Magazine article American Banker

Exchange Seeks Healthy Growth in Medical Area

Magazine article American Banker

Exchange Seeks Healthy Growth in Medical Area

Article excerpt

Watchwords for the Exchange, a Seattle-based ATM network, are "merge" and "grow."

"The answer for networks right now is volume, volume, and volume," said Tom Bass, president of the network. "Where you get it doesn't matter. Generally, it's either merge or grow, but it doesn't matter so long as you get the volume."

The Exchange has done both, and boosted its volume accordingly. Last year, the network merged with Accel, doubling its size and attaining monthly switch volume of a sizzling 7.5 million transactions.

Pursuing a growth strategy, the Exchange recently went on-line with Exclaim, a network that links all members of the local health care community for the exchange of information and funds.

Insurance Forms to E-Mail

More than a medical claims payment system, Exclaim hopes to give health care participants the ability to send and receive a broad array of business and clinical information ranging from highly standardized insurance forms to electronic mail. Physicians, dentists, hospitals, clinics, insurers, labs, and medical/dental suppliers will all be linked.

"What this does is lower administrative costs in the health care industry," said Mr. Bass.

With software design complete, Exclaim entered production in October with transactions between King County Medical Blue Shield and the Laboratory of Pathology. Other organizations, including a hospital, clinic, and two insurance companies, will soon be added.

Strictly Business

Far from altruistic, the intent of Exclaim is to substantially increase volume for the Exchange, thus reducing the cost per transaction. …

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