New Technology Streamlines Paper Claims for Quicker Processing and Payment
NEW YORK; July 14, 2004 – Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) and Accenture are testing digital pen technology designed to help healthcare professionals capture and send medical claim information digitally.
The digital pen solution, which is designed to complement physicians’ hand-written claims process, was recently introduced in a two-phase pilot with Anthem plans in Indiana and Kentucky. In the first phase, health care professionals are using the pen to file claims electronically in conjunction with a desktop computer. Claims are written on specially designed digital paper forms that enable electronic data capture. The data from these forms is then uploaded electronically via a desktop computer to Anthem, resulting in faster and streamlined claims processing. The second phase of the pilot program involves testing a wireless version of the system, which is designed to enable claim filing through a mobile phone instead of a desktop computer.
The use of digital pen technology can reduce payment time by more than 75 percent and allow healthcare professionals and their office staff to access claims electronically. The pens and the forms used are also fully “traceable,” which could help reduce insurance fraud. The digital pen technology has the potential to reduce the overall cost of filing each claim by 20-80 percent.
“Anthem consistently looks for ways to lower administrative costs within the entire health care system, at the same time improving our systems to make it easier to do business with us,” said Jane Niederberger, vice president and general manager of Anthem Midwest. “We are optimistic that this pen program may be another way to reduce time spent on paperwork, allowing for more time for patient care.”
The digital pen initiative for Anthem BCBS was conceived and developed at Accenture Technology Labs, the research and development arm of Accenture, and uses uniquely patterned paper and digital pen software developed by Standard Register as part of its ExpeData? digital pen and paper solution.
“Digital pen technology has the potential to dramatically improve the care delivery process without requiring physicians or insurers to fully revamp existing processes,” said Michael Palmer, a partner in Accenture’s Health & Life Sciences practice. “By enabling caregivers to quickly transfer checklists, vitals and prescriptions to electronic form and then allowing other caregivers to act on that information, our proprietary technology could streamline patient interaction significantly. This physician pilot is an opportunity to pioneer a new way of working, and we anticipate deploying this technology more broadly at some point in the near future.”
Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company. Committed to delivering innovation, Accenture collaborates with its clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. With deep industry and business process expertise, broad global resources and a proven track record, Accenture can mobilize the right people, skills, and technologies to help clients improve their performance. With approximately 95,000 people in 47 countries, the company generated net revenues of US$11.8 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2003. Its home page is www.accenture.com.
Anthem’s mission is to improve the health of the people it serves. Anthem, Inc. (NYSE: ATH) is an Indiana-domiciled publicly traded company that, through its subsidiary companies, provides health care benefits to more than 12.5 million people. Anthem is the fourth largest publicly traded health benefits company in the United States and an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Anthem is the Blue Cross and Blue Shield licensee for Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Colorado, Nevada, Maine and Virginia, excluding the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C. More information about Anthem is available at www.anthem.com.