More MBS Coverage TRAVERSE CITY, MI – Covisint, once best known for its global automotive components auction, is expected to reveal here at the Management Briefing Seminars on Thursday, Aug. 4, a major health-care cost-cutting partnership with a large Michigan health-care provider.

A Covisint source declines to identify the provider but says, together, the firms will tackle soaring health-care costs in the automotive and other industries. U.S. auto makers spend in excess of $1,000 per vehicle for employee health care, making it a major issue as their profits sink and/or disappear.

Covisint CEO and President Robert Paul will speak Thursday on the Health Care Issues and Challenges panel.

Covisint CEO and President Robert Paul

Covisint, originally founded by the U.S. Big Three, Renault SA and Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. in 2000, exited its auction activities in early 2004 and soon after was acquired by Detroit-based Compuware Corp.

Covisint brings three core areas of expertise to the party: An established auto-industry portal for exchanging vital information; identification and access management; and computer messaging via Electronic Data Interface and Extensible Markup Language systems.

"What we did for the auto industry we are now taking to the health-care industry," says the Covisint source. "One key to health-care costs is lack of information sharing," especially on a timely basis, he adds.

As a "technology partner," Covisint will seek to reduce costs by helping to eliminate inefficiencies along a broad front, including processing claims and handling patient records, he says.

Under the present system, primary-care physicians, specialists and hospitals each have patient records showing such basic information as prescriptions and allergies, but the system is not centralized and, therefore, not easily accessible, causing time and costly redundancy.

"This is a cumbersome process" and can be addressed by creating patient identification data accessed by passwords, the source suggests.

Covisint already is providing information backup systems for several hospitals that include the Mayo Clinic, Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, and the University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor, he says.