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CBA’s all-in-one health directory, payments and claims solution

Commonwealth Bank (CBA) has entered the healthcare payments and claims market – currently dominated by NAB’s HICAPS system – with the launch of CommBank Smart Health that can integrate with the optometry-focused Optomate practice management system.

CBA’s foray into health payments follows the bank’s May 2021 acquisition of Whitecoat, Australia’s largest digital healthcare services directory that also included a digital payments solution capable of processing claims for Medicare, private health insurance, and government scheme.

Smart Health will be available on CBA’s new smart terminal. Claims can be made with all major Australian private health insurers to allow for an improved payments and claim experience.

According to the Australian Financial Review, CBA is competing with Bank of Queensland, which also specialises in banking small businesses in the healthcare sector, and NAB, which dominates payments with its HICAPS terminal. More than 89,000 health practitioners use HICAPS available in more than 25,000 health practices Australia-wide.

CBA’s Smart Health system has the capability to:

  • Process private health insurance claims through one wireless device, including overseas student health cover and overseas visitors cover claims for supported funds;
  • Integration with select practice management systems: Best Practice, Dental4Windows, Optomate;
  • Same day settlements on gap payments;
  • Next business day processing on health fund contributions; and
  • Digitally capture patient consent for claims (no need to store signatures on paper).

“We are transforming the patient and provider experience in Australia, with this new real-time healthcare payments and claiming solution. Smart Health is simple and easy for patients to use, and integrates the latest technology and customisable features for providers and payers,” CBA business bank group executive Mr Mike Vacy-Lyle said.

“Health is the fastest growing and most significant sector in the Australian economy and accounts for more than 10% of GDP. We want to ensure the sector is supported by a superior payments solution and this announcement is part of our continued efforts to deliver Australia’s best-in-class digital experience.”

CEO of CommBank Health, Mr Albert Naffah, said CommBank Smart Health helped health practitioners save time, reduce the amount of administration, and improve the payment experience, allowing them to spend more time with their patients.

“We are delighted to bring our vision of integrating Whitecoat’s search functionality into a patient journey where payments and claims happen seamlessly in the background,” he said.

For patients, CBA said the new features would make it easier to make digital payments and claims, receive offers and deals, have the ability to track spending, and will reduce the number of lost rebates.

The Smart Health integration will be expanded to include WorkSafe Victoria claims in the coming months.

More reading

Australian health fund cards now available on Apple Wallet

Optometrists concerned over health fund letters that left patients ‘confused’

Changing the way patients pay

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