We understand you may have concerns about additional costs to your overheads. A lot has changed in the world since we introduced charges for the Clearing Service back in April 2021, making life more challenging.
We’ve changed too. We’ve upgraded our infrastructure to make it more secure, flexible and stable – you’ll fully see the benefits from this year onwards as we gradually update and rewrite all products and services, including the Clearing Service, as part of our Transformation Programme. We’re going to make sure that these improve the usability and experience and we know you want that too.
The new subscription rate will be charged from your renewal date on or after 1 April. The transaction charges are paid in arrears so any invoices successfully submitted before 1 April will be at the old rate and those submitted after will use the new invoice value band rates.
When we first introduced the Clearing Service we received a lot of feedback about it being unfair that the fees were the same for everyone, especially when invoice values varied so much. We’ve listened to you and we’ve introduced three invoice value bands.
Band 1: Up to £100 = 23p* per transaction
Band 2: £100.01-250 = 32p* per transaction
Band 3: £250.01 + = 45p* per transaction
We have to charge everyone the same subscription fee as you all use the same system, regardless of invoice numbers or value – creating the bands goes some way to levelling the playing field.
You’re not – you’re paying to have your invoices checked against the insurers’ validation criteria and, if they pass, get them straight into the payment cycle within a few hours of submission. No other method can do that for you. We believe that our service continues to provide value for money.
That depends on how many invoices you submit a month. Of course, there’ll be some who do very little insured work but other factors also need to be considered.
Millions of invoices go through the Clearing Service every year – getting them to the right people quickly, efficiently and securely. In other words, we give you peace of mind. There’s no other way to access all the insurers at the same time – a single click from your system (whether you use ePractice or another Practice Management System) will send all your electronic invoices through for validation. Here are your alternatives:
Send it by email – is it secure? If there’s a breach and your email is intercepted you could be in trouble with the Information Commissioner’s Office. Even if you use an encrypted email service can the insurer open it? How long will it take for someone to open that email and review the invoice? How long will it take the insurer to let you know if your invoice doesn’t meet their requirements?
Send it by post – will it get there? The quickest will be the next day and this can only be “guaranteed” by paying for an additional service. The cost of a second-class stamp is currently 68p and for first class it’s 95p – this is also likely to go up in April. With the recent Royal Mail strikes, it’s difficult to know just how much mail remains undelivered or, even worse, lost. Why wait weeks before realising that the insurer hasn’t received your invoice? Once the letter gets there, how long will it take for someone to open your envelope and review the contents? How long will it take the insurer to let you know if your invoice doesn’t meet their requirements?
Use the insurer portal (if available) – you know this is probably secure and that it’s got there, but how long does it take the insurer to access the uploaded invoices? How do you know when they’ve reviewed it to see if it meets their requirements? You need to spend time re-entering the details into the portal – you can’t submit the invoice automatically from your Practice Management System – so you’ll need to factor in how much time this double-entry will cost you.
We’ve also reviewed what they’ll pay for this service from April.
Absolutely not. None of our shareholders receive dividends or any other financial gain. Our aim is to improve the products and services we currently offer you and also create new ones that will make your life as part of the UK private healthcare sector easier. We know you want that too. Fees from your subscription go into making that a reality.
We’ve already made our public-facing website easier to navigate and have created a library of Help and Support articles about our products and services. We’ve also improved the way you log in with the Healthcode Account and have more to come to make it even easier for you to do things yourself. We’ve invested in our Customer Services team, with better systems in place to improve efficiency and give you more convenient ways of getting in touch with us. In 2022 our Healthcode Academy successfully delivered over 700 free 1-2-1 training sessions on modules for The PPR, ePractice and VEDA.
As every business does, we’ll be reviewing them each year.