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Plans launch pilot initiative in New Jersey to reduce paperwork

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The pilot initiative is designed to make delivering and getting health care easier for patients and their physicians by reducing the time, effort, and expense for the paperwork required for each office visit.

After launching an aggregate Web portal in Ohio in November (see previous coverage), health industry leaders have launched a similar initiative in New Jersey. The pilots are designed to make delivering and getting healthcare easier for patients and their physicians by reducing the time, effort, and expense for the paperwork required for each patient office visit.

America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Assn. (BCBSA) are sponsoring regional and statewide initiatives to offer physicians access to multiple insurers through a single Web portal in a given region of the country for the purpose of conducting key office tasks and transactions. Savings are estimated in the hundreds of billions of dollars, according to the group.

The New Jersey program is being led by local health plans representing more than 95% of state residents with private health insurance and major statewide physician organizations. Aetna, AmeriHealth New Jersey, CIGNA, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey and UnitedHealthcare plans are participating. A number of physician organizations, are also collaborating on the project.

The initiative offers opportunities to simplify the work associated with patient visits and achieve savings, including providing physicians and hospitals with information in “real-time” that allows office staff to determine eligibility and benefit information, gives physicians access to current claims information, tests real-time referrals and provides for the online submission of healthcare claims.

While the first year will incorporate the feedback and adjustments, the ultimate goal is to develop regional services that span the country. Plans pay a fee to participate in the all-payer portal, but providers access the functions free of charge.

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