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Citi Research Highlights Financial Impact Of Consumer Directed Healthcare On Doctors And Hospitals

Citi® released a research-highlights white paper today summarizing a report prepared by Boundary Information Group examining the strategies, technologies and best practices providers are implementing in response to the rise of consumer directed and high deductible health plans. Accelerating regulatory and financial changes have increased the amounts consumers will pay out of pocket for healthcare and the change could leave providers unprepared and financially vulnerable as more complicated consumer debt collection shifts to them.

Through lengthy interviews with more than 50 prominent healthcare thought leaders, the full Boundary Information Group research report and Citi Research Highlights report published today conclude that consumer directed healthcare will radically affect healthcare providers in many ways they are not currently prepared to address. Available for download at www.citibank.com/icg/sa/cep/pressroom/, the Citi highlights report provides an overview of the forces behind current market changes; a top ten list of provider best practices and a look at innovative technologies designed to make understanding and paying medical bills easier for consumers – leading to more efficient payments for providers and an enhanced patient experience.

“We’re moving from an insurance reimbursement model to one where consumers will start making more of their healthcare choices based on cost,” said June Felix, Citi Enterprise Payments’ managing director, global healthcare. “To succeed, providers will need to provide the kind of price transparency, competitive differentiation and flexible payment models consumers have come to expect from their local retailer. This model will require technologies and staff skills not currently present in today’s doctors’ offices, hospitals and clinics.”

As the market shifts, healthcare experts expect an expanded role for financial services providers in the healthcare payments market. Citi recently launched a new digital patient payment solution – Money 2 SM for Health – with Aetna signed on as the charter healthcare benefits provider. This new payment platform will bring together a network of insurance carriers and healthcare providers, and will enable patients to go online or use their mobile devices to easily view and reconcile their healthcare bills, receive alerts when claims are ready to be viewed, pay amounts due and view past payments – all in one digital location. It is now being piloted in select markets and is expected to launch nationwide in late 2013.

“Through our meetings with dozens of healthcare provider executives, we confirmed the breadth of the challenges facing providers and also recognized a need for peer-based guidance in planning and prioritizing projects currently underway,” said Stuart Hanson, Citi Enterprise Payments’ director, healthcare provider solutions. With recent regulatory requirements continuing to evolve, many providers are struggling with having the resources to keep up with the required pace of change. Our goal with this research was to provide a fresh view of the impact of increasing patient responsibility on providers, share emerging best practices, and to confirm the capabilities we have built into our Money 2 for Health platform address the rapidly evolving needs of providers as we launch this easy-to-implement, cost effective bridge to a truly patient-centric revenue cycle .”

“Citi Enterprise Payments is focused on harnessing the power of technology to solve payments problems for clients and their consumer and small business customers across the globe,” said Citi Enterprise Payments CEO Paul Galant. “Money 2 for Health is a great example of how we can work collaboratively with the healthcare industry to create a technology solution that turns a very complicated problem into a simple process that has immediate, tangible benefits for providers, insurers and healthcare consumers.”

Citi Enterprise Payments was established in January 2011 to provide new digital payments services to institutional and government clients to enable them to better serve their target consumers. Citi Enterprise Payments solutions give clients access to new opportunities in growth markets across the globe, and help them meet their existing customers’ current and future needs for convenient, quick and secure digital payment services.

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