CHICAGO, Nov. 24, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Merge Healthcare, an IBM Company, has entered into an agreement with AIM Specialty Health (AIM) that intends to streamline the process providers undertake to obtain imaging study prior authorizations from payers. The agreement will benefit both providers and payers using Radiology Benefits Management (RBM) programs administered by AIM as well as Merge customers, including imaging centers and hospitals using Merge’s iConnect® Network Services (iCNS). iCNS is a comprehensive technology-based solution which electronically routes imaging study orders, manages access to incoming prior authorizations and communicates medical imaging results among healthcare professionals in a HIPAA-compliant manner. AIM is a pioneer in automated clinical appropriateness review through the company’s web-based platform which operates across all 50 states.

Some physician practices and medical imaging providers continue to navigate multiple online portals to input the patient eligibility and clinical data required by multiple payers. This new partnership is intended to ease the administrative effort, providing secure access to the AIM solution platform directly from within the iCNS environment. Medical imaging providers will be able to manage incoming orders, payer prior authorization and results delivery from a comprehensive technology platform.

“iConnect Network Services technology platform helps payers and providers transform the prior authorization process from manual and time consuming to automated and streamlined,” said Justin Dearborn, chief executive officer of Merge. “With this agreement, Merge’s iConnect Network Services now supports millions of additional insured individuals currently served by our partners’ payer clients.”

Starting in 2016, the integrated Merge and AIM solution will be available, increasing RBM program access to the prior authorization process administered by AIM on behalf of participating health plans. Additionally, providers at imaging centers can securely submit clinical appropriateness review requests directly from their iCNS interface, simplifying and improving coordination among healthcare management systems. Because iCNS is vendor neutral, even imaging providers not already using other Merge solutions may benefit from this collaboration.

“Our mission is to make health care more appropriate, safe and affordable and this agreement with Merge supports increased alignment with how providers conduct their workflow,” said Brandon Cady, president and CEO of AIM Specialty Health. “Our collaboration with Merge is intended to significantly help both providers and payers by consolidating and connecting critical aspects of the current prior authorization process while offering providers another convenient way to access AIM programs.”

About AIM Specialty Health
AIM Specialty Health is focused on driving more appropriate, safe and affordable care through the healthcare system. For more than 42 million members covered across 50 states, D.C. and US territories, AIM targets the quality and cost of clinical services including radiology, cardiology, oncology, specialty drugs, sleep medicine and musculoskeletal. As a national leader in specialty benefits management, AIM helps health plans, providers and employers focus on the value of health decisions with an integrated suite of solutions combining clinical excellence, technology and superior customer service. AIM is a wholly owned subsidiary of Anthem, Inc. For more information visit

About Merge Healthcare
Merge, an IBM Company, is a leading provider of innovative enterprise imaging, interoperability and clinical systems that seek to advance healthcare. Merge’s enterprise and cloud-based technologies for image intensive specialties provide access using a standard internet browser or mobile device. Merge also provides clinical trials software with end-to-end study support in a single platform and other intelligent health data and analytics solutions. With solutions that have been used by providers for more than 25 years, Merge is helping to reduce costs and improve efficiencies, which enhances the quality of healthcare worldwide. For more information, visit and follow us on Twitter @MergeHealthcare.

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Michael R. Klozotsky
Vice President, Corporate Marketing