Business: Amerigroup’s IT group headquartered in Virginia Beach, Virginia looked at various approaches that would provide a secure way for associates to manage members electronically in real time from any location. As a result, Amerigroup designed and developed a mobile application for the Apple® iPad® that can interactively assess and record the health care needs of members in their homes or other places of care.
Challenge: Although this approach facilitated mobility, ultimately the iPad offered little more than a way to create islands of information if they couldn’t connect back to Amerigroup’s data center where its systems of record resided. But transmitting member information over cost-effective public networks raised a number of security questions for Amerigroup. For example, the sensitive data had to meet stringent HIPAA patient privacy requirements entailing encryption over the wire, but there were also questions around safely traversing Amerigroup’s corporate firewall in order to access its internal applications exposed as API-based Web services. The IT group considered a VPN-based approach but didn’t think it streamlined enough – they wanted something that would “just work.”
Solution: In production in Texas since February 2011, Amerigroup’s mobile API management solution serves approximately 80,000 Medicaid recipients throughout the state. Initially, fifty case workers were equipped with the Apple iPad in order to provide real-time interaction with members at their residences or places of treatment, but that number is growing.
Benefit: The iPad application allows Amerigroup to improve its health care coverage and member services, while increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of its Medicaid program. At the same time, Amerigroup is helping Texas to manage the health care needs of its citizens, while keeping it more affordable for taxpayers.