Patient-friendly billing helps interpret critical information & eases payment process

Simplify the claims processing for H1N1
Gibberish. Babble. Gobbledygook.

That’s what many patients think of “medical talk.” From patient access to the bills that come after care is complete, patients often struggle to make sense of it all. They’re unfamiliar with the medical terminology and nature of the information involved in their care. Even though their providers might be located just around the corner from their homes, patients often find the language barrier makes trips to the doctor feel like journeys to a foreign country.

Communication problems lead to confusion among patients, increased risk of bad debt for providers.
This communication disconnect poses significant challenges for patients and providers. Patients who lack adequate or interpretable information are left to navigate the system in a state of confusion, questioning everything along the way and feeling unempowered. Not surprisingly, these patients may become overly cautious, distrustful or even unwilling to pay. On the flipside, providers must juggle the barrage of patient inquiries, expending valuable staff time revisiting issues of care and billing or even chasing payments. “Language” can be a major barrier--for patients trying to get well and providers striving to care for patients’ health while also managing the all-important revenue cycle.

Statements can serve as a translator between patient and provider.
In any business, finding a common language is essential to effectively communicating, relating and, ultimately, building trust with patients. Of course, the “language” of patient billing in the healthcare industry is a figurative one, but the same positive results can be achieved in the healthcare industry through the use of patient friendly billing language.

With the increase of consumer-driven health plans that eliminate the layers between patient and provider even during billing, that language barrier must be removed. There’s simply too much that can be lost in translation. Enter the era of Patient Friendly Billing, a collaborative project lead by the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) to promote clear, concise, and correct patient-friendly financial communications. Today, the healthcare industry is increasingly motivated to translate the “medical talk” in patient bills to make them easier to understand and simpler to pay. By approaching medical billing as a patient-focused function, the industry is veering from institutional language and becoming more fluent in the billing language of the people.

“It’s a matter of trust,” states Tim Tucker, Vice President of Provider Services for Emdeon. “Billing for healthcare is unnerving for most patients from the get-go. Many people feel like everything on their statement is fine print. We have to create more familiar, accessible language to ensure consumer-patients aren’t overwhelmed in trying to pay their portions of medical bills.”

Emdeon has long been on the forefront of consumer-facing revenue cycle management solutions, developing an ever-expanding suite of products to help providers engage, inform and guide consumers who are responsible for portions of their healthcare payments. Emdeon ExpressBill Services is an immensely helpful tool to aid in “speaking the language” of patients, even during the often daunting billing process, using cleanly displayed information conveyed in common language.

Emdeon ExpressBill Services creates patient statements in plain language that’s simple to understand,” says Tim Tucker. “Using this product, providers will improve communications with patients by educating them about payment responsibilities. It also makes the billing process efficient, so transactions are timely and fresh on patients’ minds. In relying on expert solutions for interpretative billing, providers actually enhance their relationships and connectedness with patients.”

The increasing importance of translating critical patient statement information.
It’s clear the trend toward consumer-driven healthcare is moving forward at a rapid pace. That’s why healthcare providers need reliable partners to help them interpret billing effectively--so they can focus on what’s most important, patient care.

“Speaking a language the patient understands is a must,” Tim Tucker summarizes. “When providers prioritize the use of clear, easily interpreted data on statements, they are really extending patient care into the billing process.”

And that’s the ultimate message, plain and clear.

Want to learn more about Emdeon ExpressBill Services? Visit for full details.


Are there hidden expenses in your revenue cycle?

Emdeon receives EHNAC healthcare network re-accreditation
As a healthcare provider, you might view a stack of patient payments received through the mail simply as a collection of checks waiting to be posted to your billing system and deposited into your bank account. While patient payments are a critical part of your healthcare business to ensure cash flow and cover expenses, did you know those same patient payments might actually be costing you money too?

That’s right. If you are not using a healthcare-specific lockbox service to process your patient payments received through the mail, you could be losing out on valuable revenue. The unfortunate fact is that you might not be collecting all of the money you are entitled to, and the revenue you are able to collect may be taking too long to post.

Beware of three potential gaps in your revenue stream
If you are currently relying on your staff to manually process patient payments received through the mail or if you currently use a traditional bank lockbox service, you should be aware of the three factors that might be siphoning off revenue before it reaches your bottom line: Unnecessary Administrative Costs, Costly Payment Posting and Billing Errors and Avoidable Exceptions.

Here’s the good news…there is an opportunity to dramatically improve your operational efficiencies, accelerate patient revenue, get paid faster and reduce exceptions.

Announcing Emdeon Patient Lockbox
Emdeon recently launched a new solution as part of the entire Patient Connect offering. Emdeon Patient Lockbox automates the process of depositing, posting and managing patient payments. Emdeon Patient Lockbox enables providers to more efficiently process patient payments and related communications received through the mail including change of address and insurance updates. It efficiently processes mailed payments in strategically located facilities where they are sorted, processed and rapidly deposited into your existing banking accounts. All payments are automatically posted to your facility’s patient billing system dramatically improving efficiencies.

How Emdeon Patient Lockbox can accelerate your patient revenue

Virtually eliminates unneccessary administrative costs

The constant flow of patient payments received in the mail is certainly critical to your healthcare business; BUT the overwhelming volume can be expensive to manage. One benefit of using Emdeon Patient Lockbox is that your staff no longer wastes time sorting and opening mail, posting patient payments, creating deposit tickets or even making trips to the bank. Emdeon Patient Lockbox increases operational efficiencies by eliminating the management of complex paper payment processes which saves your staff time and saves YOU money.

Even if your organization currently uses a traditional bank lockbox service to process patient payments, you still might be paying for unnecessary administrative costs since exceptions must be reviewed and handled manually. Emdeon Patient Lockbox provides automated exception handling that significantly reduces exceptions and web-based decision tools that enable your staff to efficiently post any remaining exceptions.

Reduces costly payment posting and billing errors
Manually processing patient payments received through the mail can lead to common administrative errors such as posting payments to the wrong accounts, misplacing documentation, filing errors and keystroke mistakes. All of these can lead to delayed or incomplete payments deposited to your bank account. Since Emdeon Patient Lockbox automates and streamlines cumbersome payment processes, billing errors are nearly eliminated and process quality improves.

Another advantage to using Emdeon Patient Lockbox is that unlike traditional bank lockbox services, you’ll also receive the patient payment information in an 835 file format which can quickly and accurately be posted to your patient billing system, bypassing cumbersome IT manipulation.

Simplify billing and payment processes
Emdeon Patient Lockbox can be used in conjunction with Emdeon’s complete, integrated patient billing and payment solution, Emdeon Patient Connect. This enables you to have one single system to bill, track, and receive all paper and electronic patient payments and communications within one efficient system.

If you would like to learn more about Emdeon Patient Lockbox and accelerate your patient revenue, you can call 877.EMDEON.6 (877.363.3666) or visit


Emdeon receives EHNAC healthcare network re-accreditation

Emdeon receives EHNAC healthcare network re-accreditation
Emdeon, a leading provider of revenue and payment cycle management solutions, has again achieved full accreditation with the Healthcare Network Accreditation Program (HNAP) from the Electronic Healthcare Network Accreditation Commission (EHNAC). EHNAC’s HNAP accreditation recognizes excellence in health data processing and transactions and indicates compliance with industry-established standards and HIPAA regulations. Emdeon and its affiliates have maintained EHNAC accreditation since 2001.

“It is an honor to receive the EHNAC stamp of approval from our industry peers in the processing of health data and transactions,” said George Lazenby, chief executive officer of Emdeon. “We believe this re-accreditation further demonstrates our commitment to achieving industry recognition for superior performance and improving the business of healthcare.”

Through a consultative review process, EHNAC evaluated Emdeon in areas of privacy measures, systems availability and security infrastructure. In addition, EHNAC reviewed Emdeon’s process of managing and transferring protected health information and determined that the organization exceeds all EHNAC criteria and industry standards. The accreditation is valid through August 13, 2011.

“Through EHNAC accreditation, Emdeon has demonstrated a commitment to ensuring the security and privacy of health data processing and transactions for its customers,” says Lee Barrett, executive director of EHNAC. “We are pleased to have Emdeon again join our select group of HNAP-accredited organizations and congratulate them on this achievement.”


Notable healthcare veterans and policy makers join Advisory Council

Can consensus be reached in a Congress that remains divided on the details of the reform? The Advisory Council for the U.S. Healthcare Efficiency Index™ (Index), founded by Emdeon (NYSE: EM), today announced the launch of the National Data Collection Center for the primary research phase of the Index and the addition of new members.

The Index is an industry forum for monitoring business efficiency in healthcare and tracking the transition from a paper- and phone-based healthcare system to an electronic one. A primary goal of the Index is to raise awareness of potential savings and how those dollars could be better used to fund delivery of care or offset costs of longer-term healthcare reforms.

The first phase of the Index, launched in December 2008, focused on analyzing industry data available through research reports and other sources. Phase 1 of the Index identified an estimated $300 billion in potential savings over ten years for five basic medical claims-related transactions. The second phase, launched this week, marks the beginning of primary data collection, beginning with major healthcare payers. Payers will submit data to the Index National Data Collection Center, through a secure, password protected web portal. The non-identifiable data will be sent to statisticians at Scheuren– Ruffner, where it will be aggregated and analyzed. Milliman, Inc., a global consulting and actuarial firm, will then validate the findings based on the methodology developed and approved by the Advisory Council. The findings will be published as part of the first National Progress Report on Healthcare Efficiency which is planned for release in early 2010.

Five transactions are currently being tracked to measure electronic adoption and to facilitate calculation of the associated cost savings:

• Eligibility Verification
• Claim Submission
• Claim Status
• Claim Payment
• Claim Remittance

While healthcare payers will be the first to contribute data, the process will later be opened up to providers and clearinghouses to provide a complete view of the industry. The administrative simplification provisions of current healthcare reform bills call for additional electronic business transactions such as claims attachments to be adopted by the industry, and the Index plans to expand to monitor adoption and measure savings in those areas as well.

Plans are already underway for later phases of the Index, including development of a Pharmacy Safety and Adherence Index. The organizations represented on the Advisory Council hope to collaborate on data collection to avoid duplication of research efforts and establish a single, industry-recognized source for healthcare efficiency metrics.

“This is a critical time as Congress struggles with how to design and fund healthcare reform. By serving as a central reference for tracking healthcare administrative efficiency, the Index provides a roadmap for additional healthcare cost savings that can help pay for reform. We are delighted to have such an experienced group of thought leaders join us in overseeing this important effort,” said Miriam Paramore, senior vice president of corporate strategy for Emdeon, the founding sponsor for the Index.

The Advisory Council is responsible for overseeing the effort, developing the data collection methodology and reporting on progress across the healthcare industry. Advisory Council members also play a role in shaping the healthcare reform dialogue. The following individuals have recently joined the Advisory Council:

• The Honorable Phil Johnston, President and CEO, Johnston Associates (Former Regional Administrator for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and former Massachusetts State Representative)
• Robin Thomashauer, Executive Director, Council for Affordable Quality Healthcare (CAQH)
• Tom Meyers, Executive Director, America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP)
• Eric Wallace, Executive Director, Linxus
• Fred Horowitz, Board of Directors, Secure EDI Health Group (representing the Cooperative Exchange)
• Richard Nelli, Chief Technology Officer of CareMedic Systems (representing the Cooperative Exchange)
• Gregory Fisher, Director of EDI Business Development, UnitedHealthcare

For a complete list of Advisory Council members, visit

Development of the National Data Collection Center was conducted in partnership with members of the Advisory Council, as well as with the Vanderbilt Owen School of Management. Students in the Vanderbilt healthcare MBA program assisted in creation of the data collection model and in outreach to healthcare payers to get their input and participation in the initiative. Student teams will continue to participate in research analysis and model development for subsequent phases of the Index.

“As the rhetoric on healthcare reform gets louder, it’s important to find a common set of principles that address our most pressing needs. Reducing waste is something we can all agree on. I am happy to join the Index and shine light on the significant dollars that could be saved – to prevent cuts to programs or pay for other reforms,” new Advisory Council member Phil Johnston said.

As part of an awareness-building campaign, the Index website is now hosting a new discussion forum to encourage dialogue on administrative savings and healthcare reform.


Emdeon partners with Susan G. Komen for the Cure for unprecedented education & awareness campaigns

Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Awareness and Education Emdeon Partners with Susan G. Komen for the Cure® for Unprecedented Education & Awareness Campaign
Thanks to Emdeon real-time technology and the real-life information of Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, healthcare providers across the country were able to print out practical, useful information for patients during October which was National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

The partnership revolutionized in-office, teachable moments by making breast health literature readily available to patients through their healthcare providers. The print-quality downloads included topics such as “Breast Cancer Risk Factors”, “When You Discover A Lump”, and “Sexuality and Intimacy” in both English and Spanish formats.

These materials were available through the web-based software solution, Emdeon Office™, a solution that enables healthcare providers to conduct everyday administrative transactions, including patient eligibility/benefits verification, claim submission, referrals, authorizations and pre-certifications for care. It is currently in use in professional offices representing nearly 100,000 healthcare professionals across the country.

Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Awareness and Education

In addition to exposing thousands of healthcare providers to readily accessible, printable breast health information, Emdeon also engaged in another campaign to turn America’s mailboxes “pink” this October. Emdeon’s print and mail facilities printed more than 9 million outgoing consumer healthcare statement envelopes with a hot pink awareness message that read, “Are you Inspired to Save a Life? Find out how at”

Emdeon is committed to making healthcare efficient and will continue to layer innovative solutions like these into current practical products. For more information on this partnership, visit


Did you know...

Emdeon has the largest connectivity for healthcare
…that Emdeon has connections to more payers, providers and vendors than any other healthcare business in he marketplace?

Emdeon’s network encompasses:
• 340,000 providers
• 1,200 government and commercial payers
• 5,000 hospitals
• 81,000 dentists
• 55,000 pharmacies
• 600 vendor partners

Emdeon understands how to deliver solutions that best impact the flow of information for all parties to increase efficiency and maximize profitability. By connecting information intelligently and making key administrative processes easier, Emdeon simplifies the business of healthcare for everyone.