PatientCompass medical e-billing tool introduced at Munson Healthcare

Mount Prospect 13 August 2001HealthCom Partners, a patient communications consulting company, and infiNET Solutions, specialised in Web-based software products, have signed a strategic partnership which will potentially change the way health care organisations communicate financial billing information to patients. The alliance is developing an e-billing product, PatientCompass, which will allow patients to access and interact with their updated account information from the health care provider's Web site. The affordable e-Billing application will be available to health care providers via an Application Service Provider (ASP) and will accompany HealthCom's proven paper billing solution. Under the terms of the partnership agreement, HealthCom will integrate infiNET Solutions' QuikPAY e-bill, e-payment, and content management software into its PatientCompass solutions package.

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PatientCompass has already been launched at Munson Healthcare, Traverse City, Michigan. The product enables Munson to connect with their patients by allowing access to account information, updated daily, through their existing Web site. The affordable solution is also integrated with infiNET Solutions' QuikPAY payment software and QuikSITE content management software to deliver a proven, easy-to-use approach. HealthCom's ASP PatientCompass enables patients to gain quick access to patient financial data, updated daily, through their provider's own Web site, without the initial costs of hardware and software. Patients can check the status of their insurance claims, receive e-mail notifications when insurance payments are received, communicate with the hospital via e-mail, and access helpful hints on the complex health care billing process.

In addition, PatientCompass along with the capabilities of infiNET Solutions' QuikPAY e-payment software, allows patients to pay their bills on-line with either a credit card, debit card, e-check or even schedule automatic monthly payments through their checking account. Also, PatientCompass' patient education content will provide on-line answers to the most frequently asked medical billing questions, instructions on filing appeals with their insurance and spreadsheet tools to help patients manage and organise their medical bills. "From our experience in patient communications, we believe that giving patients an on-line alternative to their current paper-based billing statement will improve patient satisfaction and reduce the costs associated with paper-based billing", stated John Talaga, Principal at HealthCom Partners.

Munson Healthcare selected PatientCompass as its Internet-based patient billing application for its newly launched Web initiative. Munson patients can access their account information through a link to PatientCompass, from the Munson Web site, and are informed of updates to their account via e-mail. "The model fits well with our overall e-health strategy", said Barbara Gordon-Kessel, Munson's Director of Corporate Communications. "One of our key objectives is to facilitate interaction between patients and our health care system, and PatientCompass provides a comprehensive, user-friendly tool which helps improve patients' understanding of the complicated health care billing process."

Munson also uses HealthCom's paper-based patient billing services, which gives them a controlled process for managing patients' preference between receiving their statements via paper, Web or both. "We want to provide clear and accessible billing information to our patients", added Serge Mann, Munson's Director of Patient Accounts. "We can now give them a choice of how they prefer to receive their information. This simply helps us better serve our patients." PatientCompass is available with minimal user investment, without the initial costs of hardware and software, offering health care providers their own, branded e-billing Web site which serves as a portal for patients. This new ASP solution for patient billing will allow health care providers to reduce internal process costs associated with paper-based billing, while improving patient satisfaction and business office efficiencies.

Since 1995, HealthCom's mission is to humanise and simplify patient billing communications for enhancing relationships between patients and providers, optimising administrative efficiencies and pro-actively improving the health of the providers' population. HealthCom delivers information to patients, beyond financial data, through "individualised" paper-based and Web-based billing solutions. infiNET Solutions provides advanced software applications to the health care industry and other organisations. These interactive Web and wireless applications allow institutions to leverage their current information technology investments in order to quickly deploy eBusiness, eCommerce, and eServices applications.


Leslie Versweyveld

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