Cedar Unveils the Next Evolution of its Patient Payment and Engagement Platform

Platform enhancements will allow providers to further optimize patient interactions and drive revenue cycle results.

NEW YORK, September 20, 2018 – Following its recent Series B fundraising round, Cedar today announced the next evolution of its data-driven patient payment and engagement platform with new enhancements to its flagship solution, Cedar Pay. The updates further drive patient engagement by offering a truly unified patient billing experience and simple checkout options.

“As the consumer influence on healthcare continues to rise, it’s more critical than ever to deliver a payment and engagement experience that turns patients into advocates and makes it as easy as possible for them to interact with providers,” said Florian Otto, co-founder and chief executive officer at Cedar. “We are excited to share the next evolution of our platform, which further brings the modern, digital consumer experience to the forefront of patient billing.”

The Cedar platform leverages advanced data science, machine learning and smart segmentation to deliver insights that develop a complete picture of patient communication and payment preferences. The company’s innovative solution, Cedar Pay, enhances patient experience via highly personalized interactions, unique outreach methods and customized payment strategies – enabling providers to improve patient satisfaction and drive financial results.

The latest enhancements to Cedar Pay further streamline and simplify the patient billing experience by providing:

  • Truly Unified Billing – Patients can view everything associated with their visit in one place, including for other family members associated with their account. Medical bills are grouped by episodes of care instead of claims to match how each patient thinks about their medical care journey. 
  • Modern Checkout Experience – Now it’s even easier for patients to proactively pay their medical bills. Instead of requiring patients to look up their account via account number or medical record number, they can securely access their full online dashboard by entering their email or phone number
  • Dynamic Personalized Segmentation – Platform updates unlock additional opportunities to personalize the patient journey to drive more effective engagement that resonates with each unique patient.

“Providers are constantly challenged with establishing a streamlined approach to engaging patients when it comes to the billing process,” said Joel Perlman, advisor to Cedar and former executive vice president and chief financial officer at Montefiore System. “This is a critical pain point in healthcare as organizations look to optimize time with patients and drive satisfaction. Cedar’s new capabilities now allow providers to easily deliver consumer-friendly billing communications that drive patient engagement and increase collections on the backend.”

As Cedar continues to optimize the patient experience across healthcare, the company is also developing a new front-end solution, Check-In Plus. The solution, available in 2019, will extend the Cedar platform to provide hospitals, health systems and medical groups ways to more effectively engage with and educate patients prior to their visit.

About Cedar

Cedar is a patient payment and engagement platform for hospitals, health systems and medical groups that elevates the total patient experience beyond clinical care. The platform leverages advanced data science, machine learning and smart segmentation to deliver modern intelligence and simplify the healthcare experience for patients. To learn more, visit cedar.com.

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Caela Shay
W2O Group

New Study by Cedar Finds Healthcare Executives Still Struggle to Help Patients Understand and Pay Healthcare Bills

NEW YORK, September 10, 2018 – Cedar, a data-driven patient payment and engagement platform, today announced new data1 on patient billing and payment processes. The data reveals that although many healthcare executives consider patient billing and payment critical to organizational success, current approaches are subpar.

As the healthcare industry looks to better empower and engage patients, many healthcare providers still face hurdles with streamlining and simplifying the patient experience. Among the most challenging area for providers is patient billing and payment. In fact, 50 percent of respondents reported the need to improve the patient experience aspect of this process.

“The results reinforce the fact that providers must prioritize putting the technologies and processes in place to enhance the billing and payment experience for patients,” said Florian Otto, co-founder and chief executive officer of Cedar. “Other industries such as e-commerce have set a precedent by creating a seamless, user-friendly customer experience when it comes to receiving and paying bills. As an industry, healthcare executives must look to replicate this approach as it will continue to have a major impact on satisfaction and overall revenue.”

The results provide direct insight into critical aspects of the patient billing process, including:

  • Patient Billing Challenges – The majority of respondents agree that collecting patient payments is not an easy feat. Patient payment collections outweighed other billing issues by a significant margin, followed by the need for improved tools and technology and more efficient, streamlined processes.
  • Outdated Patient Billing Processes in Place – 60 percent of organizations use collections agencies; however, collections agencies don’t typically account for patient experience and a negative encounter can greatly impact overall satisfaction.
  • Delayed Time to Collect Patient Payments – Difficult to decipher bills and impersonalized patient outreach make it difficult for providers to collect payments in a timely fashion. On average, 65 percent of respondents reported it takes their organization more than 60 days to collect patient payments, with 40 percent waiting more than 90 days.

Healthcare organizations pride themselves on their ability to provide patients with quality care. However, most assume the experience ends once a patient leaves the office. That form of thinking neglects the billing experience – the final point of contact a patient has with a healthcare provider. Cedar works with hospitals, health systems and medical groups to simplify the healthcare billing and payment experience for patients. To learn more about Cedar and the survey results, access the full report here.

About Cedar

Cedar is a patient payment and engagement platform for hospitals, health systems and medical groups that elevates the total patient experience beyond clinical care. The platform leverages advanced data science, machine learning and smart segmentation to deliver modern intelligence and simplify the healthcare experience for patients. To learn more, visit cedar.com.

1To gather the insights, Cedar, in partnership with Becker’s Hospital Review surveyed 79 senior financial leaders. The survey was conducted online within the United States from July 17 to Aug. 1, 2018. The respondents included 28 C-level executives, 16 vice presidents, 24 directors and eight managers with health systems, academic medical centers, community hospitals, medical groups and children’s hospitals across the U.S.

Patient Financial Management Platform Cedar Raises $36 Million Series B

NEW YORK, June 25, 2018 – Cedar, the patient financial management platform for hospitals, health systems and independent medical groups, today announced a Series B fundraising round of $36 million, led by the global investment company Kinnevik. Participants in the round include existing investors Founders Fund and Thrive Capital, as well as Lakestar, Sound Ventures, Kevin Systrom of Instagram and Nat Turner of Flatiron Health.

“In recent years, patient responsibility for healthcare payments has steadily increased. However, few existing revenue cycle solutions are fully targeted toward resolving patient payment challenges, driving increased friction between healthcare organizations and patients,” said Florian Otto, Co-founder and CEO, Cedar. “We founded Cedar to transform the patient financial experience. Based on our rapid growth, it’s clear that a digital health platform that simplifies patient billing transactions, drives increased engagement and optimizes provider processes is sorely needed. We’re pleased with the strong show of support from our investors and partners, and look forward to further enhancing our platform for patients and providers.”

The Cedar platform features an intuitive, engaging patient interface and an enterprise-level customer relationship management (CRM) system for healthcare organizations. Leveraging machine learning and data science, Cedar generates the optimal outreach strategy, unique payment plan and preferred method of payment for every patient. Healthcare organizations use the platform to manage patient engagement, view previous billing interactions, monitor financial activity and track key metrics such as collection rate, cost-to-collect and time-to-collect in real-time.

Cedar’s client base includes Montefiore Medical Center, U.S. Anesthesia Partners and Westmed Medical Group, among a number of other healthcare organizations across the country. Currently, Cedar interacts with nearly 100,000 patients nationwide on behalf of its clients, facilitating tens of thousands of billing transactions per month. Clients have seen a 35 percent increase in collections, greater than 50 percent reduction in A/R days and 95 percent patient satisfaction rate. In addition, more than 80 percent of patients pay after accessing the platform’s live chat functionality.

“Today, it’s more critical than ever to deliver a patient-first experience, particularly given the changing dynamics in the healthcare payment space,” said Chris Bischoff, Senior Investment Director, Kinnevik. “Cedar uniquely understands these needs and has built a platform that enables healthcare organizations to engage with their patients in a seamless, delightful manner while realizing significant ROI results.”

“At Westmed, we are focused on raising the bar and partnering with patients to deliver comprehensive, lifelong care. We care deeply about the patient experience and believe that modern technology such as Cedar’s plays a fundamental role in helping us achieve that goal,” said Vicki McKinney, Chief Operating Officer, Westmed Practice Partners.

Cedar will use the funding to further invest in the next generation of its innovative platform as well as build out its existing team. Later this year, the company plans to unveil new features and functionality that will enable healthcare organizations to further engage with patients, both prior to and after their visits.

About Cedar 

Cedar provides a smarter way for hospitals, health systems and medical groups to manage the patient payment ecosystem. Our platform delivers modern intelligence to dramatically improve billing operations and ensure a personalized billing experience for patients. To elevate your patient experience, visit cedar.com.

Early Successes, Provider Customer Additions Drive Growth for Cedar

Strong Q1 sets the tone for 2018; expansions planned across customer base, team, capabilities and more

Following Cedar’s entry into the health technology market late last year, the company has already made measurable progress towards helping its provider customers reinvent revenue cycle operations and deliver a consumer-centric billing process. Fueled by industry demands to improve the patient experience, Cedar has added several provider customers to its growing roster and anticipates a steady stream of new clients to come on board through the end of the year. Its quick growth has prompted Cedar to add key roles in engineering, business development and client service, and expand its philanthropic efforts in 2018 and beyond.

Cedar works with hospitals, health systems and medical groups across the US. Its ability to optimize all patient interactions in the revenue cycle has helped its customers significantly improve collection rates and increase operating margins by more than four and a half percent.

Transforming the patient billing experience

With multiple practice locations in New York’s Hudson Valley and lower Catskill region, Cedar customer Crystal Run Healthcare (Crystal Run) is one of the fastest growing multi-specialty group practices in the US with more than 400 physicians in nearly 50 medical specialties. It’s also a physician-led accountable care organization (ACO) and member of Montefiore Health System. Crystal Run partnered with Cedar after vetting technology solutions providers to help the group improve patient satisfaction and the accounts receivable component of its revenue cycle operations.

In just four months, Cedar transformed Crystal Run’s patient billing experience by:

  • Increasing the practice’s percentage of collections
  • Decreasing collections time to an average of 25 days
  • Achieving a 95 percent patient satisfaction score
  • Significantly reducing operating costs

“Cedar’s recognition of the integral role patients play in providers’ ability to meet operational and financial goals was especially appealing,” said Sue Gillies, Vice President of Revenue Cycle Management, Crystal Run. “Cedar has helped us find efficiencies in our patient billing process, largely due to its platform’s short iteration cycle and ability to quickly incorporate feedback. They’re now the only post-visit revenue cycle vendor we work with, a change that’s allowed us to streamline operations. We’re confident our continued partnership will enable us to achieve financial success while meeting our commitment to best serve our patients.”

Continued growth planned for remainder of 2018

In addition to expanding its team of professionals and broadening the scope of its work with existing customers, Cedar is focused on continually growing its customer base to support organizations beyond provider groups. This includes plans to work with additional academic medical centers and national staffing agencies. It’s also committed to increasing sophistication of its machine learning capabilities specific to communication and payment options.

“Our rapid growth is a testament to our unique, patient-first approach to the patient billing experience,” said Florian Otto, co-founder and CEO of Cedar. “We’re enthusiastic about all we’ve accomplished to-date and optimistic about our ability to continue to positively impact the consumer experience in healthcare.”

Lastly, the company today announced the launch of Cedar Cares, its new community-focused philanthropic program. The first initiative of Cedar Cares will support the Colorado Rehabilitation Services Volunteer Partnership (RSVP) Clinic, which provides outpatient rehabilitation services to children and adults with brain, stroke, spinal cord and amputation injuries. Cedar has given $100,000 to the clinic. It’s also donating time and operational resources to boost the Colorado-based organization’s mission of providing outstanding rehabilitative care that maximizes independence, wellness and community participation for uninsured individuals with catastrophic injuries.

About Cedar 

Cedar provides a smarter way for hospitals, health systems and medical groups to manage the patient payment ecosystem. Our platform delivers modern intelligence to dramatically improve billing operations and ensure a personalized billing experience for patients. To elevate your patient experience, visit cedar.com.

BluePrint Healthcare IT Announces Cedar Achieves HITRUST CSF® Certification

HITRUST Certification validates that Cedar’s application meets key healthcare regulations and protects sensitive private healthcare information

BluePrint Healthcare IT’s client, Cedar Inc’s. application hosted at Amazon Web Services (AWS) and corporate office has earned certified status for information security by HITRUST.

HITRUST CSF® Certified Status confirms that Cedar’s application meets key healthcare regulations and requirements for protecting and securing sensitive protected healthcare information. By including federal and state regulations, standards and frameworks, and incorporating a risk-based approach, the HITRUST CSF helps organizations address these challenges through a comprehensive and flexible framework of prescriptive and scalable security controls.

As an Approved HITRUST CSF Assessor, BluePrint Healthcare IT guided the Cedar team through an exhaustive analysis of existing security and privacy measures, strengthening policies and procedures as needed.

“Our goal at Cedar is to disrupt the status quo in patient billing. We offer a smarter way to manage the patient payment experience and earning the HITRUST CSF certification demonstrates our compliance and competence in ensuring our platform offers the most rigorous security and privacy controls in healthcare. Blueprint has been a valuable partner in helping us navigate through the HITRUST CSF Certification process,” stated Florian Otto, MD, PhD, co-founder and CEO.

“We’re very proud of Cedar’s mission and desire to transform the revenue cycle space, and are pleased to be their partner throughout the HITRUST CSF certification journey. Achieving this certification is evidence of their dedication and pledge to superior security, which is a necessity for patient billing operations,” added Vikas Khosla, President and CEO, BluePrint Healthcare IT.

The two-year certification requires continued monitoring of security controls, no reportable data security breaches, and timely completion of an interim review.

About BluePrint Healthcare IT

BluePrint Healthcare IT (“BluePrint”) has been a leader in healthcare privacy and security for over a decade. Unlike many other information security companies, BluePrint is 100% focused on serving the needs of the healthcare industry. BluePrint was one of the first organizations to publish a comprehensive roadmap for hospitals and health systems to comply with the HIPAA Security rule in 2005. Since that time, BluePrint has worked as a trusted partner with dozens of healthcare systems, medical centers, physician networks, business associates and hospital associations to help protect their healthcare data. As the longest-tenured, exclusively healthcare-focused Approved HITRUST CSF™ Assessor, BluePrint is a leading proponent of a common security standard for the industry. In addition, BluePrint is active in the HITRUST™ community and brings the HITRUST CSF™ in to all of its engagements. For more information about BluePrint visit www.blueprinthit.com or contact info@blueprinthit.com. Follow on LinkedIn and Twitter.

About Cedar

Cedar provides a smarter way for hospitals, health systems and medical groups to manage the patient payment ecosystem. Our platform delivers modern intelligence to dramatically improve billing operations and ensure a personalized billing experience for patients. To elevate your patient experience, visit cedar.com.