Optum subsidiary Optum360 and U.S. Bank are partnering on innovation geared toward enhancing providers' ability to optimize the revenue cycle.
The two companies are partnering on an expanded suite of capabilities to help hospitals and providers better manage their revenue cycle, combining Optum's focus on healthcare technology and US Bank's financial expertise. Said Samuel Robb, U.S. Bank senior vice president and head of receivables in the Global Treasury Management Group.
The technology suite called Healthcare Receivables Manager is slated to launch later in the summer. Rob said. It solves a need for providers and hospitals to better manage their paper and electronic receivables, primarily claim payments from insurers.
It also supports patient payment receipts and goes beyond the traditional lockbox image to EDI conversion. It provides complete denial management workflow functions and assists providers in identifying root causes and accelerating revenue recoupment.
"The focus is on leveraging the strength of the bank with technology to significantly improve revenue cycle management for hospitals and other healthcare providers," U.S. Bank said.
Robb also hinted at more partnerships to come, saying this is the tip of the iceberg of their relationship with Optum, and they are looking for ways to innovate around healthcare.
"There's a tremendous amount of opportunity in healthcare and that is one of the reasons we went with Optum,"Robb said. "They are so focused on the technology side of healthcare and we can bring a lot of innovative capabilities to our clients."
Other areas of opportunity with Optum or other companies under evaluation include patient financing, full revenue cycle outsourcing, and robotics and AI to increase automation in the revenue cycle. U.S. Bank said it is definitely looking to innovate in ways that will mean eradicating the paper and automate some tasks such as estimates and financing using Optum's expertise on the payment side of the revenue cycle and their client relationships.
"We spend a great deal of time with our clients helping them identify where their challenges are," Robb said. "We want to understand what the pain point is before try and solve it. Optum brings a tremendous amount of information and innovation on the technology side so we could look at things like how do we better automate the claims payment process and the financial information transfer. How can we capitalize on innovation in the payment processing space. There's a tremendous amount of focus on faster payment and real time payment."
This has certainly been a year that has seen a lot of disruption in the healthcare space. One of the most notable cases is the announcement of the Amazon, JP Morgan and Berkshire Hathaway healthcare venture - another collaboration between innovative and financial expertise - which just announced new CEO Atul Gawande after much speculation about who would lead the potentially revolutionary company.
The industry is also increasingly seeing a criss cross of retail, healthcare, payers and even pharma. CVS Health is attempting a merger with big five payer Aetna. Walmart is spending millions to remodel 500 stores across two dozen states to include updated pharmacy areas equipped with private consultation rooms. Earlier this year the retail giant reportedly was in preliminary talks for a proposed mega-merger with Humana.
Finally, the nonprofit joint generic drug company called Project Rx, a joint venture driven by Ascension, Intermountain Healthcare, SSM Health, and Trinity Health, in consultation with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, was a major curve ball for big pharma. So far at least one survey reported high support for the venture, with the high cost of drugs having been a major sticking point and hot button topics for several years now.