Hospital hooks up to health exchange

St Luke's Hospital Complex has signed a three-year contract to use the online health industry exchange, Thelma.

The private health facility in the inner Sydney suburb of Potts Point, had Thelma (Transactional Health Exchange Linking Multiple Applications) installed, tested and signed off ready for business, including staff training, in two days.

Under the user agreement, St Luke's will use Thelma for electronic processing of patient eligibility checks, hospital claims and No Gap claims.

Susan Nicholls, finance manager at St Lukes, said, "Most of our business is with three of the large funds and I expect the B2B connectivity Thelma provides will rapidly flow through in the form of business efficiencies and overall level of service we offer patients."

Tim Murray, managing director for Thelma provider ICSGlobal, said, "The health industry is groaning under the paperwork, the problem is getting worse not better, and Thelma presents an enormous business opportunity."

This installation brings to 36 the user base of private hospitals linked to Thelma. There are also three NSW Area Health services which represent 7.5 per cent of national private patients and 22 per cent of NSW public beds, and four health funds representing about 7 per cent of the national health insurance market, according ICSGlobal officials.

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