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Preferred Health Technology and Visa Inc. Team Up on Comprehensive Point-of-Service Medical Payments Solution
Date:3/5/2009

CARROLLTON, Texas and SAN FRANCISCO, March 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Preferred Health Technology Inc. (PHT), a provider of electronic payment and transaction-processing services for the health care industry, and Visa Inc. (NYSE: V), the world's largest retail payments network, today announced an alliance making Visa the preferred payment brand for PHT's A-Claim(TM) medical payment solution for physicians, hospitals and other health care providers.

PHT's proprietary and innovative A-Claim technology system (www.A-Claim.com) enables health care providers to simply and securely verify insurance eligibility, adjudicate claims, and accept credit, debit or prepaid cards for payment at the time of service, or at a later date once the amount of the patient's responsibility has been determined by his insurer.

By making a payment arrangement before the patient leaves the hospital or doctor's office, providers can increase the efficiency of their billing process and improve overall collections and cash flow. The system offers patients additional payment choices and allows them to authorize future payment of outstanding bills, reducing the need to write and mail checks, and helping them better manage medical expenses.

A key component of A-Claim's system is Visa's AuthorizeFirst payment process, which allows patients and providers to agree to pre-authorize a payment with a Visa card at the time of service, based on an estimated amount of the patient's responsibility. Once the claim has been processed and final patient responsibility determined, the patient's payment card is billed automatically through A-Claim for the amount the patient owes.

A-Claim also allows the provider and patient to set up a payment plan at the time of service, establishing an automated collection of patient responsibility on a pre-agreed payment schedule.

"The business of health care is becoming increasingly complex. Today, providers need solutions to speed their accounts receivable collection, reduce administrative costs, and improve their cash flow management," said Mary Dees Griffith, president and COO of PHT.

"We believe the functionality of A-Claim and PHT's alliance with Visa will create greater efficiencies and cost savings for many providers, and increased convenience for their patients. The reach, reliability, security and flexibility of Visa's transaction-processing platform, coupled with the breadth and popularity of Visa's payment products, were key factors in our decision to choose Visa as the preferred payment brand for A-Claim."

With the shift from managed care programs to consumer-directed health care and high-deductible health plans, more patients are becoming responsible for paying a larger portion of their overall health care costs. With rising co-payment and deductible amounts, health care providers are faced with the challenge of collecting all -- or a higher percentage of -- patients' receivables after the patient has left the provider's office.

"With health care providers collecting only an estimated 50 percent of patient receivables each year, incorporating a system like A-Claim, along with a pre-authorized payment process, can make a significant impact on their business and improve their bottom line," said Stacy Pourfallah, senior business leader, health care products, Visa Inc.

"In turn, patients enjoy the confidence that only the actual amount owed will be processed to their Visa payment card once the claim is finalized. This approach also helps consumers better manage their health care spending by using the payment method of their choice."

About PHT

Preferred Health Technology Inc., headquartered in Carrollton, Texas, is a full-service payment-processing provider to the health care industry. Its parent company operates one of the largest health care insurance data center sites in the world in support of Medicare, Medicaid, TRICARE, the Federal Employee Program and Medicare Advantage health plans, as well as other private health plans.

About Visa Inc.

Visa Inc. operates the world's largest retail electronic payments network providing processing services and payment product platforms. This includes consumer credit, debit, prepaid and commercial payments, which are offered under the Visa, Visa Electron, Interlink and PLUS brands. Visa enjoys unsurpassed acceptance around the world, and Visa/PLUS is one of the world's largest global ATM networks, offering cash access in local currency in more than 170 countries. For more information, visit www.corporate.visa.com.


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SOURCE Preferred Health Technology Inc.
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