America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association are collaborating on an effort to enable providers to access multiple insurers through a Web portal.

The goal is to give providers one-stop shopping in regions or states across the nation when conducting transactions with insurers, such as claims submission, claims status, eligibility and referrals. Eight health insurers serving the Ohio market launched the initiative on Oct. 5.

“This landmark initiative in Ohio demonstrates the commitment of health plans to simplify health care and the potential that exists to achieve savings through efficiencies in what we used to call “paperwork,” AHIP President and CEO Karen Ignagni said in a satement. “We are committed to addressing the needs of practicing physicians for administrative simplicity, and in that way contributing to improvements in patients’ experience. These are goals that should be hallmarks for a reformed health care system.”

The participants, covering 91% of Ohio residents with private insurance, are Aetna, Anthem, CIGNA, Humana, Kaiser Permanente, Medical Mutual of Ohio, UnitedHealthcare and WellCare Health Plans.

In addition to benefitting insurers, the initiative, AHIP says, makes delivering and getting health care easier for patients and their physicians by reducing the time, effort, and expense for the “paperwork” required for each patient office visit. The initiative, which will simplify information flow between health plans and doctors’ offices, and later between health plans and hospitals, is comparable to what ATMs did for banks and consumers.

Five medical associations in the state endorse the initiative and encourage their members to participate. More information on the Ohio project is available at www.americanhealthsolution.org/assets/Uploads/Blog/Backgrounder-Ohio.pdf.

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