The system, called MedUnite, has been in the works since earlier this year, when the competing health insurers laid aside their own differences to form a challenge to the then-quickly rising power of Internet outsider WebMD (formerly known as Healtheon/WebMD). When the plan was first announced, Atlanta-based WebMD's stock tumbled, and it has yet to recover amid rising skepticism.
The health care companies investing in San Diego-based MedUnite are Aetna, Anthem, Cigna, Health Net, Oxford, PacifiCare and WellPoint Health Networks. The system will allow physicians, laboratories, insurers, hospitals and other health-services providers to electronically send and receive benefits verifications, claim submissions, medical referrals and other such documents.
Dave Cox, 52, formerly executive vice president and a director of Science Applications International, was named MedUnite's chief executive.