Is there an "intersection" in the company's investments in health and financial services -- and how might that affect the terrible toll unpaid medical bills can have?

Is Apple Next Big Player in Medical Billing?

Might Apple be the next significant entrant in the challenging — but integral — medical billing industry?

CNBC reports: “Apple is investing in health-technology and putting its hardware to use in doctor’s offices across the country. It’s also making moves in financial services, with its Apple Pay service and a new credit cardSo how about the intersection between health and financial services?”

Medical billing made easier?

The post continues: “For Apple, the lowest-hanging fruit would be to make it easier for health care providers, including doctors, to get paid on time. And simultaneously, to help patients see and pay their bills so they can avoid a hit to their credit score.”

According to Consumer Reports: “Nearly 3 in 10 insured Americans had an unpaid medical debt sent to a collection agency, according to a recent nationally representative Consumer Reports survey of 1,000 adults who had a medical expense over $500 in the last two years.”

“Of those, 24 percent didn’t realize the bill was owed and 13 percent said they never received the bill in the first place. Another 10 percent said the bill was sent to collections mistakenly, even though they had already paid it.”

“Of course, sometimes a medical bill goes unpaid because you don’t have the money. Other bills become delinquent because of billing errors or an insurance dispute, which can take months to untangle.”

Apple Pay?

The key may be Apple Pay.

Writes CNBC: With Apple Pay integrated into iPads that Apple already tries to secure in every doctor’s office and hospital, improving ease of payment — even for co-pays — could help address the problem.

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