ATLANTA, Jan. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Hospitals and health systems will soon be able to provide patients with more accurate cost estimates for healthcare services with a newly-enhanced solution by Craneware, Inc. (AIM: CRW.L), a leader in financial performance improvement solutions for U.S. healthcare providers, and RelayHealth, a division of McKesson and leading provider of healthcare revenue cycle solutions.
Craneware's Patient Charge Estimator™ aligns with principles from the Healthcare Financial Management Association's (HFMA) Patient Friendly Billing project in supporting a healthcare financial communications process that is clear, concise, accurate and patient friendly. By adding RelayHealth's eligibility verification functionality, Craneware's Patient Charge Estimator™ will help patients more accurately plan for payment and, at the same time, help hospitals maintain compliance, reduce bad debt, and have better visibility into cash flow. The software provides instant, accurate estimates based on pricing from the hospital's historical claims data, chargemaster files, managed care contracts and patient insurance information. Eligibility verification will provide patients with an accurate view of their out-of-pocket costs including deductibles, co-payments and covered services.
"U.S. healthcare organizations are under exacting fiscal and legislative pressures," said Craneware CEO Keith Neilson. "Craneware is focused on helping hospitals manage these pressures successfully. Working with RelayHealth, Craneware can provide clients with critical information to ensure service payment sources are properly identified in advance. This, in turn, enables hospitals to set their patients' financial expectations and increase the likelihood of upfront payment."
Historically, hospitals have had difficulty handling patient requests for price quotes because key information was inaccessible. However, market competition, the increasing number of either uninsured or underinsured Americans, and the move to consumer-directed plans with higher deductibles and co-pays have shifted more costs to patients. This trend is driving hospitals to collect payment directly from consumers when or before they arrive for treatment. By setting payment expectations in advance, both patient satisfaction and the likelihood of hospitals receiving payment at the time of service increases.
The Health Care Transparency Promotion Act of 2009, a bipartisan bill, addresses American's need for price estimates. The legislation directs states to establish laws requiring hospitals to make charge information available to the public and provide consumers with information about estimated out-of-pocket costs for healthcare services. To date, most state legislatures also have passed some form of pricing transparency legislation.
Craneware's Patient Charge Estimator provides healthcare organizations with information to educate patients on the high, median and low cost of procedures based on the level of services required. This transparency helps potential patients understand and accurately compare the cost of core services with more expanded procedure options and associated costs.
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RelayHealth, McKesson's connectivity business, operates as a neutral partner in an open network environment, offering connectivity services and integration among all organizations, systems, and solutions. Its intelligent network is designed to streamline clinical, financial and administrative communication between patients, providers, payors, pharmacies, pharmaceutical manufacturers, and financial institutions. RelayHealth works to accelerate the delivery of high-quality care and improve financial performance through solutions such as online consultation of physicians by patients, electronic prescribing, point-of-service pharmacy claims resolution by payors, pre-visit patient financial clearance by providers, and post-visit provider bill settlement by payors and patients. RelayHealth securely processes more than 12.8 billion financial and clinical transactions annually across its diverse connectivity businesses. RelayHealth's connectivity services interoperate with more than 20 different ambulatory EHRs and practice management systems. For more information, call (800) 778-6711, or visit our Web site at www.RelayHealth.com.
Craneware partners with healthcare organizations to improve returns, increase productivity and manage risk, driving better financial and operational performance using market-driven revenue management solutions. By enhancing revenue capture processes, Craneware solutions enable healthcare organizations to optimize reimbursement, improve operational efficiency, and support compliance. Visit craneware.com.