National Australia Bank has invested in a new health technology start-up that will create a digital platform to connect doctors, health insurers, and payment providers in order to unify the healthcare process.
NAB has joined with Melbourne-based beacon technology start-up Localz to create a new business, funded in part by an undisclosed equity investment from NAB Ventures, called Medipass Solutions.
Localz won NAB's inaugural Labs hackathon in December 2014, giving it the opportunity to work with the bank on new solutions.
Medipass has been testing and developing a new health-tech platform with Medibank and a "handful" of health practitioners since last November.
The platform is initially being developed for allied health professionals - like optometrists, physiotherapists, and podiatrists, among others - who service patients with private health cover.
The proprietary platform connects a health practitioner's practice management system to the patient's health insurer, as well as NAB's HICAPS electronic payment and claiming system.
It allows patients to locate a doctor, book an appointment, get an upfront quote for the appointment, pay for the consultation and - through the HICAPS interaction - automatically process the insurer's contribution to the payment.
"Post consultation, patients can instantly claim health insurance benefits and pay only the gap portion using their mobile," NAB said.
"For practitioners and health funds, digital bookings and electronic claiming and payments reduce the administration burden and manual processing, freeing up time for value-adding activities and more time with patients."
The platform can also be used to set reminders and update bookings.
It has processed just over 100 patient transactions in testing so far. NAB is expecting the platform to be live in the market before the second half of the year.