Health Payment Systems Inc.
The health care system itself can be complicated enough. On the medical side alone, there are enough doctors, tests and facilities to make your head spin. Things don’t get any more straightforward once the care is complete. Sorting through the paperwork, reviewing explanations of benefits and dealing with insurance companies can sometimes seem like a big enough challenge to send you right back to the hospital.
Enter Health Payment Systems Inc., a Milwaukee-based technology company that operates between the health care providers and the insurance companies, converting all the information into a monthly statement for the consumer with its SuperEOB billing product.
“We’re really just helping to simplify it from a consumer prospective,” said Terry Rowinski, Health Payment Systems president.
The company makes it happen through a mix of people and process, but Rowinski says it’s the fact that HPS is accepting data from both sides that the parties already have in place that “really makes the magic happen.”
Health Payment Systems works with self-funded and private commercial insurance products. To date, it hasn’t extended its technology to operate in the government-run space that includes Medicare and Medicaid.
The journey to perfect the product has taken place over more than 10 years and now Rowinski, newly named to his position, has his eyes on expanding the company’s reach.
“We are really evolving now into a technology product company,” he said, noting the company was founded to be just that, but the Great Recession forced some changes.
Health Payment Systems has 75 employees at its offices in downtown Milwaukee, plus contractors the firm works with regularly. Rowinski said he can see the headcount growing to more than 100 in the next couple years.
Part of that growth will be fueled by a national expansion. Rowinski plans to launch that effort early next year. Expanding into other states will require more work and Rowinski said the company is focused on growing in a controlled fashion. Expanding will come with challenges of increased scale, all while keeping safety and security at the forefront of its work. More states also means paying attention to different regulations at the local, state and federal levels.
It might seem the potential repeal of the Affordable Care Act could throw a wrench in those expansion plans, but Rowinski said any changes are likely to be felt more by the providers and insurers, although he acknowledged there may be some trickle down effects.
Rowinski joined Health Payment Systems in 2014, although before that he was more likely to help you find a Halloween costume than handle insurance payments. After helping to launch Kohls.com, Rowinski eventually landed at New Berlin-based BuySeasons Inc.
It was at BuySeasons where he got his first taste of Health Payment Systems as a consumer.
“I had seen the positives of what (Health Payment Systems) was doing for the population that was taking (BuySeasons’) health care,” he said, adding he also saw the challenges return when BuySeasons went in a different direction.
When it came to joining Health Payment Systems, Rowinski said the company’s board and senior management were looking for someone who knew nothing about health care or health care technology. Not having that background allowed Rowinksi to come in with a fresh perspective.
He said the reality is regulations and industry standards for handling health care data and moving money make some of the basic mechanics of how the company’s products work almost an entry-level requirement. The differentiator comes from the customer experience.
BuySeasons was built to be customer-centric, Rowinski said, and that’s the same focus Health Payment Systems takes today. He said the company regularly studies both its paper and electronic experience, continuously making improvements along the way.
“They just need to have somebody help make the mess less confusing and that’s what we end up doing,” Rowinski said of consumers.