A Medical Device Daily

UnitedHealthcare(Minneapolis) andFusion Sleep(Suwanee, Georgia) have signed a long-term agreement making the services of Fusion Sleep's sleep disorder program available to UnitedHealthcare commercial customers and its Medicare and Evercare members.

Fusion Sleep says it restores health and increases quality of life for people suffering with sleep related disorders. Effective treatments enhance daytime function and energy, prevent chronic diseases and reduce risk for major accidents commonly associated with sleep disorders, the company said.

"Fusion Sleep provides a very important service that helps thousands of Georgia residents improve their health and quality of life," said Rick Elliott, CEO of UnitedHealthcare of Georgia. "This new agreement further demonstrates the depth of our health care provider network in Georgia and reflects our mutual commitment to providing local access to affordable, quality health care services."

"We welcome UnitedHealthcare as our ally in chronic disease prevention," said Jeffrey Durmer, MD, chief medical officer of Fusion Sleep. "Our program is focused on prevention, by ensuring a lasting successful treatment of sleep disorders. Eliminating sleep disorders has helped thousands of patients avoid or control serious medical conditions, such as hypertension, type II diabetes, stroke and heart disease. At the same time it has dramatically increased their daytime performance and quality of life."

The National Institutes of Health reports that at least 40 million Americans suffer from chronic, long-term sleep disorders each year. They account for an estimated $16 billion annually in medical costs each year, while the indirect costs due to lost productivity and other factors are probably much greater, Fusion Sleep noted.

UnitedHealthcare of Georgia serves more than 1.4 million persons through a health care network of more than 13,700 physicians and 171 hospitals.

In other agreements/contracts news, Anakam (San Diego) reported that Sharp Healthcare (San Diego), San Diego County's largest healthcare system, has selected the Anakam Identity Suite to enable trusted access for patients accessing Sharp's new patient portal. The portal will allow Sharp Rees-Stealy patients to access critical personal health information and perform key functions like reviewing lab results instantaneously, making payments, and reviewing electronic medical record information, the company said.

The Anakam Identity Suite provides Sharp the assurance of trusted access through a next-generation authentication platform that performs identity "proofing" upon patient registration into the portal, and then delivers cost-effective multi-channel two-factor authentication, without the burden of tokens or cards, and in compliance with federal and state healthcare security and privacy standards, according to Anakam.

"At Sharp we are always striving to provide our patient community the best healthcare service and information. The Sharp portal will allow our patients to access their information and perform key healthcare functions anytime and anywhere. Because the nature of the information is sensitive, Sharp wants to provide the assurance to our patients that their information is secure on the portal. With Anakam as a partner, we are able to provide that level of trust while complying with key federal requirements like HIPAA," said Ken Szymanski , Sharp VP, business systems.