Managing Director, Healthcode Ltd
Q: Who are you?
A: My name is Peter Connor and I am the Managing Director at Healthcode.
Q: What is your professional background and what made you choose a career in this industry?
A: I have an honours degree in Business Computing Systems. Before joining Healthcode in 2001, I spent three years in telecoms and was responsible for deployment of a USD $125m national network across the UK.
Q: Tell us about Healthcode and the products you provide?
A: Based in Surrey, Healthcode has been helping independent specialists and private hospitals to streamline their financial processes since 2001. We provide secure medical invoicing software, which enables independent healthcare providers to create, submit and validate invoices in a fraction of the time of manual systems so they can be processed and paid more quickly. Our entry-level service, ePractice biller, is free, so any practice can create, validate and submit invoices online. ePractice biller Plus is a subscription service delivering additional benefits to help save time and enhance credit control, such as pre-populated invoices, membership enquiry and a payment tracking facility. Providers who already have their own practice management software can use our HC VEDA online medical invoicing system. Healthcode’s comprehensive ePractice manager system gives groups and practices the administrative tools, such as electronic billing, diary management and financial reporting, so they can manage their practice efficiently and improve cash flow.
Q: What is your most popular product/service and why?
A: Electronic billing remains our core business. We now process over a quarter of million bills every month for over 90 percent of private hospitals and a growing number of independent specialists. While this technology is not yet the norm for consultants, we believe the next year will see a significant move towards electronic billing. To help explain how the process works and its business benefits we’ve recently launched www.ebilling.healthcode.co.uk, a microsite for consultants looking to transition from paper invoices.
Q: How do you keep up-to-date with changes in the market?
A: We work with healthcare providers and insurers at the highest levels and are often involved in industry initiatives. For example, we are playing a key role in an exciting project led by the Private Healthcare Information Network (PHIN) to benchmark clinical outcomes within the independent sector.
Q: Do you have any new products on the horizon?
A: We have a number of solutions in development, which will help independent practitioners manage their business within a fast-changing environment. We are about to release our first mobile app so consultants can view their patient records and appointments diary from their tablet computers and even submit electronic bills.
Q: What makes you different from your competitors?
A: Healthcode’s unrivalled knowledge of the private healthcare sector has enabled us to develop solutions which are interoperable, or in other words they are compatible with the systems used by key stakeholders in the healthcare sector. For example, our billing system is already integrated with most practice management software, so no further software installation is usually required. But we want to be more than just another software supplier. Our goal is to be a trusted, independent expert for independent practitioners, but also for the private healthcare sector as a whole, as reflected by our involvement in the PHIN project.
Q: What technological innovations have you introduced?
A: Most recently, we have developed a service called Intelligent Validation, which identifies errors in invoices to insurers. The technology works by checking the policy-holder information on the bill against that on insurer’s own database and recognising discrepancies. It automatically corrects errors in the patient’s first name, surname or date of birth when the membership number and at least two of these fields match the database record. If a policy cannot be found, has lapsed or is invalid for that treatment, the bill is returned to the provider to be checked. Validated bills are forwarded to the insurer’s processing system where they can be passed and processed for payment first time and not held in suspense while anomalies are investigated.
Q: How are you committed to quality?
A: PC: Quality and information security are at the heart of our work. We have a rigorous quality assurance process, in which all our systems are tested in four distinct operating environments before being made available to customers. We also recognise that data protection is crucial to independent practitioners, hospitals and insurers, which is why our technology is encrypted to internet banking standards. Achieving ISO/IEC 27001:2005 certification in 2009 demonstrated our commitment to maintaining the highest standards of data security.