J.P. Morgan recently acquired an innovative healthcare payment platform called InstaMed. The Philadelphia-based company, purchased for $500 million, was founded in 2004 and has sought to both simplify and integrate healthcare payment processes. InstaMed has been widely successful in these goals, offering a unified platform for consumers, payers and providers to exchange payments.
InstaMed is used by many major insurers: Aetna, Anthem, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, Cigna, Kaiser Permanente, Optumcare and others. At its outset, InstaMed disrupted the traditional healthcare billing model by providing an online alternative to phone and mail billing. Despite how much healthcare billing providers still require in paper, most customers prefer electronic billing, making it a more consumer-focused approach. Electronic payment is also popular among providers and payers alike as it reduces processing time and costs, enabling quicker payment and payment collections.
Not only has InstaMed set a new standard for healthcare billing that major players have adopted, it also offers its members several other notable features. First, InstaMed provides its health plan members with direct access to a portal through which they can pay bills and manage healthcare expenditures. It also offers patients a digital wallet and Apple Pay integration for making instant and convenient healthcare payments. Further, the InstaMed platform is flexible and cloud-based, enabling full integration with any healthcare IT system. Lastly, the service is compatible with phones, tablets and desktops, making it easy to manage billing from any device.
Clearly, J.P. Morgan recognized the merits of InstaMed, acquiring it as a subsidiary of JP Morgan Chase Bank. Because J.P. Morgan has a large stake in Haven Healthcare―a joint venture it shares with Amazon and Berkshire Hathaway―the firm’s purchase of an innovative health payments platform is almost certainly not a coincidence, as Haven’s stated goal is to is to leverage the power of data and technology to improve the current healthcare system. Due to this acquisition, Haven will likely boast a fully integrated InstaMed billing system among the services it provides, and any InstaMed research and development on new billing features will likely first appear on Haven’s platform.
With the most recent press coverage of Haven Healthcare dating from several months ago, the firm has been largely secretive in terms of its actual goals and plans. The only way to measure Haven’s progress seems to be to interpret the various executives poached by the company or to track acquisitions by its parent companies J.P. Morgan, Amazon, and Berkshire Hathaway. It is unclear when Haven will publicize more specific goals or accomplishments―the firm’s current silence is likely strategic.