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4 ways Apple could transform medical billing

Apple could build upon its health technology and financial services efforts by entering the medical billing space, CNBC reports.

The company seems to be moving in that direction, said Florian Otto, CEO of the patient billing app Cedar, to CNBC.

Four opportunities for Apple:

1. Apple could help physicians get paid on time, simultaneously tackling the problem of medical debt. Nearly 3 in 10 insured Americans have had an unpaid medical debt sent to a collection agency, which hurt their credit scores.

2. Apple's large sales team is working on introducing iPads in every hospital. Featuring Apple Pay on those iPads could help patients pay fees or copays upfront. About 5 percent of patients use Apple Pay, Cedar found.

3. Patients often see weeks go by before they get a bill from their insurer. If it makes a serious investment in the medical billing space, Apple could provide real-time price estimates.

4. Apple could establish a group to negotiate with providers and payers in an effort to manage prior authorization, a process that can take months.

"It's one of the questions we asked ourselves before even starting our company," Mr. Otto told CNBC. "Could Apple someday come along and solve this problem from a different angle?"

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