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Web initiative aims to decrease time, expense of office visit paperwork

Article

A new Web initiative to be launched in Ohio by several health plans is designed to benefit patients and practices by reducing the time, effort, and expense associated with the paperwork required for office visits.

A new Web initiative to be launched in Ohio by several health plans is designed to benefit patients and practices by reducing the time, effort, and expense associated with the paperwork required for office visits.

In November, America’s Health Insurance Plans and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association will sponsor regional and statewide efforts to assess how best to offer physicians access to multiple insurers through a single Web portal.

The portal will enable office staff to quickly determine key eligibility and benefit information and will provide physicians access to current, accurate information on the status of claims submitted by their offices for payment by insurers. The system also will allow for real-time referrals, timely pre-authorization of services, and online submission of health care claims.

The organizations estimate savings in the hundreds of billions of dollars as efficiencies are realized through automation and consistent business practices. The ultimate goal, according to the groups, is to develop regional services that span the entire country.

“Hopefully, this will give physicians more time to spend caring for patients by reducing administrative paperwork,” says Mark Jarvis, senior director of practice economics, Ohio State Medical Association.

The effort has the support of the Ohio Academy of Family Physicians and the Ohio Medical Group Management Association, among other organizations. With participation from Aetna, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, CIGNA, Humana, Kaiser Permanente, Medical Mutual of Ohio, UnitedHealthcare, and WellCare Health Plans, the initiative will apply to more than 91 percent of Ohio residents who have private health insurance.

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Jennifer N. Lee, MD, FAAFP
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© National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
© National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
© National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
© National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
© National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health