Healthcare Payments — A Payment Processor’s Perspective

An Interview with Deborah Matthews Phillips, Director of Payments Strategies, Jack Henry & Associates, Inc.

To meet the healthcare payment needs of financial institutions, Jack Henry & Associates, Inc., a provider of processing solutions for community banks, is developing new products and services. In this interview, Deborah Matthews Phillips, director of payments strategies, shares more about what her organization is doing to prepare.

Healthcare reform legislation impacts all payments stakeholders, presenting opportunities and challenges for all market segments.

Deborah Matthews Phillips, director of payments strategies for Jack Henry & Associates, Inc., a payments processor that specializes in meeting the needs of community banks, discusses how her organization is supporting healthcare payments for its financial institution customers.

Throughout the course of her career, Deborah has contributed to advancing the ACH industry through a variety of industry initiatives, such as NACHA's Payments Conference Planning Committee, NACHA's Marketing Management Group, and by serving as Vice-Chair of the Payments Executives Forum's Marketing committee and participating on the American Payroll Association's ACH Advisory Committee.

Below, she addresses a few of the unique opportunities and challenges that healthcare payments bring to the industry:

A Payments Processor’s Perspective on Healthcare Payments

How are you preparing to support healthcare payments for your financial institution customers?

Jack Henry & Associates is working with strategic partners to bring an array of products and services to financial institutions with customers that serve the healthcare market.  These services will help healthcare providers achieve compliance with HIPPA and HITECH requirements and respond to identified pain points in processing payments. For example, the payment and related data do not always come from the same source or on the same time frames.

Providers need to somehow tie it all together to manage revenue and data, as well as update patient records. Managing exceptions and payment denials are also big tasks for healthcare providers.

Jack Henry & Associates, Inc. has been focusing on creating solutions to help solve these problems. We also provide complementary solutions for this vertical market, such as document archival services and specialized healthcare lending services.

Is this a significant issue to address or is it more process modification and improvement?

Yes, these offerings are highly differentiated to meet the unique requirements of the healthcare market.

What special considerations do you have to ensure you are able to provide payment-related information to all of your FIs?

Even with regulatory mandates to transform healthcare payments to electronic channels, much of the healthcare market is still heavily reliant on paper payments, especially for re-presentment. Matching the related payments data is a huge challenge. 

Even when payments processors can handle the EDI, there is still a need to match supporting documents, such as EOBs.  Healthcare providers are looking for solutions that help reduce manual back-end workflow and data entry.

There are opportunities for financial institutions to offer different service levels to healthcare providers depending on their needs — by knowing your customer and the specialized challenges facing healthcare providers, institutions can position themselves to use this expertise as a competitive differentiator.

It is important to remember that businesses, including healthcare organizations, want to focus on their areas of expertise — running their business and delivering quality services.  Doctors want to provide care, not turn into accounting experts.

They will rely on their financial institution partners as trusted advisors when the institution can provide services that help them navigate through the multiple mazes of compliance requirements and information and payment processing.

Will you be offering this information as a standard operation now for all of your FI clients? Or, will your clients need to opt-in to the service?

These products and services are available as additional, optional products.

What do you want your FI clients to know about how they will work with you on healthcare payments?

We offer a broad range of products and services designed for FIs and their healthcare customers. We have staff that understand the challenges and opportunities, and are monitoring the transformation in healthcare to anticipate the landscape and requirements in the future.

What do you think all third-parties need to know as they enter into the realm of healthcare payments?

It is essential to be well-versed and knowledgeable about a wide variety of issues – the specialized requirements of the healthcare market, the business model of healthcare organizations and the evolving compliance requirements associated with processing payments.

About Jack Henry & Associates, Inc.

Jack Henry & Associates, Inc. (NASDAQ: JKHY) was founded in 1976 as a provider of core information processing solutions for community banks. Today, the company’s extensive array of products and services are processing transactions, automating business processes, and managing mission-critical information for more than 11,200 financial institutions and corporate entities.