William Davis, Chairman and CEOWhen discussing modern American industry, the Healthcare sector stands alone. Not just because of the incredibly large amount of money spent on healthcare each year, over $1.5 trillion, but also because of its notoriously confusing and inefficient payment processes. The Commercial Insurance payment process is the only modern industry that requires two separate payments from two different sources for a single service. Although this particular inefficiency has been of minor concern in the past, with the continued growth of high deductible plans this has changed drastically over the last decade. In an effort to protect bottom-lines and combat rising healthcare cost, commercial insurance coverage has been putting more and more of the financial responsibility on the shoulders of patients. This shift in cost-sharing has put tremendous pressure on the healthcare industry to streamline and improve the payment process in order to meet the requirements of the modern consumer. In an effort to overcome this rising complexity around insurance bill payments, ECHO Health devised a new platform, Simplicity Payment Alliance (SPA), simplifying the medical payment delivery system for providers, patients, and payers.
ECHO Health’s Simplicity platform is designed with the consumer in mind to directly address the complexities of the healthcare payment process and deliver a consolidated, understandable and streamlined solution. The key to Simplicity’s success is its proprietary technology, developed using over 20 years of experience in processing insurance payments, which can achieve the significant goal of completely reinventing the healthcare payment process while both delivering benefits to every stakeholder involved and working within the same structures that are ubiquitous throughout the industry.
From the consumer’s perspective, Simplicity is a financial benefit provided to members through their benefit plan for in-network services. This benefit functions like a credit card for members and in-network providers; It collects a member’s benefit payment from the payer, funds the member’s remaining obligations and combines them into one complete payment sent to the provider at the time of adjudication. Simplicity then sends members a monthly statement of their financial obligations with one total amount due, provides SimpleRewards (a “points-to-dollars” rewards program) for timely payments and gives access to interest-free minimum monthly payments when their current obligations are greater than their budget can support.
Simplicity has found a way to completely reinvent healthcare payments—and it’s catching on
“If patients can’t afford the obligation they have the flexibility to adjust to their budgets while also earning rewards for making a timely payment,” explains the CEO. Through effective patient communication and flexible payment options, ECHO Health ensures a higher collection rate and greater clarity for the consumer.
Providers love Simplicity because they are also feeling the pressure that comes from a larger portion of their bills being the responsibility of their patients. Patient billing is incredibly expensive for providers and often end up being uncollectible – with about 30-50 percent being written off as bad debt. Simplicity eliminates both of these concerns for providers by removing the Provider from the billing process altogether and ensuring that they receive a complete payment up front.
Another key to Simplicity’s success is the ability for all involved stakeholders to implement the process with little or no resource investment for integration. The platform was developed in to work within the traditional payment structures and is seamlessly interoperable with existing technology – benefiting both the provider and payers alike. “Simplicity has found a way to completely reinvent healthcare payments—and it’s catching on.”
ECHO Health’s vast experience in healthcare payments, unique technology and key industry partnerships has positioned Simplicity as an entirely scalable robust system that can support billions of dollars of payments and is increasingly piquing the interest of payers, providers and patients alike. Forging ahead, ECHO Health has begun integrating the Simplicity solution with some of the leading employee benefits brokers in the US and has plans to leverage it as an offering within large employer benefit plans. Look for a lot more to come from Simplicity in the coming years.