Toronto company Plexus Interactive has launched an app called Agent+ for Ontario doctors, a first-of-its-kind in Canada, that lets MDs use a mobile device to securely bill for services, a process which cumulatively throughout a doctor’s day can amount to a major time sink, effectively reducing time spent with patients.
The process of collecting revenue in 2016 still involves MDs gathering patient labels on chits, which they then store in their pockets until they can get to their computer and submit the information, a decidedly old-school practice that frequently leads to the loss or mishandling of crucially important information.
“I wanted to reduce the piles of tedious paperwork required to process my claims,” says co-founder Dr. Jeremy Theal. “I knew we were at a critical intersection of tech and healthcare where mobile doctors could take control of their business and personal time with a mobile billing solution. Agent+ now gives me the freedom to bill from anywhere, anytime, between patients, even in hospital cellular dead zones.”
The iOS app is available as of May 26 and can be used by any doctor who is eligible to create and submit claims through OHIP.
Co-founder Theal, who is Chief Medical Information Officer at North York General Hospital, came up with the idea for the app with colleague Dr. Joyce Lee, Lead of Geriatrics Clinic for Parkinson’s, also at North York General Hospital.
The pair were responding to a pain point that could be naturally solved by a mobile solution, which can turn the time-consuming process of collecting revenue into a 30-second mobile process, eliminating the need for a doctor to be sitting at a desk with a scattered pile of papers.
They met co-founder of Spoke Technologies Hamid Arabzadeh at a Healthcare panel organized by the MaRS Discovery District, who agreed that it was possible to develop a mobile solution that could simplify the process while also implementing a layer of security that could make it compliant with strict regulation.
The important detail is to make this process not only more efficient, but also to make sure that patient data is handled securely and in a way that expectations of patient privacy are never at risk.
The app is compliant with the federal Personal Health Information Protection Act, and encrypted by bank-level mobile data protections security powered by IDENTOS.
The medical billing market in Ontario is estimated to be worth approximately $11 billion, for a market of more than 25,000 doctors in the province.
More than $1 million worth of claims has been processed during the 60 days leading up to the launch, as a group of doctors selected to take part in a beta test phase made sure that the app could actually work in the field.