HEALTH INSURERS COMMIT TO ATM-LIKE INFRASTRUCTUREHealthTransaction Network Corp., Buffalo, N.Y., has received letters of intent from several health insurance and health care providers to develop a new nationwide health care transaction network, which is designed to make the process of receiving health care services easier, faster and more cost effective. HealthNow/BlueCross BlueShield of Western N.Y., Independent Health, Kaleida Health Systems, Catholic Health System, University Orthopedic Services, and Buffalo Medical Group have all committed to pursuing the creation of this industry network.

HealthTransaction Network plans to create the nationwide, neutral infrastructure that connects health care payers, providers and patients to facilitate and process transactions associated with the delivery of health care services. The shared network will closely resemble the electronic banking/ATM networks that revolutionized the financial services industry 30 years ago, according to the company. A new high-tech plastic card will be issued by health insurers to their members and used to initiate transactions at health care provider locations nationwide. The cards will incorporate biometrics for patient identification (fingerprint and signature recognition), debit card functionality for consumer co-pays and other out-of-pocket expenses, and state-of-the-art data storage capabilities.

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