"Cerner to extend health plan ID, payment card to other employers", By Julius A. Karash, The Kansas City Star
October 27, 2006 "Cerner will omit middlemen in health care transactions" by Rob Roberts Staff Writer, Kansas City Business Journal
… [Cerner CEO Neal] Patterson used the [swipe] card to access his electronic health record and health plan information. Then, he used the card to make an on-the-spot payment, with his health reimbursement account being accessed for the co-pay and the balance being paid by Cerner — the payer in its self-insured health plan.
"The key here is that this all occurs within minutes, not weeks or months," said Trace Devanny, president of the North Kansas City-based health care information technology company. "We estimate this approach could reduce the cost per transaction for physicians from $8 to 10 cents and reduce the cost for the payer or employer from $4 per transaction to 30 cents."
Cerner, one of 20 large area companies participating in Healthe Mid-America, is the first to issue the "new transaction" cards to its employees. Eventually, however, Healthe will issue similar cards to all employers in the network, he said. If U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback’s bill calling for a national network of independent health record banks passes, the new transaction could become ubiquitous.
Patterson called the new transaction "disruptive" technology because it will reduce the number of parties involved in health care transactions.