UnitedHealth Group is issuing new health care ID swipe-cards designed to help the health care industry cut down on typos and paperwork and trim the nation’s healthcare bill in the process.
The company says its new cards are the first to adopt a national standard for health care swipe-cards developed by the federal regulators, hopsital associations and an electronic data workgroup.
The Medical Group Management Association estimates the swipe cards, if widely adopted, could trim the nation’s health care bill by about $1 billion annually. The cards would eliminate the need for providers to manually enter information over and over. Huge amounts of time and paper are currently wasted fixing typos and resubmitting insurance claims.
UnitedHealth, the Minnetonka-based HMO, has already started sending the new cards out to some employer-sponsored health plan members, as well as Medicaid, Medicare and dental and vision plans.
It expects to distribute nearly 25 million of the new cards by the end of 2009, the company said.
The ID cards will allow physicians to quickly access patients’ personal health record, including medical histories, prescriptions and other providers’ diagnoses, as well as information about patients’ benefit eligibility and coverage information.