To pay for a single health care visit, consumers may experience multiple, disconnected interactions with providers and payers. For example, consumers looking to pay the bill, check their deductible progress or verify health benefit account balance might require several phone calls and use apps or web portals to complete their tasks.
This lack of alignment often leaves consumers frustrated and confused. The result is missed payments, overspending, administrative waste and money left on the table for consumers, who may be unaware of available spending account funds. U.S. consumers spend 12 million hours a week on the phone with health insurers. Further, billing issues between providers and insurers have sent more than one-third of consumers to debt collections.
To address these challenges, Cedar, an enterprise health care engagement platform and a Hospital Association of Southern California Endorsed Business Partner, has developed the Payer Intelligence Layer. With this feature, Cedar can integrate data from insurers and providers to create a single information source for consumers. Pittsburgh-based Highmark Inc. and Allegheny Health Network (AHN) will be the first clients to launch the tool for services provided to Highmark Inc. members at AHN wholly owned providers and facilities.
“For too long, payer and provider misalignment has led to a poor experience and lack of clarity for consumers managing health care bills,” said Seth Cohen, president of Cedar. “This is a system problem, requiring a system solution. When each party plays a separate role, neither can fix the experience alone. But by bringing both sides together, we can create the best possible experience, reducing billing friction for consumers while delivering more efficient operations for payers and providers.”
The Payer Intelligence Layer
The Payer Intelligence Layer is initially available with Cedar Pay, the company’s billing and payment solution. This feature enables consumers to view insurance explanation of benefits, real-time deductible status and health benefit accounts along with their medical bills—using a single, intuitive interface. Unlike other patient billing solutions, Cedar ensures consumers have the most up-to-date benefits information at their fingertips. The platform directly integrates with health insurers and banks, which administer health savings, flexible spending and reimbursement accounts.
“The financial experience in health care is a real pain point for most consumers, and for most care providers,” said James Rohrbaugh, chief financial officer and treasurer at Allegheny Health Network. “Our work with Cedar will be important in driving real progress in this area, helping our patients and members with an intuitive experience that fosters a sense of control and understanding about their financial responsibility.”
Added Cohen, Cedar’s president, “We’re excited to be launching with industry leaders Highmark Health and Allegheny Health Network to solve this persistent problem. But this is only the beginning. Cedar is continuing to explore more ways of leveraging payer data and integrations to enrich the end-to-end health care experience for consumers.”
Cedar is committed to improving the health care financial experience for all. With an innovative platform that connects providers and payers, Cedar empowers consumers with an optimized journey powered by data science and interactive design. Clients experience increased payments, more efficient operations and greater consumer loyalty. To learn more, visit www.cedar.com and join the company on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.
About Highmark Health
Highmark Health, a Pittsburgh-based enterprise employing more than 37,000 people, is the parent company of Highmark Inc., Allegheny Health Network, enGen, Helion and Lumevity. Highmark Inc. and its subsidiaries and affiliates provide health insurance to more than six million members, as well as dental insurance and related health products. To learn more, visit www.highmarkhealth.org.
About Allegheny Health Network
Allegheny Health Network, a Highmark Health company, is an integrated health care delivery system serving the Western Pennsylvania region. The network is composed of 14 hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, Health + Wellness Pavilions, an employed physician organization, home- and community-based health services, a research institute and a group purchasing organization. To learn more, visit www.ahn.org.
Jenny Fiegoli, Cedar
Rachel Borowski, Highmark Health
Bill Toland, Allegheny Health Network