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U.S. Healthcare Efficiency Index(TM) Expands Advisory Council; Calls on Policymakers to Act on Billions in Administrative Waste
Date:2/18/2009

NASHVILLE, Tenn., Feb. 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Advisory Council for the U.S. Healthcare Efficiency Index(TM) (Index) announced today the addition of new members and urged Congress and state governments to act on billions of dollars in healthcare administrative waste.

The Index was launched by Emdeon in December to serve as a national reference for tracking and measuring the transition from a paper-based and phone-based healthcare system to an electronic one. Phase 1 of the Index estimates the savings potential to be nearly $30 billion per year for five specific medical billing and payment transactions.

"The government is by far the largest payer for healthcare services," said George Lazenby, Chief Executive Officer of Emdeon. "Programs like Medicare, Medicaid, Tri-Care (for active and retired military personnel and families) and the Federal Employee Health Benefit Program continue to conduct much of their business on paper or by phone. Eliminating paper checks and automating things like insurance eligibility verifications could save taxpayers billions of dollars every year."

A primary goal of the Index is to raise awareness of potential savings on the business side of healthcare. The national dialogue on health information technology, as a component of healthcare reform, remains dominated by electronic medical records (EMRs). EMRs can bring improvements in clinical quality and efficiency over the long term, but they take time and money to implement.

"The business savings identified by the Index can be realized today," said Lazenby. "This is 'found money' that can be used to pay for covering more uninsured families or providing more preventive care. We want to make sure this part of the equation does not get lost in the national debate," he explained

Getting the word out on potential savings is one of many roles for the Index Advisory Council, which held its inaugural meeting last month in Washington, DC. The Council is responsible for overseeing the effort and developing the methodology for data gathering and reporting on progress across the entire healthcare industry.

Since the Index was launched in December, the following new members have joined the Advisory Council:

  • Erik Swanson, Vice President, Corporate Strategy & Development, WellPoint
  • Dave Garets, President and Chief Executive Officer, HIMSS Analytics
  • Stanley Nachimson, Principal, Former CMS leader and Founder of Nachimson Advisors, LLC

"We are delighted to have these talented leaders join the Index Advisory Council," said Miriam Paramore, Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategy for Emdeon. "Each brings unique skills and perspectives that will further ensure a 360-degree view of the industry." For more information on the Advisory Council, visit http://www.ushealthcareindex.com/advisorycouncil.php.

As Congress and the nation work to stimulate the economy, the Council has a specific message for policy makers and taxpayers alike. "We just can't afford to throw away billions of taxpayer dollars every year printing and mailing paper checks. The healthcare industry can capture the savings associated with direct deposit very quickly," said Paramore.

About Emdeon

Emdeon is a leading provider of revenue and payment cycle solutions that connect payers, providers and patients to integrate and automate key business and administrative functions throughout the patient encounter. Through the use of Emdeon's comprehensive suite of products and services, its customers are able to improve efficiency, reduce costs, increase cash flow and more efficiently manage the complex revenue and payment cycle process. Emdeon is owned by General Atlantic LLC and Hellman & Friedman LLC. For more information, visit www.emdeon.com.


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