Former dot-com darling sees resurgence in B2B demand

Covisint signs contract with Cigna to host exchange of clinical data

Compuware Corp. announced today that Cigna HealthCare has signed on to use subsidiary Compuware Covisint's hosted service to automate the exchange of clinical data between the insurer and its health care providers.

Within six weeks, Covisint will begin automating the insurer's paper-based process for exchanging data about patients with its physicians so it can authorize medical care. Cigna will be using Covisint to automate this process nationwide, using the service in Cigna offices in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Tennessee and California, Compuware said.

Covisint, originally founded in 2000 by automakers DaimlerChrysler AG, Ford Motor Co., General Motors Corp., Renault SA and Nissan Motor Co. as a high-profile online marketplace for automotive suppliers and manufacturers, struggled with resistance from suppliers and was purchased by Compuware in 2004.

Compuware Covisint President and Chief Operating Officer Bob Paul said the Cigna deal is significant because it shows that a national company has opted to use Covisint's service. In addition, he said Cigna is part of a growing group of companies -- including other health care organizations and oil and gas companies -- fueling a resurgence in new types of business-to-business collaboration.

"In the dot-com boom era ... B2B got a real bad name," Paul said. "We're seeing that organizations are looking to turn their extended enterprise, their supply chains, their relationships in the health care world with their providers ... into a competitive differentiator. The time to value is a lot quicker because [the exchange] is already working, so it is just a matter of plugging in the end points."

Covisint provides portal, messaging, unstructured data management and security services. Covisint currently connects more than 15,000 health care users representing more than 450 health care organizations, the company said.

"Working collaboratively with health care providers to help reduce their administrative costs and the complexity of doing business is a strategic imperative of Cigna HealthCare," Susan Gaca, senior director of health facilitation center operations at Cigna, said in a statement. "Using the Compuware Covisint solution supports our goals of quick, easy and paperless interaction with health care professionals." 

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