Miami medical network connects health-care vendors with new federal regulations
By Sherri C. Ranta
Miami's first medical network access point that complies with new federal health-care privacy regulations is expected to open by the end of the month.
MedNAP, a joint venture by Terremark Worldwide Inc. and Conectron, two local information technology companies, will enable doctors, hospitals and nursing homes to meet US Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act requirements, known as HIPAA, said Dr. Fernando J. Valverde, Conectron CEO and a health-industry veteran. The act, he said, requires providers to ensure the privacy and security of information such as patient records, billing and insurance claims.
The MedNAP will provide a secure location for health-care vendors to offer turnkey information-technology solutions, Dr. Valverde said. Vendors, he said, will have the ability to house servers and store data at the MedNAP, inside the Technology Center of the Americas, and offer web-based software and managed services. MedNAP's target customers, he said, are health providers such as physician practice groups, emergency room operators, hospital companies and managed care providers.
The new venture already has a handful of customers, Dr. Valverde said. Health Care 2000 and Medical Care Consortium have agreed to host their practices at the Miami network. Together, the two companies manage 150 medical practices, representing hundreds of doctors and $500 million in annual health-care revenues, officials said.
"We believe we will be the first compliant outsourcing program for the industry and are certain we will be the only one hosted at a Tier-1 network access point, ensuring the ultimate in reliability, security and connectivity," Dr. Valverde said.
The NAP of the Americas, owned and operated by Terremark Worldwide Inc., is a Tier-1 network access point inside the technology center at 50 NE Ninth St. More than 75 telecommunications companies and Internet service providers are housed at the network, where Internet and telecommunications traffic are routed to and from the southern half of the hemisphere.
New regulations for health care records are coming due in October and April. We think there will be a mad rush to be compliant, Dr. Valverde said.
The new regulations, he said, are paving the way for standardization of health-care information throughout the industry and electronic accessibility of patient information.
US Department of Health & Human Services estimates compliance with the new rules will cost billions industrywide. Blue Cross Blue Shield, MedNAP officials say, puts the number at $43 billion during the next five years.
Terremark Chairman & CEO Manuel D. Medina said the venture with Conectron is one example of how the company intends to leverage the connectivity, reliability and security available at the NAP of the Americas.
MedNAP, Dr. Valverde said, is expected to profit by leasing space and revenue sharing with health-care application providers.
Details: (305) 531-4117 or conectron.com.