Drchrono adds insurance eligibility checks, payment functionality

Mobile electronic health record developer drchrono is trying to connect the front- and back-office ends of the physician practice, the company recently announced. It just added new functionality to allow physicians to both check patients' insurance eligibility and accept patient payments on the spot, Chief Operating Officer Daniel Kivatinos told FierceMobileHealthcare.

Physicians and their staff can use the new insurance function on their iPads and iPhones, checking for real-time eligibility information, including allowed procedures, benefit limits and other key information, Kivatinos said.

The function pulls information from the top 20 health insurers, including the state Medicare and Medicaid carriers, according to drchrono CEO Michael Nusimow in an interview TechCrunch.

This is the first-ever real-time eligibility checker available for the iPad, according to TechCrunch. Other software has allowed for eligibility checks, of course, and some have even been mobile-enabled, but "it hasn't been done before on the iPad," author Sarah Perez wrote.

On the payment side, Kivatinos said drchrono has linked up with Square, a free credit-card reader technology, also for iPhones and iPads. Physicians insert the Square reader--which can be obtained online or at various electronics stores--and simply swipe the patient's credit card for co-pays or other payments on the spot, he explained.  

The idea came from a drchrono user, Kivatinos said, who was employing the Square technology on a limited basis, but found it improved his workflow significantly.

The on-the-spot insurance eligibility and payment options also has been helpful for physicians who operate more mobile practices, treating multiple patients at multiple hospitals or clinics, he added.

To learn more:
- read the drchrono announcement
- check out TechCrunch's coverage