Empire HealthChoice ‘Spends Big’ on Web Claims-Management Technology
New York City-based Empire HealthChoice Inc. recently spent $60 million developing a Web site designed to reduce paperwork and provide doctors and patients with "real-time" determination of health claims, the Albany Times Union reports. While health care costs in the United States total $1.2 trillion annually, an "astonishing" 25% of that sum results from administrative costs, according to Deborah Loeb Bohren, vice president of public affairs for Empire. Empire's Web site can notify doctors and patients -- while they are both in the office -- if a certain procedure will be covered by the HMO. If a claim is rejected, the doctor's office can log on to the site, click on the telephone icon and an Empire representative will call within 15 seconds, Bohren said. Nearly 85% of claims can be processed automatically, freeing staff members to make the "rapid-response phone calls." The Times Union reports that Empire has "spent big" to develop its proprietary technology. Bohren said, "Reducing the hassle factor is a big return on the investment" (Waggoner, Albany Times Union, 3/11).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.