First Data Corp. has announced the introduction of its Multipurpose Healthcare Card offering, designed to support flexible spending account (FSA) and health reimbursement account (HRA) recordkeeping and claims administration. The program provides an automated process for third-party administrators (TPAs), employers and payers while assisting employees in managing multiple healthcare funds and expenses. First Data's program is a comprehensive suite of services including card personalization and fulfillment, transaction management services and customer service.

"We're excited to draw on First Data's decades of experience in processing billions of transactions and moving trillions of dollars worldwide to bring the Multipurpose Healthcare Card to market," said Beverly Kennedy, senior vice president, First Data. "Today's FSA and HRA programs have been hampered by a paper intensive, manual process that discouraged participation and added costs and inefficiencies. We see this as an opportunity to convert these programs to a more automated electronic process that will remove costs, improve efficiencies and allow employers and payers to provide better service to employee members."

When employees select an FSA or HRA option, a card is issued and made available for the payment of healthcare expenses. The card, which carries a magnetic stripe, is swiped through the healthcare provider's point-of-care (POC) device eliminating the need for employees to submit receipts and claims forms and then wait for reimbursement.

First Data's program differs from others because it offers:

  • the ability to combine a line of credit along with other healthcare debit/stored value balances;
  • a pharmacy authorization process that gives payers the ability to limit use of the card at drug stores and pharmacies for allowable prescription drug purchases;
  • a process that identifies transactions that meet IRS rules for automatic substantiation which greatly reduces the number of claims that must be manually reviewed;
  • a complete end-to-end solution beginning with card personalization and fulfillment, through settlement and statements, all through one company;
  • full eligibility at a POC terminal with a single swipe of the card.

In addition to serving as an identification card, financial and healthcare transactions can be applied to First Data's multipurpose healthcare card. Specifically:

  • Financial  transactions: FSA; HRA: Medical Savings Account (MSA); healthcare line of credit;
  • Healthcare transactions: real-time eligibility, authorization and referral transactions.

First Data's Multipurpose Healthcare Card program is available today. The company began processing transactions on January 1, 2004 for a major healthcare benefits administration company.

Source: First Data Corp.

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