CINICO introduces instant patient payment

| 09/05/2012

391857-54118-58.jpg(CNS): A new health payment system was launched at George Town hospital Wednesday which officials described as a “tremendous leap forward for the local healthcare system.” Cayman Islands National Insurance Company (CINICO) and the Health Services Authority have partnered to create a system that will allow payment of claims for clinical work at the point of care for CINICO members.  Real Time Adjudication (RTA) uses the CarePay system that was rolled out to all CINICO members at the end of last year. Members only have to produce a CarePay card when they visit the doctor or dentist which will provide all the information needed regarding eligibility and payment when it is swiped.

CarePay is one of the first steps taken by the health ministry to improve the insurance system for patients and providers by simplifying the billing and payment for CINICO clients.  Every CINICO member now has a swipe card that is used to process their insurance claims. For the system to work the card must be presented along with a valid method of ID when a patient registers for an appointment at any HSA facility.

Mark Scotland, Ministerof Health, said he was pleased by the implementation of the system. “Although we have started within the Health Services Authority and CINICO, the ultimate goal is to include all commercial health insurance companies, thereby reducing their administrative overheads, improving coordination of benefits between insurance companies and greatly increasing patient and physician billing convenience, while modernizing the entire system for all residents of the Cayman Islands to benefit from,” he said.

When fully implemented, Scotland said, the system will be one of only three systems of its kind in the Western Hemisphere, establishing the Cayman Islands as a role model leader in healthcare.

Canover Watson, Chairman of the HSA Board described it as a revolutionary step for the HAS.
“Approximately 25 per cent of the overhead costs in healthcare are associated with the inefficiencies of the billing system,’ he explained. “On average, it takes over 60 days for the HSA to receive payment for services they render, making cash flow a major challenge to manage. 

“In addition, physicians and patients are frequently confused and burdened by the process. The CarePay system will now stream line the process for CINICO and the HSA resulting in significant cost savings,” Watson added.

It is anticipated that the new system will create more efficiencies because it will take the guess work out of whether a patient is eligible for treatment and it will also immediately settle the issue of how much of the cost of the treatment provided will be covered by the insurance company.

Scott Cummings, CINICO Board Chairman said patients would be able to understand and pay their healthcare bill at the time of care, just as with any normal billing process. “Patients' bills will be settled at the time of their care, not days or weeks afterwards.  They will leave the hospital or clinic with their billing process completed which is clearly an added benefit for our members as well,” he said.

Once fully installed, it is hoped this system will reduce the HSA’s and CINICO’s overhead costs considerably, allowing these entities to channel funds saved directly into better patient care. 

 

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