OODA launches new real-time billing product for payers

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San Francisco-based OODA Health has announced the launch of a new product that it contends will take the pain out of medical billing for payers, providers and patients.

The product was piloted earlier this year at CommonSpirit Health hospitals (formerly Dignity Health) in Arizona with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona (BCBSA), achieving a 96 percent member satisfaction rate.

The launch follows the release of a recent survey conducted by OODA Health and the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, which found that 72 percent of patients are confused by their explanation of benefits, and 70 percent are confused by their medical bills.

OODA’s cloud-based platform, OODAPay, strives to make medical billing more “retail-like” and enables real-time payments between payers, providers and patients, which the healthcare technology company says should help to eliminate the friction and delays in current payment processes that result in some $400 billion of waste each year.

Pam Kehaly, president and CEO of BCBSA, says the healthcare industry is rapidly changing, and BCBSA tries to stay abreast of new products that can improve the member experience. OODAPay enables BCBSA’s members to see all their healthcare services consolidated and clarified on a single bill, so they can spend less time navigating the billing system and more time getting healthier, she says.

OODA also piloted OODAPay at CommonSpirit Health hospitals in California this year with Blue Shield of California (BSC).

According to Jeff Semenchuck, BSC’s chief innovation officer and senior vice president, the health plan is continuously hearing from members that they are frustrated with surprise bills and confused by paperwork. In addition, BSC is aware that physicians are reaching peak burnout with growing administrative tasks. BSC’s pilot with OODAPay discovered that patients could enjoy a consistent payment experience for all their in-network claims while lifting the burden from payers and providers.

“We’re trying to get to a place where a patient can leave a doctor’s appointment or check out of a hospital with the clarity and transparency of checking out of a hotel or at a cash register at Target,” Semenchuck says.

Steve Scharmann, vice president of revenue cycle at Dignity Health says the health system tried, unsuccessfully, for over a decade to make healthcare bills a single bill and a one-stop shop. But mot until the partnership with OODA Health was Dignity Health able to do it. He likes that patients can make a single phone call to the OODA Health customer service reps who have insight from both the health plans and providers to help members understand their bills. According to Scharmann, the use of OODAPay has “drastically improved the patient experience" and has increased collaboration between the health system and payers.

OODA says it plans to launch with additional payers and providers nationwide over the next two years. OODA already partners with Anthem and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, in addition to BSC and BCBSA.

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