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Intuit service shows how little patients count

How is it to my advantage, as the person paying the bill, that the doctor gets their money faster? What's the big whoop-de-doo about my using your online interface when my bank already has one?

Regular readers may remember a piece I did in August on bill payment processing. I noted the hassles of tiny bills, and noted they cost more to process than pay.

Intuit says it has an answer, called Quicken Health Bill Pay. It is an answer. For doctors.

Intuit has integrated with major insurance billing systems so it can present patients with online invoices that are paid online. This has enormous benefits. For doctors. They can learn quickly when insurance has finished its work and balances are due. Patients are notified of this via e-mail, so doctors get their money faster.

A subhead on the press release reads "Taking the Pain out of Paying and Receiving Medical Bills." And I find myself quoting a Saturday Night Live skit. Really. Really?

Because I don't see it. How is it to my advantage, as the person paying the bill, that the doctor gets their money faster? What's the big whoop-de-doo about my using your online interface when my bank already has one?

There are, in fact, two audiences for this offering. But Intuit offers real benefits to only one.

It's as though they don't know there is competition in the patient end, or don't think patients expect a little something for giving someone else a benefit.

Which means that if my doctor signs up for this service, I'm going to ignore it. I'm going to wait until the bill comes to me, on paper, and I'm going to wait until it's due to pay it. Maybe I'll use a credit card for that next $3.47 payment.

Because unless someone is going to give me a benefit, a real benefit, I see no reason to make their life easier and mine less-so.

Really.