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Blue Shield of California, Google Cloud Collaborate to Transform Medical Billing by Bringing Real Time Reimbursement Information to Providers

Artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies to reduce administrative burden for providers, bring retail-like experience to patients

OAKLAND, Calif. (October 18, 2021) – A new collaboration between Blue Shield of California, Google Cloud, and other technology companies plans to transform medical billing by automating and simplifying the billing and payment process for both providers and patients.

Blue Shield and Google Cloud are launching a new approach to paying providers that will process members’ claims in real time. By developing a scalable cloud platform that will integrate solutions from Blue Shield’s other technology partners, the companies will digitize health care claims using automated processing, artificial intelligence, and machine learning technologies to greatly improve the accuracy and timeliness of billing information and claims payment. 

This collaboration will transform the member experience by providing instant information on out-of-pocket costs. The initiative will also allow providers to understand the payments they can expect from Blue Shield and eliminate burdensome administrative processes. 

“The goal is to simplify the billing and payment process for providers so they can spend more of their time on patient care,” said Lisa Davis, senior vice president and chief information officer at Blue Shield of California. “We are reimagining health care by providing instant billing information that is digital, personalized, transparent, and easy to understand.” 

Blue Shield plans to scale the initiative over time to all providers, plan types, and categories of claims processed, as well as to health information exchanges.

2019 study on the U.S. health care system identified that of the $3.6 trillion spent on health care annually, $265.6 billion is wasted due to administrative complexity. A large portion is related to health claims payment, which can take days – or longer. As a result, members are often left wondering what they will ultimately pay for medical care and providers are uncertain about when they will be paid for services. 

Integrating technologies provided by Google Cloud and Blue Shield’s other health care technology partners, Blue Shield will standardize its datasets and help scale its ongoing efforts to transform and automate billing and claim payment systems, so members and providers know exactly what to expect when care is delivered. 

“Our collaboration leverages the best of both companies – Blue Shield of California’s deep health care experience and commitment to improving the health of its communities and Google Cloud’s ability to develop and automate scalable technology,” said Aashima Gupta, director of Global Healthcare Solutions at Google Cloud. “This plan to provide clear, concise and correct medical billing information will lead to the creation of a national model to make all healthcare billing instantaneous and understandable, removing friction points for consumers and providers.”

This collaboration is the latest example of Blue Shield’s Health Reimagined strategy, the nonprofit health plan’s ambitious effort to transform health care for individuals, families, providers, and California communities.

About Blue Shield of California

Blue Shield of California strives to create a healthcare system worthy of its family and friends that is sustainably affordable. Blue Shield of California is a tax paying, nonprofit, independent member of the Blue Shield Association with over 4.6 million members, over 7,500 employees and more than $21 billion in annual revenue. Founded in 1939 in San Francisco and now headquartered in Oakland, Blue Shield of California and its affiliates provide health, dental, vision, Medicaid, and Medicare healthcare service plans in California. The company has contributed more than $150 million to Blue Shield of California Foundation in the last four years to have an impact on California communities. 

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