Colorado Company Accuses Aetna Of Patent Infringement In Health Technology Lawsuit

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A Colorado health-care technology company accuses Aetna and two of its subsidiaries of patent infringement for using computer systems that reduce costs and streamline the claims process.

HealthTrio LLC of Denver, Colo., received 10 patents between 2008 and last week that protect methods and computer-based systems which improve the quality of care, decrease costs and streamline the administrative process of medical claims, the company said in a lawsuit filed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado.

Aetna spokeswoman Cynthia Michener said the Hartford-based health insurer is reviewing the lawsuit.

Health insurers have increasingly used health technology to get more up to date information about claims and patients’ health records in an effort to better manage the health of patients while decreasing expenses. Some insurers have implemented “accountable care organizations,” which compensates medical providers and clinicians based on health-care results.

HealthTrio was founded by Malik M. Hasan, a Colorado neurologist. The company says it has patents on various technologies, including a web portal for health benefits enrollment, management of eligibility, claims processing, payment, premium billing and other functions.

HealthTrio also says it has patents on technology for online access to patient test results, medical history, medical and drug information. Other patents cover accountable-care functions, wellness and prevention programs, the company said in its lawsuit.

Aetna provides various technological ways to organize, store and retrieve health care data through the company’s subsidiaries, ActiveHealth and Medicity, acquired in 2005 and 2011, respectively.

HealthTrio said in its lawsuit that it demonstrated its personal-health-records technology to Aetna executives in December 2006 in Hartford. Additional meetings were set up around February 2007 in Blue Bell, Penn., and HealthTrio answered technical questions.

“But soon after the February 2007 meeting, Aetna discontinued communications with HealthTrio and did not pursue a business relationship,” lawyers for HealthTrio wrote in the lawsuit.

About Matthew Sturdevant

Full-time staff journalist at The Hartford Courant and magazine freelancer with a master's degree in writing from Dartmouth. My work has appeared in The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, Taiwan News, The Baltimore Sun and many other news sources. My blog has been referenced by Politico.com, the Kaiser Family Foundation, the Georgetown Law Library and a number of organizations in healthcare and business. Sturdevant’s blog is "a well-written wealth of ideas," said The Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism, (businessjournalism.org, May 18, 2011). I have experience writing for newspapers, magazines, Web sites and blogs as well as shooting and editing video. I made regular appearances on news-talk radio and on the NBC affiliate station in Corpus Christi, Texas. I made occasional appearances on the Fox affiliate in Connecticut promoting Hartford Courant articles.

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