De Crescenzo, Emdeon jump into health care technology

Company positioning itself for world where virtual payments, mobile/wearable devices are norm

Neil de Crescenzo was appointed president and CEO of Emdeon only six months ago, but he arrived at something of a high point for the revenue and payment cycle management company.

Emdeon processed more than seven billion health information exchanges in 2013, or half of all commercial health care claims delivered electronically in the country. De Crescenzo cites a network of more than 400,000 health care players — from hospitals and physicians to payers and channel partners — as providing access to valuable data that keep customer costs down.

"Emdeon is the single-largest clinical, financial and administrative health information network in the nation," says de Crescenzo, who previously served as senior vice president and general manager of Oracle's Health Sciences Global Business Unit and spent 10 years at IBM. "Health care data, paired with sophisticated analytics, creates opportunities that help drive key programs like care collaboration, accountable care, medical home and pay-for-performance."

Emdeon is jumping head first into technological advances — such as digital statement deliveries direct to patients and virtual credit card payments — that shorten the payment cycle and increase cash flow to customers.

"Payments are processed similarly to credit card payments in the provider's office, but a physical, plastic card is never issued," de Crescenzo explains.

Looking forward, Crescenzo expects the Affordable Care Act to continue evolving payment models around the shift from fee-for-service to performance- and value-based models. He forecasts innovation in payment and transparency as profitable sectors, as well as big data and analytics, and mobile, wearable health care technology.