Australian health funds join e-claims network

Electronic medical claims in Australia got a boost with ACA Health Benefits Fund, Health Care Insurance (HCI), and Queensland Country Health (QCH) signing an agreement to connect to an electronic claims and payments network.

The system will provide the three companies' combined 47,100 customers with Eftpos facilities that allow patients to send medical claims to large health funds after consultation.

The facility, called Healthpoint, by vendor IBA Health, is expected to deliver 500,000 claims and A$150,000 (US$113,000) in the first year.

Steve Garrington, IBA Health CEO, claims the system is unique in the industry and will strengthen the company's market position.

"We are the only company to provide Medclaims, HealthClaims and EFTPOS from a single, easy-to-use, low-cost HealthPoint terminal," Garrington said. "[We're] is in a strong position to meet the health and e-business demands of governments, health funds, Medicare Australia and the health consumer."

More than 82 percent of Australians with private healthcare can use the system, the company said.