Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts leverages SOA-based suite to help increase efficiencies, reduce costs and deliver improved service

Orlando 03 November 2005Demonstrating its ongoing commitment to promoting equal access to quality health care, Sun Microsystems Inc., the creator and advocate of Java technology, is showcasing its solutions at the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) 2005 Blue Health IT Symposium, held in November in Orlando, Florida. Sponsored by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, the 2005 Health IT Symposium will focus on strategic health informatics through integration of administrative and clinical data, including internal systems and work flows, national and regional interoperability, quality and performance analytics, enterprise architecture and related areas.


Sun's participation in the BCBSA 2005 Health IT Symposium underscores its commitment to the sharing of information technology to power health information networks and help bridge the health care digital divide through advanced integration and composite applications. With technologies such as the Sun Java Integration Suite and Solaris 10 Operating System, Sun offers a powerful platform for developing, deploying and managing composite applications based on a Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA).

Interoperability across health care organisations is a cornerstone of health care delivery in the 21st century, and must be addressed through the collaborative sharing of information both inside and outside the enterprise. Specifically, organisations providing health care coverage must also strive to offer increased service and support to their members while controlling escalating operational costs. Sun has demonstrated success in working with health care plans across the globe and currently provides health care solutions to many Blue Cross Blue Shield Plans including Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (BCBSMA), Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, Capital Blue Cross Blue Shield, and Blue Shield of California.

For example, BCBSMA, the largest health insurer in New England, chose to re-engineer its infrastructure by introducing an SOA based on the Java Integration Suite, the newest addition to the Sun Java Enterprise System as a result of the recent acquisition of SeeBeyond. This new infrastructure provided BCBSMA with seamless, service-based integration to its back-office applications, and has enabled the expansion of end user channels, such as self-service Web access.

The new architecture has also simplified the process for integrating partners, thereby reducing the cost to offer new services to customers. BCBSMA was one of the first organisations within the industry to understand that quality of service demands a real-time transactional infrastructure. The company is now recognized as a leading player in the health care industry, in part because it has built its information infrastructure upon a solution from one of the leading players in the Web infrastructure, identity management and integration spaces.

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association is made up of 40 independent, locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies that collectively provide health care coverage for more than 93 million - nearly one-in- three - Americans. More news about Sun is available in the VMW October 2005 article Sun Microsystems and InstantDx to provide first physician-based national health record.

Leslie Versweyveld

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