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HIMSSCast: Cedar collaborates with Google Cloud on AI to ease the patient billing experience

The AI-powered tools will increase transparency and access, says Cedar president Seth Cohen.

Susan Morse, Executive Editor

Photo: Tetra/Getty Images

Cedarannounced earlier this year a collaboration using Google Cloud's generative AI tools toassist patients in understanding and resolving their healthcare bills. Cedar is preparing to deploy AI tools in the market by early next year.

The aim is more than paying for healthcare, it's making it easier for consumers to pay for healthcare, according toCedar president Seth Cohen. When we spoke to Cohen in March about the Hospital Price Transparency Final Rule that is supposed to help consumers understand costs, Cohen said the rule does not help patients understand what they'll be paying out of pocket.

Cedar has identified use cases for the patient financial experience that can benefit from AI, such as call centers getting many of the same questions from numerous consumers. This manual work against repeatable tasks is ripe for AI, Cohen said, and it also meets customer satisfaction when it is able to send automated self-service explanations.

"The moment a patient has to call a call center," Cohen said, "that patient is already unhappy."

For more on Cohen's interview, listen to his discussion with Susan Morse, executive editor of Healthcare Finance News.

Talking Points:

  • When a patient is recovering from a recent care event and receives a bill for thousands, it impacts healing.
  • A recent Cedar study of 1,300 consumers found: Nearly onein five(19%) have not paid a bill because they could not afford to.
  • 23% say they would not be able to pay more than $250 for a surprise bill.
  • 72% say affordability is the biggest challenge to paying larger healthcare bills, not that they don't want to.
  • Consumers do not budget for healthcare expenses. These bills are unscheduled events, and they don't know what to expect for a bill.
  • About a third of Americans have a high deductible plan.
  • AI is talked about as a solution rather than a tool.

More About this Episode:

HIMSSCast: About 40-50% of hospital patient balances go unpaid, says Cedar President Seth Cohen

HIMSSCast: Collecting out of pocket expenses a challenge for hospitals

Paying for healthcare creates mental and financial health concerns

Integrated Highmark and Allegheny team with Cedar to align the billing experience

Hospitals see challenges around price transparency, technology and resources

Twitter: @SusanJMorse
Email the writer: SMorse@himss.org