT team’s efforts to stay on the cutting edge of health care IT:
MI Blues Perspectives is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association