Communications in healthcare get a bit smarter and this company provides the automated telephone notification services we either like or dislike, depending on what you are being notified about. You can read through further and see some of the “smart” notifications being created in various areas of healthcare, which involves everything from notification for a generic drug replacement to a recall notification for pharmaceutical drugs. Data base information is used to generate the notification processes. BD
When Merck recalled its arthritis drug Vioxx on September 30, 2004, Connecticut-based online pharmacy FamilyMeds wasted no time notifying customers. Within three hours after the recall was announced, an automated telephone system began calling Vioxx users to inform them about the change. But there was a twist—to comply with the federal healthcare privacy law known as HIPAA, the system had to verify that the person on the other end of the line was actually the patient taking the drug. If the answer was yes, the system would go on to explain the recall. If it was no, the system would leave a phone number and pass code so that the patient could call back later.
That kind of interactive voice response technology is all fairly standard today—but in 2004 it was brand new. The company that made it possible was Burlington, MA-based Silverlink Communications. And from this single application—HIPAA-compliant automated phone communications—Silverlink has since built a major consulting and service operation designed to help healthcare providers reach patients with behavior-related messages of all sorts.
Nowak says Silverlink’s market is still growing, thanks to some big, long-term shifts in the way health insurance works. These days there is no HR administrator. The consumer calls the health plan directly for all their questions.”
There’s little risk to health plans considering hiring Silverlink, because the company charges for performance. If it helps a pharmacy benefits management company save 20 percent on a certain drug by shifting members to a generic version, for example, it asks the company for a share of the net value.