By Mark Brousseau
Without question, healthcare payments processing was one of the hottest topics in financial services in 2007, with tremendous buzz, loads of product tire kicking, and more technology implementations by lockbox providers. This year promises to be no different.
Bill Gamble (firstname.lastname@example.org), healthcare strategic account executive for Dallas-based eGistics, Inc., believes there are two major trends to watch for this year in healthcare payments: continued adoption of automated explanation of benefits (EOB) processing solutions, and an increase in Health Savings Accounts (HSAs).
As banks become more adept at selling the benefits of automated EOB processing services, Gamble expects more of their lockbox clients to adopt the technology. “You also will see current competitors in the market target each others accounts with cheaper fees and better service,” Gamble told me. “I also expect some of these banks and service organizations to go after the 55 percent of healthcare accounts that don’t currently use bank or third-party lockbox services.”
Meantime, Gamble sees an increase in HSAs as more companies put a greater burden on employees to cover their healthcare expenses. As banks chase HSA deposits, Gamble expects a new market to rise to handle the increasing number of payments coming from these accounts. For instance, there could be a need for a service to convert paper enrollments to 834 format for payors, as well as a need to convert that information into the format banks require to set up a new account.
Underlying both of these trends, Gamble said, will be the need to archive images of healthcare documents for verification, research and customer support.
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