This week, Blue Shield of California and Google Cloud announced a partnership to introduce a new approach to paying providers that will process members’ claims in real-time. The firms said they would deploy automated processing, artificial intelligence, and machine learning technologies on a cloud platform to digitize healthcare claims and enhance the quality and timeliness of billing information. The health claims payment process can take days in its current form, leaving providers wondering when they’ll be reimbursed and members wondering how much their medical care will cost.
The partnership seeks to give real-time information on out-of-pocket charges and Blue Shield payments while reducing administrative costs. In addition, Blue Shield believes it would standardize its datasets and grow its continuing automated billing operations by combining Google Cloud technologies and those from the health insurance company’s other tech partners. plans to expand the project over time to include all providers, plan types, and claim categories, as well as health information exchanges.
For example, Health Care Service Corporation, a Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association licensee, stated in June 2020 that it is collaborating with Epic, an electronic health record vendor, to develop a bidirectional exchange platform to connect payers and providers. In addition, epic competitor Cerner teamed up with patient financial experience business Simplee the year before providing consumers with a more transparent and tailored healthcare billing process.