Priority Health and Altruista Health team up to build electronic solution that eases preauthorization pain points

(Grand Rapids, Mich. – Jun. 3, 2021) – Altruista Health has announced today that Priority Health has gone live with the GuidingCare® Authorization Portal, a new tool that will save Michigan providers countless hours in seeking preauthorization on behalf of Priority Health members. Providers can now stop faxing and phoning in requests and get nearly immediate responses through this new electronic portal, developed in a unique collaboration between Altruista, Priority Health and its parent organization, Spectrum Health System. 

Preauthorizations for treatment support value-based care by aligning care with world-leading, up-to-date clinical guidelines. But industry research shows that most providers turn first to the fax machine, phone or U.S. mail to obtain preauthorization.1 These manual processes slow the care process significantly and create friction between health plans and providers, with the potential to create member uncertainty and anxiety. Some 80 percent of requests eventually are met with approval, so finding a way to streamline turnaround times can make a significant positive impact to resources.

Priority Health and Spectrum Health are an integrated health system serving nearly 1 million health plan members and representing 97 percent of Michigan’s primary care practices and 96 percent of the state’s hospitals. This collaborative three-way project emerged during the implementation of Altruista’s GuidingCare® care management technology platform at Priority Health last year. GuidingCare is Altruista’s technology platform for care management that connects stakeholders for a 360-degree view of the member. Seeing the success of the care management platform, Priority Health and Altruista set out to design an ideal preauthorization tool.

“We spoke with a group of providers to hear their preferences and needs when it comes to going through the preauthorization process,” said Ann Donnelly, Vice President of Care and Utilization Management at Priority Health. “Our providers are on the frontlines of delivering high-quality care to their patients and our members, so implementing the Portal is going to help solve some of the preauthorization issues and delays when it comes to them receiving that care.”

Through the Portal, Priority Health and Spectrum Health providers receive authorizations in a matter of moments, allowing more complex requests to be quickly routed for review of medical necessity. All of this is completed within the Portal through one-click messaging that offers document and image upload on both ends. Another efficiency of the Portal is the virtual elimination of concurrent reviews for inpatient stays. These previously required daily phone calls between the hospital physicians and health plans during inpatient stays. Now dates or units of care can be extended right in the Portal.

Altruista saw an opportunity to custom-build a portal that would serve Priority Health and Spectrum Health’s needs, but also one it could replicate for other customers. The process was complex since it involved building a new tool in the midst of implementation of its care management platform. Altruista’s product, engineering and implementation teams worked in tandem, as well as coordinating with Priority Health’s teams. 

“The value-add for the system is that Authorization Portal integrates with the world’s leading clinical guidelines to assure an optimal treatment path is being provided,” said Mike McKitterick, Executive Vice President of Clinical Services at Altruista. “Preauthorization requests are instantly bounced off the latest clinical guidance to validate appropriateness.” 

GuidingCare integrates and is certified with the world’s most comprehensive and respected clinical guidelines, MCG Cite AutoAuth and InterQual Connect™. The portal went live last fall, and more information can be found on Altruista’s website.

1According to the 2018 CAQH Index, a survey of progress to simplify healthcare administrative functions, only 12 percent of prior authorization transactions were conducted using the electronic standard.

About Priority Health:

With over 30 years in business, Priority Health is the second largest health plan in Michigan, offering an extensive portfolio of health benefits options for employer groups and individuals, including Medicare and Medicaid plans. Serving more than 1.3 million members each year and offering a broad network of primary care physicians in Michigan, Priority Health continues to be recognized as a leader for quality, customer service, transparency and product innovation. Learn more about affordable, quality health coverage options from Priority Health

About Spectrum Health:

Spectrum Health System, a not-for-profit, integrated health system, is committed to improving the health and wellness of our communities. We live our mission every day with 31,000 compassionate professionals, 4,600 medical staff experts, 3,300 committed volunteers and a health plan serving 1 million members. Our talented physicians and caregivers are privileged to offer a full continuum of care and wellness services to our communities through 14 hospitals, including Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, 150 ambulatory sites and telehealth offerings. We pursue health care solutions for today and tomorrow that diversify our offerings. Locally-governed and based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, our health system provided $550 million in community benefit in calendar year 2019. Thanks to the generosity of our communities, we received $37 million in philanthropy to support research, academics, innovation and clinical care. Spectrum Health has been recognized as one of the nation’s 15 Top Health Systems by Truven Health Analytics®, part of IBM Watson HealthTM.

About Altruista Health

Altruista Health is a HealthEdge company delivering care management and population health management solutions that support value-based and person-centered care models. Its GuidingCare® technology platform integrates care management, care coordination and quality improvement programs through a suite of sophisticated yet easy-to-use web applications. GuidingCare is the largest and most widely adopted platform of its kind in the United States. Founded in 2007 and headquartered in the Washington, D.C. area, Altruista Health has grown into a recognized industry leader, and was named twice as one of the Top Population Health Management Companies to Know by Becker’s Healthcare. Health plans and healthcare providers use GuidingCare to transform their processes, reduce avoidable expenses and improve patient health outcomes.