MaryBeth Matzek: Milwaukee’s HPS aims to simplify health billing process

This is an excerpt from a column posted at BizOpinion.

Ask anyone who’s been through a health crisis and they’ll tell you: figuring out the bills – from both the health providers and then the insurance company – are enough to make you ill. They’re confusing and complicated, leaving consumers unsure of how much they owe and where to send that money. A Milwaukee company – Health Payment Systems Inc. — is seeking to change that by bringing together healthcare providers and insurance companies to produce one monthly statement with all the information they need to know.

After dealing with piles of his own Estimate of Benefits (EOBs) and bills, HPS founder Jim Brindley figured there had to be a better way and created a system that produces something similar to a monthly credit card statement.

“It has everything on one bill – what the service was, how much insurance is covering and what you owe,” says Jay Fulkerson, HPS’ president and chief executive officer, who worked Brindley on founding the company. “There’s even a payment coupon that you can tear off and send in with your payment. It makes it much simpler for the consumer.”

In addition, an entire family’s medical bills for the previous billing cycle are on one statement.

“It’s all right there and if the patients need to work out a payment system, they can do it right through us instead of going out and contacting the separate doctors,” Fulkerson says.

For healthcare providers, working with HPS leads to faster payments, with the company paying the insurance provider and patient portion of the bill within a month, Fulkerson says. Health systems also no longer have to worry about tracking down patients to get them to pay their portions since HPS handles the collection process.

Read the full column