y all accounts, Mary Dees Griffith is a mover and shaker in the payments industry. Griffith, a 29-year payments veteran and President and Chief Operating Officer for Preferred Health Technologies (PHT) Inc., fell into her new role almost serendipitously.
"I've been in this business almost thirty years on both the acquiring and issuing side," Griffith said. "From 2000 until I joined PHT last year, I ran creditranz, a payments consulting firm. A few years ago I was contacted by Blue Cross of South Carolina to consult with them on a product they felt was a complete solution necessary to move away from the rest of the health care market that is still in batch claims mode.
"I helped them work with the card brands on how we could create a transaction set and an integrated product to do that. As a result, Blue Cross formed a subsidiary, PHT, to become a payments business. And I joined the company a little over a year ago to head it up."
Real revenue in real time
PHT is certified by the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard as a level 1 third party service provider. It is registered with Chase Paymentech LLC and processes credit cards, signature debit and checks. Furthermore, PHT offers real-time insurance benefits verification and real-time claims adjudication on its own proprietary processing platform and Internet gateway product, A-ClaimTM.
ISOs and merchant level salespeople (MLSs) who represent PHT have several avenues of revenue potential. In addition to PHT's real-time patient benefit eligibility and claims adjudication processing, ISOs and MLSs can also use PHT's system to set up automated collection of what a patient owes after the insurer pays, or to set up an automated recurring payment plan from the patient's credit card, debit card or checking account.
Footprint covers many providers
According to Griffith, "Blue Cross decided to spin out its technology with the PHT subsidiary for the express purpose of having a separate subsidiary to market nationwide, regardless of the insurer. Since we moved out of South Carolina, PHT's footprint has progressed very well.
"At the start of 2008, PHT began to roll out into national markets and additionally, in mid 2008, began offering their product in a Web portal interface so that setting up a provider is as easy as plugging a magnetic stripe reader into their computer."
PHT provides health care processing services for many major health insurance networks, including Aetna Inc., Cigna Corp., Humana Inc., Medicaid, Medicare and Tricare North and South. Tricare is the government insurance program for the U.S. military and their families.
"At the provider's office, each user has log-in credentials that are permission-based, so when they log into the system they will be able to see and use only the functions that user has permission to access. Additionally, our systems allow for the automated collection of final payments remittance regardless of the company that ensures the patient, or whether the patient has any insurance at all," Griffith said.