Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Using Bank Rails for Healthcare Payments

By Mark Brousseau

Banks can leverage their core competencies and existing infrastructure to more easily connect healthcare consumers, providers, and payers, Ralph Bernstein, senior vice president, healthcare strategy, US Bank, told attendees Monday at the Medical Banking Project Institute at HIMSS10 in Atlanta.

“There has to be a willingness to ride down the same set of tracks, and to create a cost model that works,” Bernstein told attendees. “But I absolutely think that we can do it. We already have the ability to take transactions out of your account in real-time; that’s the easy part. The hard part is when to move the money, and how much to take out. We need healthcare customers to tell us that.”

“As much money moves through the healthcare system, many more times that moves through the banking system around the world,” Bernstein noted.

“Banks need to participate,” said Ernie Clevenger, CEO, CareHere! “The banks can contribute to the process because ACH and EFTs are very simple transactions, and that concept needs to be forced.”

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