UnitedHealthcare expands mHealth app with payment, Fitbit functionality

UnitedHealthcare plan members can now pay medical bills through the provider's mobile app, Health4Me; the payer's mHealth software is the first to have an electronic bill-payment service, according to an announcement.

The app also boasts new features including Fitbit device connectivity, for tracking physical activity, and live streaming of UnitedHealthcare's TV programming, UHC.TV, for the 13 million UnitedHealthcare participants nationwide.

The payment feature, which was built in collaboration with healthcare payments network vendor InstaMed, had been previously been available online via UnitedHealthcare's plan participant portal.

"Health4Me is a valuable resource that helps me better understand my health benefits and improve my overall well-being," says Kristina Barbuto, a Health4Me user in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, in the announcement. "The navigation is easy and streamlined, making it simple for me to learn more about my treatment options and costs."

Health4Me lets users pay bills using bank account data, credit card, debit card or a health savings account. Users can also manage medical claims and monitor medical expenses for tax reporting needs, the announcement says.

Payers and providers are increasing tapping apps to drive better care, save money and meet consumer needs to handle healthcare tasks anywhere and everywhere.

A New Jersey medical center recently developed its own mHealth app bar, a la Apple's retail store, to provide patients, staff and visitors tech support and training on mobile software and devices. And a Florida healthcare provider is tapping a mobile app and tablets to foster better communication among caregivers and enhance its patients' hospital experiences.

For more information:
- read the announcement

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