Joint Venture Health Plan Introduces New Billing Program for Health Members

Banner|Aetna, a joint venture health plan owned by Banner Health and Aetna/CVS Health, has unveiled an all-in-one frictionless billing program, designed to improve the patient payment experience by reducing billing confusion for members who receive care from most Banner Health doctors and facilities. This innovative effort is significant given health care consumers are often confused by their medical bills and understanding how to reconcile with their plan coverage.

A joint effort between Banner|Aetna and Banner Health, frictionless billing provides an integrated statement online or in print that includes billing information from care providers along with coverage and payment information from the insurer. As a result, the member can see what was billed by the provider, what the member already paid (if applicable), what insurance covered and what is still owed. The statement serves as the single source of truth so members can quickly review all the information and then pay their balance owed.

Other components of the program include automated billing and claim payment status updates for members as their bill makes it through the bill creation, submission and payment process, as well as a dedicated customer service line to assist Banner|Aetna members who still have questions. Whether it is an insurance or provider-related billing question, members can get their questions answered easily in a single phone call.

“Recovering from a recent illness or hospital stay is challenging enough without the added stress and confusion related to understanding medical bills. That’s why we decided to create a solution that captures all the information patients need in one document, provides a simple status tracker, and provides dedicated customer support for both insurance and provider billing inquiries,” said Joanne Mizell, Banner|Aetna’s chief operating officer.

Mizell added that while other health insurers and health care providers have been trying to address billing confusion, these efforts have been more difficult because these entities don’t have the same operational and financial alignment. Banner|Aetna is uniquely positioned to do so because of its joint venture structure, which brings together the people who provide care with those who help patients pay for it.

“In our joint venture model, both insurer and provider have a vested interest in working together,” said Mizell. “In addition, all parties care deeply about members having a positive experience throughout the entire health care treatment cycle. As a joint venture, we have the benefit of complete transparency with our parent companies around data and information, which made it possible to effectively collaborate to develop frictionless billing.”

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