New website streamlines healthcare administrative processes

The Mass Collaborative, an organization of more than 35 health plans, healthcare providers and trade associations, has developed a new website to standardize and simplify healthcare administration processes and costs.

The group hopes the resources will help increase efficiency and promote industry standardization, according to an announcement about the website's launch.

"Although just 10 percent of every healthcare premium dollar goes towards administrative spending, there is more progress to be made," said Deborah Devaux, senior vice president of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts.

Indeed, recent research indicates that hospital administration costs in the United States run about $667 per person each year, whether or not a patient is hospitalized--for about $215 billion in total. Researchers blame the high costs on the fact that hospitals have to negotiate multiple contracts with insurers and organizations also have several layers of management.

"Simplifying healthcare administration reduces cost, improves the patient and provider experience and enables all healthcare stakeholders to focus more on quality and effectiveness," Denny Brennan, executive director of the Massachusetts Health Data Consortium, said in the statement.

The website features standardized industry forms and strategies to address insurance eligibility verification and claim appeals. Its goal is to take the cost and complexity out of the system and improve the overall end-to-end experience for healthcare providers, payers and patients in the state, according to Lynn Nicholas, president and CEO of the Massachusetts Hospital Association.

"As both state and federal reform move our healthcare system forward, this sort of administrative simplification is plain common sense," she said.

The initiative also attempts to address concerns that impact the entire industry and not just a particular segment, said Lora Pellegrini, president and CEO of the Massachusetts Association of Health Plans. "Reducing unnecessary administrative costs is an important step toward improving the efficiency and quality of the healthcare system," she said.

To learn more:
- read the announcement