Phreesia adds automated POC eligibility feature

By Brian Dolan
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Phreesia Patient Check-In TabletPhreesia, a start-up that offers wireless tablets to practices in an effort to optimize patient check-in, announced today at the Heath 2.0 event in San Francisco that it had added an insurance eligibility check to its service.

Phreesia provides practices with "Phreesia Pads," wireless touchscreen tablets that are meant to replace the old school check-in clip boards. Phreesia's pitch is that doctors who have patients check in with the Phreesia Pad get better updated, readable data from patients, and patients don’t have to repeatedly provide doctors the same information with each check in. The information from the laptop then can sync to an electronic health record or can be printed – what ever the preference is of the doctor. Phreesia includes advertisements on their check-in Pads, typically after the check-in process is complete.

Phreesia's latest feature gets the insurance eligibility squared away before the patient event enters the examination room. The feature is called: Automated Point-of-Care Eligibility and Benefits Verification, which helps staff determine a patient's co-pay, coinsurance and deductible in real-time. Phreesia CEO Chaim Indig explained that the feature checks the patient's contact information vs. insurance contact information -- making sure the same address is listed is sometimes critical for collecting money from the insurance company.

"In the world of healthcare today," Indig said, "small things make a very big difference. What we have gotten very good at is helping doctors get paid better."

Phreesia now offers its service in all 50 states and has doubled its workforce since last year. The company estimates that some 2 million patients have used their Phreesia Pads. The start-up also has secured a total of $25 million in investments from backers including BlueCross BlueShield Venture Partners and Sandbox Industries.

One of the "judges" for the demo session at Health 2.0 in which Phreesia participated was Cisco's Dr. Danny Sands who wondered why patients can't use a service like Phreesia's from their own home. Why not check-in at home and have insurance eligibility checked before they arrive?