Healthcode has revealed that nearly 2.7million electronic bills were submitted to private medical insurers during the first six months of 2017, an increase of 4% on the same period in 2016 and 70% higher than in 2013.
As the UK’s official clearing organisation for private medical bills, Healthcode securely processes invoices worth around £3billion every year on behalf of hospitals and independent consultants. The company has seen electronic billing grow year on year since it launched its online bill submission service in 2002.
Non-hospital providers, including independent practitioners, submitted 46% of the total number of bills between January and June 2017 and the number of consultants using Healthcode’s bill submission service has grown by 54% in the last 3 years. This group were also responsible for the growth in billing volumes over the period, submitting 10% more electronic bills than in the first six months of 2016. While hospital providers submitted more bills overall, electronic billing has long been standard practice within hospitals and the growth trend is steady.
Across all providers, 450,000 electronic bills were submitted to PMIs each month on average in the first half of 2017. However, March was the busiest month for billing, with nearly 500,000 electronic bills submitted. In common with previous years, April was the quietest month because of the Easter holidays.
Healthcode’s Managing Director, Peter Connor, said: “I’m pleased that the volume of electronic bills continues to increase because this is by far the most efficient and convenient way for providers to charge for their services and optimise their cashflow. Invoices are validated on submission to Healthcode so providers know straight away that their invoice has met the PMI’s rules and is ready to be processed. They also have the reassurance that Healthcode’s system is encrypted to internet banking standards so this method of submitting invoices is more secure than post or email.
“All the evidence is that electronic billing is becoming the rule throughout the private sector and facilitates the process for providers and PMIs alike. It is free for practitioners to submit PMI invoices through Healthcode’s online system so the big question is: what are you waiting for?”