Banks Morph Into Health IT Engines

April 10, 2007 by Jane Sarasohn-Kahn, iHealthBeat.org

You’re online doing monthly bill paying on your bank’s Web site. After making your payments, you take a moment to click on the latest update of your medical record. Does this sound like a pipedream, nightmare or near-term reality? Based on the momentum of the Medical Banking Project, this type of service could be available sooner than you might think.

When John Casillas founded MBP in 2001, his vision was to streamline the administrative operations in health care by transitioning to an electronic system. Since then, MBP has undergone a transformation — driven by the same health care market forces that are expanding the demand for electronic health records.

Today, MBP boasts a growing roster of members, ranging from banks and financial services companies to health providers, IT vendors and industry consultants. Some of MBP’s members include traditional retail banks such as Fifth Third, PNC Bank and US Bank, along with Exante, United Healthcare’s bank; Fiserv Health, a longtime technology partner to banks; and Disney.

Casillas’ group promotes and supports a huge opportunity that banks can fill in health care. "The health care system wants to transform in 10 years what the banking industry took 30 years to accomplish. We’re saying, ‘We have an infrastructure that can be used for the connective tissue in health transactions,’ with the bank ready to act as an infomediary."