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Why APIs are better than bots

Availity’s highest priority is the secure and effective exchange of protected health information between health plans and providers. We have determined it to be in the best interest of our customers, and the hundreds of millions of people with protected health information exchanged through Availity, to eliminate bot access to Availity Essentials, our provider portal. As a secure alternative, Availity allows RESTful API connections to Availity Essentials, and this access is enjoyed by many partners in the market today.

The primary difference between a bot and an API is the security layer. Throughout the world, APIs are widely used tools of respected organizations who wish to share resources and information while maintaining high levels of security and user authentication. In the healthcare and financial markets, bots are widely used tools of malicious actors because they do not require any level of security or authentication.

A bot is not artificial intelligence or machine learning, but rather a piece of code performing a repetitive task. Bots are useful for applications that don’t require security or authentication, but inappropriate in situations where privacy and security are paramount. This includes healthcare applications that utilize protected health information.

Availity is committed to ensuring that all providers in our network have access to the information they need to run their businesses. Any content made available through a vendor is also available to providers through Availity Essentials, our no-cost, multi-payer provider engagement platform. Further, Availity has executed trading partner agreements with numerous vendor partners who meet our stringent security and information exchange policy requirements. For information about Availity Essentials and/or our approved vendors please contact us.