For many patients, whatever injury or ailment first took them to their doctor’s office or a hospital can be made all the worse over the following days or weeks as a flood of confusing paper arrives in the mail.
A bill for this. A notice on that. A cost breakdown here. An impenetrable mass of technical jargon there. Then, of course, there’s the inevitable: “Who pays this, me or the insurance company?” Or “Didn’t I pay this already?” Or even “Why am I being charged for this?”
Meanwhile, the busy provider is waiting to get paid — further driving up the cost of healthcare and leading to more physician burnout as concerns over financial operations overwhelm medical issues.
Blue Shield of California is doing something about this healthcare paper chase and surprise billing. As part of the health insurer’s large-scale Health Reimagined initiative, which is examining and reinventing virtually every facet of the healthcare experience, Blue Shield has been experimenting with updating the medical payment and billing process – one concise bill, updated in real-time. Like checking out of a hotel or a grocery store – know what you owe, when you owe it.
After launching a pilot program last fall in collaboration with OODA Heath and two Dignity Health facilities in the Sacramento area, Blue Shield is now expanding the Member Payment program to 26 Dignity Health hospitals (operated by CommonSpirit Health) throughout the state.
The end goal is to serve Blue Shield members by way of the transparency, timeliness, and choice in addressing medical payments, and serve physicians by relieving administrative burdens while transferring existing members’ share receivables to OODA for collection.
”We started working with OODA Health in 2018 in an effort to build out our high-tech, high-touch offering for our members and physicians,” said Jeff Semenchuk, chief innovation officer of Blue Shield of California. “Our goal is to make the payment process as easy as checking out of a grocery store or a hotel. And with this initial success, we now have more momentum to make this a reality in the next few years.”
Learn more about our vision for member payments in the infographic below: