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Title:
PROVISIONING MEDICAL RESOURCES TRIGGERED BY A LIFECYCLE EVENT
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2021/262276
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Apparatus and associated methods related to determining medical services appropriate to a patient in response to a patient lifecycle event: presenting the medical services to the patient for selection; optionally scheduling the selected medical services; and automatically presenting the selected services for prepayment. The patient lifecycle event may be, for example, a doctor's order, diagnosis, condition change, payment, admission, or discharge. The services presented to the patient may be determined in response to, and as a function of, the lifecycle event. For example, the services presented may include procedures determined after the lifecycle event, in view of patient medical history. In an illustrative example, the services presented may be based on medical indication, contraindication, provider or facility availability, or patient scheduling preference, advantageously permitting more medically relevant, beneficial, convenient, or cost-effective services. Various examples may advantageously provide a discount for a service bundle provided at a particular time or facility or by an affiliated physician or medical group.

Inventors:
KETCHEL PAUL J (US)
AIPPERSPACH RYAN (US)
MARTIROSYAN KAREN (US)
OSBORNE ANI (US)
KAUFMAN MARK (US)
BISCHOFF MICHAEL (US)
SCHMIDT DANIEL (US)
Application Number:
PCT/US2021/025022
Publication Date:
December 30, 2021
Filing Date:
March 31, 2021
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
MDSAVE SHARED SERVICES INC (US)
International Classes:
G16H10/60; G06Q10/10; G16H15/00; G16H20/00; G16H40/20; G16H50/20
Foreign References:
US20100250271A12010-09-30
US20140365240A12014-12-11
US20090144088A12009-06-04
US20100306013A12010-12-02
US20200334727A12020-10-22
US10991021B22021-04-27
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HOLLOWELL, Kelly, J. (US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

What is claimed is:

1. A method comprising: receiving, by a processor, an electronic message comprising an EHR (Electronic Health Record) encoding updated patient medical data; determining, by the processor, the current patient lifecycle state based on the EHR; determining, by the processor, if a patient lifecycle event occurred, based on the processor comparing a historical patient lifecycle state with the current patient lifecycle state; and in response to a determination by the processor that a patient lifecycle event occurred: determining, by the processor, medical services to be offered to the patient, wherein the medical services are not contraindicated for the patient based on the lifecycle event and the patient medical history determined by the processor as a function of the EHR; presenting, by the processor in a user interface, the medical services to be offered to the patient for selection as a function of available service location and available service time; and automatically presenting, by the processor in the user interface, the selected services to the patient for prepayment.

2. The method of claim 1, wherein method further comprises scheduling, by the processor, the selected medical services based on the processor associating an available service location and an available service time with a patient selected service location and a patient selected service time.

3. The method of claim 2, wherein scheduling the selected medical services further comprises sending the medical service selections to a hospital to be scheduled by the hospital based on associating an available service location and an available service time with a patient selected service location and a patient selected service time.

4. The method of claim 1, wherein the patient lifecycle event further comprises patient service scheduled.

5. The method of claim 1, wherein the patient lifecycle event further comprises doctor’ s order issued.

6. The method of claim 1, wherein the medical services to be offered to the patient further comprise a medical service determined as a function of the patient lifecycle event.

7. The method of claim 1, wherein the medical services to be offered to the patient further comprise a medical service bundle based on medical facility utilization determined as a function of time.

8. The method of claim 7, wherein the method further comprises sending, by the processor, the medical service bundle to the patient in a shopping cart format rendered in an email or text message.

9. The method of claim 1, wherein the method further comprises offering, by the processor, the patient a discount for prepayment.

10. A method comprising: receiving, by a processor, an electronic message comprising an EHR (Electronic Health Record) encoding updated patient medical data; determining, by the processor, the current patient lifecycle state based on the EHR; determining, by the processor, if a patient lifecycle event occurred, based on comparing a historical patient lifecycle state with the current patient lifecycle state; and in response to a determination by the processor that a patient lifecycle event occurred: determining, by the processor, medical services to be offered to the patient, wherein the medical services are not contraindicated for the patient based on the lifecycle event and the patient medical history determined by the processor as a function of the EHR, wherein the medical services to be offered to the patient are determined by the processor as a function of the patient lifecycle event, and wherein the medical services to be offered to the patient further comprise a medical service bundle based on medical facility utilization determined by the processor as a function of time; presenting, by the processor, the medical services to be offered to the patient in a shopping cart format rendered in an email or text message to the patient for selection as a function of available service location and available service time; scheduling, by the processor, the medical services selected by the patient based on the processor associating an available service location and an available service time with a patient selected service location and a patient selected service time; and automatically presenting, by the processor, the scheduled services to the patient with a discount offered for prepayment before a predetermined date.

11. The method of claim 10, wherein the patient lifecycle event is patient service scheduled, and wherein the medical service bundle further comprises a follow-up medical service medically indicated by the patient service scheduled.

12. The method of claim 10, wherein historical patient lifecycle state is new patient, and the current patient lifecycle state is well patient.

13. The method of claim 10, wherein the patient lifecycle event is one of: doctor’ s order issued, patient service scheduled, patient admitted, patient discharged, patient diagnosed, patient diagnosis changed, patient medical condition changed, patient age threshold reached, patient life expectancy changed, patient account balance due changed, or patient insurance changed.

14. The method of claim 10, wherein scheduling the medical services further comprises sending the medical service selections to a hospital to be scheduled by the hospital.

15. An apparatus comprising: a processor; a user interface, operably coupled with the processor; and a memory configured to be operably coupled to the processor, wherein the memory comprises encoded processor executable program instructions and data, wherein said instructions and data program and configure the processor that the instructions when executed by the processor cause the apparatus to perform operations comprising: receive an electronic message comprising an EHR (Electronic Health Record) encoding updated patient medical data; determine the current patient lifecycle state based on the EHR; determine if a patient lifecycle event occurred, based on comparing a historical patient lifecycle state with the current patient lifecycle state; and in response to determining a patient lifecycle event occurred: determine medical services to be offered to the patient, wherein the medical services are not contraindicated for the patient based on the lifecycle event and the patient medical history determined as a function of the EHR; present the medical services to be offered to the patient in the user interface for selection as a function of available service location and available service time; and automatically present the selected services to the patient in the user interface for prepayment.

16. The apparatus of claim 15, wherein the operations performed by the apparatus further comprise schedule the selected medical services based on associating an available service location and an available service time with a patient selected service location and a patient selected service time.

17. The apparatus of claim 16, wherein schedule the selected medical services further comprises send the medical service selections to a hospital to be scheduled by the hospital based on associating an available service location and an available service time with a patient selected service location and a patient selected service time.

18. The apparatus of claim 15, wherein the patient lifecycle event further comprises patient service scheduled.

19. The apparatus of claim 15, wherein the patient lifecycle event further comprises doctor’s order issued.

20. The apparatus of claim 15, wherein the medical services to be offered to the patient further comprise a medical service bundle based on medical facility utilization determined as a function of time.

21. The apparatus of claim 20, wherein the operations performed by the apparatus further comprise send the medical service bundle to the patient in a shopping cart format rendered in an email or text message.

22. The apparatus of claim 15, wherein the operations performed by the apparatus further comprise offer the patient a discount for prepayment.

23. An apparatus comprising: a processor; and a memory configured to be operably coupled to the processor, wherein the memory comprises encoded processor executable program instructions and data, wherein said instructions and data program and configure the processor that the instructions when executed by the processor cause the apparatus to perform operations comprising: receive an electronic message comprising an EHR (Electronic Health Record) encoding updated patient medical data; determine the current patient lifecycle state based on the EHR; determine if a patient lifecycle event occurred, based on comparing a historical patient lifecycle state with the current patient lifecycle state; and in response to determining a patient lifecycle event occurred: determine medical services to be offered to the patient, wherein the medical services are not contraindicated for the patient based on the lifecycle event and the patient medical history determined as a function of the EHR, wherein the medical services to be offered to the patient are determined as a function of the patient lifecycle event, and wherein the medical services to be offered to the patient further comprise a medical service bundle based on medical facility utilization determined as a function of time; present the medical services to be offered to the patient in a shopping cart format in an email or text message to the patient for selection as a function of available service location and available service time; schedule the medical services selected by the patient based on associating an available service location and an available service time with a patient selected service location and a patient selected service time; and automatically present the scheduled services to the patient with a discount offered for prepayment before a predetermined date.

24. The apparatus of claim 23, wherein the patient lifecycle event is patient service scheduled, and wherein the medical service bundle further comprises a follow-up medical service medically indicated by the patient service scheduled.

25. The apparatus of claim 23, wherein historical patient lifecycle state is new patient, and the current patient lifecycle state is well patient.

26. The apparatus of claim 23, wherein the patient lifecycle event is one of: doctor’s order issued, patient service scheduled, patient admitted, patient discharged, patient diagnosed, patient diagnosis changed, patient medical condition changed, patient age threshold reached, patient life expectancy changed, patient account balance due changed, or patient insurance changed.

27. The apparatus of claim 23, wherein schedule the medical services further comprises send the medical service selections to a hospital to be scheduled by the hospital.

28. The apparatus of claim 23, wherein the operations performed by the apparatus further comprise accept payment.

29. The apparatus of claim 28, wherein payment further comprises virtual money.

30. The apparatus of claim 23, wherein the discount is determined as a function of the remaining patient deductible.

Description:
PROVISIONING MEDICAL RESOURCES TRIGGERED BY A LIFECYCLE EVENT

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This is a PCT Application based on U.S. Appl. 16/913,662 filed Jun. 26, 2020, which is a continuation-in-part of U.S. Appl. 16/685,888 filed Nov. 15, 2019, which is a continuation-in-part of pending U.S. Appl. 16/520,906 filed Jul. 24, 2019, which is a continuation-in-part of U.S. Appl. 15/055,076 filed Feb. 26, 2016, which is a continuation-in-part of U.S. Appl. 14/874,004 filed Oct. 2, 2015, which is a continuation of U.S. Appl. 14/827,026 filed Aug. 14, 2015, which is a continuation-in- part of U.S. Appl. 14/461,209 filed Aug. 15, 2014, now issued U.S. Patent 9,123,072 issued September 1, 2015, which claims the benefit of Provisional Appl. 61/866,922 filed Aug. 16, 2013, the contents of which are all incorporated herein in their entirety by reference thereto.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] Medical services are services provided to a medical patient. Some medical services may help improve or maintain a patient's health, based on disease prevention, diagnosis, or treatment. The practice of medicine encompasses medical procedures performed for a patient, which may include both preventive care and treatment. Medical service providers include doctors, hospitals, and health insurers. A provider may offer medical services to patients by provisioning medical resources such as, for example, laboratory, imaging, treatment, or surgical facilities, to provide the services. Some medical services may require specially trained or licensed medical professionals. For example, a medical practice providing diagnosis and treatment for joint pain may provide medical services through the work of an orthopedic specialist. In some scenarios, patient access to a specialized professional or facility may be limited by cost, or availability. Some specialized medical professionals and related facilities may be scarce.

[0003] A medical practice may also limit the medical procedures offered to patients based on the availability of specialized professionals and facilities at a given time or location as increasingly seen with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, the services offered to a patient may be determined based on allocating surgeons to various surgical facility locations at specific times. Services supplied to patients may be limite to the allocated medical professionals and facilities, even when medical service demand exceeds supply at a given location or ti me. A medical practice providing many types of medical services may expend significant resources adapting the offered sendees to demand as cost and demand change. Some medical practices may fid! to capture potential revenue lost when resources to provide medical services are underutilized relative to medical service demand.

[0004] The price of healthcare services varies depending on specialty, procedure, and physician practice. In the United States, many patients do not have access to a simple way to shop and compare the price of common medical procedures. Due to the current managed care-based payor system in the US, the cost of treatment is often determined by managed care organizations.

[0005] These managed care organizations have specific formularies for drugs and procedures designed specifically to patients’ individual health plans, which restrict the drugs and procedures available to patients in their particular plans. Patients have historically had no access to these price lists or formularies and have had very few tools to assist them in finding and comparing health care services or predetermining the cost of a procedure. Currently prospective patients who chose to compare medical costs are forced to conduct extensive, often inefficient., and time-consuming research to com pare medical procedures prior to treatment.

[0006] The rising cost of healthcare is having a dramatic effect: on the U.S. healthcare system. Healthcare costs continue to outpace pace inflationary growth, provider reimbursement rates continue to fall, and the cost of patient insurance premiums are increasing. To; lower monthly premium costs, many patients are choosing to purchase (and employers are choosing to offer) high deductible health plans as "an alternative to traditional higher premium PPG health plans.

[0007] These high deductible plans require patients to pay cash payments for medical services until the high deductible is satisfied, and once this deductible has been met, the insurance carrier begins to cover medical costs. As a result, many patients are seeing exponential increases in out-of-pocket expenses for medical procedures and services. In addition to more patients selecting high deductible plans, many patients cannot afford increased payments and are becoming uninsured or underinsured. As the number of patients who are uninsured, underinsured, or on high deductible pl ans grows, the need for a mechanism that allows patients to find discounted medical sendees increases and an efficient payment system. SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0008] Herein presented is an apparatus and associate methods related to determining medical services appropriate to a patient in response to a patient lifecycle event; presenting the medical services to the patient for selection; optionally scheduling the selected medical services; and -automatically presenting the selected services for prepayment. The patient lifecycle event may be, for example, a doctor’s order, diagnosis, condition change, payment, admission, or discharge. The services presented to the patient may be determined in response to, and as a function of, die lifecycle event. For example, the services presented may include procedures determine after the lifecycle · event, in view of patient medical history. In an illustrative example, the services presented may be based on medical indication, contrai ndicati on, provider or facility availability, or patient scheduling preference, advantageously permitting more medically relevant, beneficial, convenient, or cost-effective services. Various examples may advantageously provide a discount for a service bundle provided at a particular time or facility or by an affiliated physician or medical group

[0609] In one aspect, a process is provided, comprising; in response to detecting a patient lifecycle event, offering medical services to the patient, comprising; determining medical sendees appropriate to the patient; presenting the medical services to the patient for selection; scheduling the selected medical services; and, auto tically presenting the selected services for prepayment

[0011)] Detecting the patient lifecycle event may further comprise receiving aft electronic message comprising an EHR (Electronic Health Record).

[001 i] Determinin medical services appropriate to the patient may further comprise determinin optional medical services that are not contraindicated for the patient based on the lifecycle event and the patient medical history determined as a function of the EHR.

[0012] Detecting the patient lifecycle event may further comprise comparing a historical patient lifecycle state with the current patient lifecycle state.

[0013] Delecting the patient l ifecycle event may further comprise determining if the patient lifecycle state changed, based on comparing the previous patient lifecycle state wi th the current patient lifecycle state.

[0014] Detecting the patient lifecycle event may further comprise determining the current patient lifecycle state based on medical evaluation of the patient condition.

[0015] The historical patient lifecycle state may be one of; new patient, well patient, acute care patient, chronic care patient, or recovering patient.

[0016] The current patient lifecycle state may be one of: new patient, well patient, acute care patient, chronic care patient, or recovering patient. [0017] The patient lifecycle event may be one of: doctor's order issued, patient service scheduled, patient admitted, patient discharged, patient diagnosed, patient diagnosis changed, patient medical condition changed, patient age threshold reached, patient life expectancy changed, patient account balance due changed or patient insurance changed

[0018] Presenting the selected services for prepayment may further comprise presenting the selected services to a health insurance provider

[0019] Presenting the selected services for prepayment may further comprise presenting the selecte services; to the patient

[0020] The process may further coni prise bundling the selected services for and acceptin payment. [0021] Scheduling the selected medical sen-ices may further comprise sending the selected medical services to a hospital to he scheduled by the hospital

[0022] The selected services may he sent to the hospital after the selected services are scheduled, in res onse to a scheduling event.

[0023] in an aspect, an apparatus is provided, comprising: a processor; a user interface, operably pimpled with the processor; and, a memory, operably coupled with the processor, wherein the memory encodes processor executable program instructions and data to program and configure the processor to cause the apparatus to perform operations comprising receive an electronic message comprising an EUR; determine the current patient lifecycle state based on the EfIR; determine if a patient lifecycle event occurred, based on comparing a historical patient lifecycle state with the current patient lifecycle state, in response to determining a patient lifecycle event occurred; determine medical services to be offered to the patient, wherein the medical services are. not contraindicated for the patient base on the lifecycle event and the patient medical history determined as a function of the EHR; present the medical sendees to be offered to the patient in the user interface for selection as a function of available service location and available service time; and, automatically present the selected services to the patient in S¾ S lhMrface for prepayment

[0024] The operations performed by the apparatus may further comprise schedule the selected medical services based m associating an available service location and an available service time with a patient selected service location and a patient selected service time.

[0025] Schedule the selected medical services may further comprise send the selected medical services to a hospital to be scheduled by the hospital based on associating an available service: location and an available service- time with a patient selected service location and a patient selected service time. [0026] The patient lifecycle event may further comprise patient service scheduled.

[0027] The patient lifecycle event may further comprise doctor’s order issued. [0028] The medical services appropriate to the patient may further comprise a medical service determi ned as a function of the patient lifecycle event

[0029] The medical sen-ices to be offered to the patient may further comprise a medical sendee bundle based on medical facility utilization determined as a function of time

[0030] The operations performed by the apparatus may further compris sending the medical service bundle to the patient in a shopping cart format rendered in m email or text message.

[0031 j The process may further comprise offering the patien a discount for prepayment.

[0032] in an aspect, an apparatus is provided, comprising: a processor; and, a memory, operablycoupled with the processor, wherein the memory enco es processor executable program instructions and data to program and configure the processor to cause the apparatus to perform operations comprising: receive an electronic message comprising an EHR; determine the current patient lifecycle state based on the EHR; determine if a patient lifecycle event occurred, based on comparing a historical patient lifecycle state with the current patient lifecycle state; in response to determining a patient lifecycle event occurred: determine medical services to be offered to the patient, wherein the medical services are not contraindicated for the patient based on the lifecycle event and the patient medicalhistory determined as a function of the EHR, wherein the medical services to be offered to the patient are determined as a function of ihe . patient lifecycle event, and wherein the medical services to be offered to the patient further comprise a medical service bundle based on medical facility utilization determined as a function of time; present the medical services to he offere to the patient in a shopping cart format rendered in an email or text message to ihe patient for selection as a function of available service location and available service time; schedule the medical services selected by the patient based on associating an available service location and an available service time with a patient selected service location and a patient selected service time; and, automatically present the scheduled services to the patient with a discount offere for prepayment before a predetermi ed date.

[0033] The patient lifecycle event may be patient service scheduled, and the medical sendee bundle may further comprise a follow-up medical service medically indicated by the patient service scheduled. [0034] The historical patient lifecycle state may be new patient, and the current patient lifecycle state may he well patient.

[0035] The historical patient lifecycle state may be new patient, and the current patient lifecycle state may he chronic care patient

[0036] The historical patient lifecycle state may be acute care patient, and the current patient lifecycle state in ay be recoveri ng patient . [0037] The patient lifecycle event may be one of: doctor's order issued, patient service scheduled, patient admitted, patient discharged, patient diagnosed, patient diagnosis changed, patient medical condition changed, patient age threshold reached, patient life expectancy changed, patient account balance due changed or patient insurance changed

[0038] Schedule the medical sendees may further comprise send the selected medical services to a hospital to be scheduled by the hospital.

[0039] Various embodiments may achieve one or more advantages. For example, in some embodiments, medical practice profit may be improved. Such improved medical practice profit may be a result of reduced cost based on improved utilization of medical practice resources that may be otherwise spent sending bills, collecting payment, handling payment in-person, and the like. Various implementations may reduce the effort required by a. medical practice to offer medically relevant or beneficial services to a patient. This facilitation may be a result of a patient lifecycle event triggerin an offer for services related tet the patient lifecycle event. For example, a patient lifecycle event or status change such as a doctor’s order, patient registration for a primary service, diagnosis, or change n medical condition may automatically trigger other service offers medically indicated or beneficial with the primary service or change in lifecycle status. Some embodiments may improve the cost effectiveness of medical service offerings. Such improved medical service cost effectiveness may be a result of improved resource utilization based on offering additional medical services optionally available within the same service window as a primary service. For example, a primary service ordered by a doctor or scheduled b a patient may trigger an offer of optional services that are within the same or similar facility or time slot service window as the primary sendee. In an illustrative example, such an offer of optional services may enable a medical service provider to reduce cost and offer a discount to patients, as a result of improved resource utilization. Some examples may increase the quantity of medical services performed by a medical practice. This facilitation may be a result of increasin the chance of a patient: scheduling an additional or optional procedure selected from offered procedures determined in response to a patient lifecycle event that has already occurred. For example, a medical practice may be able to offer more medically relevant or beneficial services, or offer more cost effective service schedules, from the temporal perspective after a patient lifecycle event has occurred, in view of the patient’s medical history in addition, after a patient lifecycle event, there may be enhanced patient motivation to schedule additional procedures of respond to a discount offer, improving the chances for the medical practice to provide additional services to the patient.

[0040] Some embodiments may improve patient’s ease of access to medical services. This facilitation may be a result of reducing the patient’s effort selecting, scheduling, and paying for medical services. Some examples may improve a patient ' s medical care experience. Such improved patient medical care experience may b a result of a medical practice offering a patient a bundle of multiple services that could be performed in fewer visits, thereby reducing the number of times a patient has to revisit a medical service facility. Some embodiments may improve a patient’s benefit from medical services. This facilitation may be a result of a medical sendee provider offering the patient more medically beneficial services tailored to the patienfis condition or status in the patient lifecycle. In some embodiments, a patient’s cost for medical se dees may be reduced. Such reduced medical service cost to a patient may be a result of a medical practice passing on to the patient medical practice cost savings based on improved medical practise resource utilization from optional services available within the same service window as a primary service. In some designs, a patient’ s cost for medical services may be reduced as a result of a medical practice providing a prepayment discount to the patient.

[0041] Various implementations may construct a proposed medical service bundle for a patient in response to detecting a patient lifecycle event has occurred. A patient lifecycle event may be, for example, patient registration for a service, , any patient Ilieeysie event, including, but not limited to, a doctor’s order, scheduling, administrative updates to patient records, patient admission, patient discharge, overdue payment, change in payment account balance due, and the like. The medical service bundle proposed to the patient may include, for example, the services that were actually provided or scheduled, or any additional or related services the patient might be interested in.

[0042] An exemplary implementation may, for example, receive electronic notification from an EHR or other source, determine the appropriate prQcedure(s) to offer to the patient, based on the data or codes in that electronic notification, create a shopping cart including a proposed medical service bundle for the patient, and optionally email or text the shopping cart to the patient. The shopping cart may also be saved in a portal (for example, an exemplary MDsave Direct portal implementation). In an illustrative example, a provider using the portal wher the shopping cart was saved may directly look up the shopping cart or service bundle to aid completing the purchase, either in person, online (for example by live chat), or on the phone with the patient.

[0043] Some example designs may include offered optional services that are chosen based o future procedures indicated for the patient, medical contraindication, provider or facility availability or patient scheduling preference. Some embodiment may offer a discount for scheduling a particular bundle (“cart”) of services at a particular date, time, or facility, or with a particular provider or doctor. In an illustrative example, some implementations may permit a patient to select from the offered services and prepay for the selected services. In an example illustrative of various implementations * usage, in addition to minimizing the number of times a patient has to revisit the facility, a medical practice may reduce resources spent on sending bills, collecting payment, dealing with payment in- person, and the like

[0044] In an example illustrative of technical effect that may result from various implementations * usage, the trigger condition to construct a servi ce offer using the time value of the temporal perspective after a patient lifecycle event may improve medical care and reduce cost. For example, a medical service bundle determined: after a patient lifecycle event may be more closely customized to the patient's medical condition and medical history in view of the iifecycie event. Such a perspective view triggered in response to a patient lifecycle event may permit offering more medically relevant additional procedures, may increase the chance a. patient may select an additional procedure, an may improve medical practice resource utilization, in contrast with offering the patient optional services before a patient lifecycle event (suc as before the patient is registered for a procedure, or commits to a procedure schedule). In an illustrative example, a patient that has already scheduled a primary procedure on a given day may have already arranged their personal or professional schedule to accommodate the primary procedure. Such a patient may be more likely to schedule an additional procedure at the same facility on the same day in response to a discount offer if the additional procedure is not medically contraindicated by the primary procedure.

[0045] hi some examples, a service may be scheduled by a hospital. For example, an embodimen process or apparatus may determine a service bundle, present the service bundle to a patient for selection of services the patient may be interested in, and then leave scheduling to a hospital. The services selected by the patient may be sent to a hospital for scheduling by th hospital Some designs may send out a shopping cart of sendees after scheduling takes place, in response to the scheduling- event; that is, using the scheduling event as a trigger to send out the shopping cart of services.

[0046] Various implementations may create a shopping cart in response to a trigger condition to offer services. The trigger condition to offer services may be a patient Iifecycie event (for example, patient registration for a procedure, change in patient condition, diagnosis, doctor's order, admission discharge, and the like). For example, patient registration for a primary service may trigger other service offers that are within the same service window (for example, time slot and/or facility) of the primary service, permitting a medical practice to enhance utilization of facility services and resources, reducing the number of times a patient may have to revisit the facility, and providing a cost saving to the patient through prepayment

[0047] Exemplary embodiments of the present invention relate to the marketing an facilitating the sale of services and products. More specifically, exemplary embodiments relate to methods and apparatuses for providing a web-based mechanism allowing prospective patients to search for and compare healthcare services and products offered by local providers, including bundled sets of services, and facilitating prepaid purchases of such healthcare sendees and products by prospective patients at discounted rates.

[0048] Exemplary embodiments of the present invention are related to an apparatus for facilitating purchases of services offered by service providers. The apparatus includes an application server providing a network sendee that is accessible to a plurality of users through a plurali ty of client systems communicatively coupled to the application server via a network an a data storage system storing a service offer database feat is maintained by the application server.

[0049] The service offer database comprises a plurality of service offer information records respectively associated with a plurality of service offers. The plurality of service offers includes at least one service offer for a bundled set of services. Each service offer information record comprises an indication of a primary service of the associated service offer, a purchase price for the associated servi ce offer, a payment amount for the primary service, and compensation information for the primary service. Upon receiving purchase information for the user for purchasing the selected se dee offer from the client system, the network service is operable to issue a request to the .funding source for funds corresponding to the purchase price included in the service offer information record associated with the selected service offer to process a purchase of the selected service offer by the user.

[0050] In exemplary embodiments, each service offer for a bundled set of services comprises a bundled set of healthcare services provided by corresponding healthcare service providers.

[0051] in exemplary embodiments, at least one service offer information record associated with a service offer for a bundled set of services further comprises an indication of a facility for performing the primary service, a facility fee for the facility·, and compensation information for the facility fee;

[0052] In exemplary embodiments, at least one service offer information record associate with a service offer for a bundled set of sendees further comprises an indication that at least one of the secondary services associated with the primary service is an optional secondary service.

[0053] In exemplary embodiments, the data storage system stores a profile database that is maintained by the application server. The profile database comprises a respective account information record for each of a plurality of user accounts registered with the application server. The plurality of user accounts includes a plurality of customer accounts and a plurality of provider accounts, The account information record for each user account comprising information for authorizin a user accessing the network service from one of the client systems to access the network service in association with the user account.

[0054] In exemplary embodiments, the plurality of provider accounts includes a plurality of physician accounts and a plurali ty of practice group accounts, the account information record for each practice group account comprises an indication of one or more of the physician accounts being affiliated with the practice group account

[0055] In exemplary embodiments, the data storage s stem stores a transaction information database that is maintained by the application server. The transaction information database comprises respective purchase information record for each processed purchase, by a user accessing the network service from one of the client systems in association with a customer account, of a service offer that has been created by a user accessing the network service from one of the client system in association with a provider account, the respective purchase information record for each processed purchase comprising an indication of the service offer information record associated with the purchased service offer and, for each of the primary service and any secondary service of the service offer, and an indication of whether the purchase has been redeemed with respect to the sen-ice.

[0056] In exemplary embodiments, the network service, upon being accessed by a user of one of the client systems to process a purchase of a service offer, generates a voucher for the user that specifies a unique confirmation number for the purchase and the corresponding service provider for each of the primary sendee and any secondary service of the purchased sendee offer, and, for each of the- primary service and any secondary' service of the purchased service offer, sets the purchase information record for the processe purchase to indicate that the purchase has not been redeemed with respect to the service.

[0057] Exemplary embodiments of the present invention that are related to computer-implemented processes and computer systems corresponding to the above-summarized exemplary embodiments directed to an apparatus are also described and claimed herein.

[0058] The above-described and other features and advantages realized through the techniques of the present disclosure will be better appreciated and understood with reference to the following detailed description, drawings, and appended claims. Additional features and advantages are realized through the techniques of the present invention .. Other embodiments and aspects of the invention are described in deta l herein and are considered a part of the claimed invention. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0059] The subj ct matter that i regarded as the invention is particularly pointed out and distinctly claimed in the claims at the conclusion of the specification. The foregoing and other objects, features, and advantages of the invention are apparent from the following detailed description of exemplaty embodiments of the present invention taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:

[0060] FIG ! is a schematic diagram illustrating ah example network architecture for a healthcare marketplace system that can be configured to implement exemplary embodiments of the present invention.

[0061J FIG 2 is a block diagra illustrating a server system in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present invention

[0062] FIGS. 3 A-3D are a number of screen shots illustrating examples of a graphical user interfaces that may be implemented by services provided within a customer portal in accordance with exemplary embodiments of the present invention.

[0063] FIG. 4 A is an Illustration of an example voucher that may be generated within a user Interlace by functions provided within a customer portal for a purchased service in accordance with exemplary embodiments of the present invention.

[0064] FIG 4B is an illustration of an example voucher that may be generated within a user interface by functions provided within a customer portal for a purchased service that is offered as a bundled set of services in accordance with exemplary embodiments of the present invention.

[0065] FIG. 5 is a block diagram of an exemplary computer system that can be used for implementing exemplary embodiments of the present invention.

[0066] FIG. 6 Is a schematic diagra illustrating a second example network architecture for a healthcare marketplace system that can be configured to implement exemplary embodiments of the present invention: and

[0067] FIGS. 7A-7C are a number of screen shots illustrating examples of a graphical user interfaces that may be implemented by service provided within a provider portal in accordance with exemplary embodiments of the present invention. [0068] FIG, 8 illustrates a flow chart of an insurance policy stored in the insurance database executed by the application server in accordance with exemplary embodiments of the present invention

[0069] FIG. 9 illustrates a block diagram of a virtual payment system manager communicating with client system in a healthcare marketplace system

[0070] FIG. 10 Illustrates block diagram of the application server showing deductible checker, shopping cart, and drug discounted card in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention.

[0071] FIG. 11 is a process flow illustrative of an exampl e aspect of patient lifecycle event triggered shopping cart provisioning design,

[0072] FIG. 12 is a process flow illustrative of an example aspect of patient lifecycle event triggered shopping cart provisioning design.

[0073] FIG. 13 is a process flow illustrative of an example aspect of patient lifecycle event triggered shopping cart provisioning design.

[0074] FIG 14 is a process flow illustrative of an example aspect of patient lifecycle event triggered shopping cart provisioning design

[0075] The detailed description explains exemplary embodiments of the present invention, together with advantages and features, by way of example with reference to the drawings, in which similar numbers refer to similar parts throughout the drawings. The flow diagrams depicted herein are just examples. There may he many variations to these diagrams or the steps (Or operations) described therein without departing from the spirit of the in vention. For instance, the steps may be performed in a differing order, or steps may be added, deleted, or modified. All of these variations are considered to be within the scope of the claimed invention.

[0076] Like reference symbols m the various drawings indicate like elements.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0077] While the specification concludes with claims defining the features of the inventio that are regarded as novel, it is believed that the invention will be better understood from a consideration of the description of exemplary' embodiments in conjunction with drawings. It is of course to be understood that the embodiments described herein are merely exemplary of the invention, which can be embodied in various forms. Therefore, specific structural and functional details disclosed in relation to the. exemplary embodiments described herein are not to be interpreted as limiting, but merely as a representative basis for teaching one skilled in the art to variously employ the present invention in virtually any appropriate form, and it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that the present invention may be practiced without these specific details. Further, the terms and phrases used herein are not intended to he limiting but rather to provide an understandabl description of the invention.

[0078] Exemplary embodiments of a transactional marketpl ace system in accordance with the present inventionwill now be described with reference to the drawings. Exemplary embodiments of the present invention may be implemented to provide healthcare service providers and pharmacies with a mechanism to remotely offer healthcare services and products to prospective patients at discounted fates in exchange for prepayment of the costs for the services and products via a network-based application (for example, a web-based application).

[0079] Tn this regard, exemplary embodiments may further be implemented to provide prospective patients with a mechanism to remotely search, compare, and make pre-paid purchases of such healthcare services and products offered by local medical service providers and pharmacies via a network-connected device configured to access the network-based application. Exemplary embodiments may be further implemented to provide healthcare sendee providers with the ability to remotely offer a bundled set of healthcare sendees that are performed separately by multipl providers to prospective patients through such a network-based mechanism in which the patient is provided the opportunity to make a prepaid purchase of such a bundled set of services in a single transaction via the network-connected device, whereby the network-based application facilitates a disbursed distribution of the payment among the multiple healthcare service providers that perform services included is the bundled set of services.

[ftfi&O] Exemplary embodiments may also be further implemented to provide a virtual payment system for facilitating and accounting for the exchange of payment for sendees and products purchased by (or otherwise on behalf of) patients and offered by healthcare providers via the transactional marketplace system in which a respective virtual money account is established and utilize for each participant in transactions conducted within the marketplace system to manage and track the process elf exchanging actual currency and/or credits used to pay for the transactions through the use of corresponding virtual funds created within the virtual payment system. [0081] ίp such exemplary embodiments, the virtual funds may he allocated and distributed to, exchanged among, and redeemed for corresponding amounts of actual currency by various participants to each transaction for which payment is facilitated through the virtual payment system, and the participants to transactions within the virtual payment system for which respective virtual money accounts are established and utilized may include, in addition to patients, healthcare providers, or other entities specified for receiving payments for services or products offered through the marketplace system, third party payers, arid an entity that provides the transactional marketplace system.

[0082] Exemplar embodiments may b further implemented to provide various types of healthcare service providers, which may include individual physicians, practice groups, an hospital systems, with the ability to establish affiliations with one another through such a network-based mechanism and provide various options allowing the service providers to remotely offer healthcare services in association with these affiliations.

[0083] Tt should further be noted that various aspects of exemplary embodiments of the present invention described herein are not limited to healthcare services (also referred to herein as procedures) and products but, rather, may be implemented with respect to any suitable classes and types of services and products that may be offered by any suitable classes and types of service providers and retailers.

[0084] Referring now to FIG. 1, a schematic diagram illustrating an example network architecture for a healthcare marketplace system 100 that can be configured to implement exemplary* embodiments of the present invention is provided. Tt should of course be understood that FIG. 1 is intended as an example, not as an architectural limitation for different embodiments of the present invention, and therefore, the particular elements depicted in FIG. 1 should not be considered limiting with regard to the environments within which exemplary embodiments of the present invention ma be implemented.

[0085] In the example iH®trate In FIG. i, healthcare marketplace syste 100 is implemented as a ctientfserver sy stem that includes a central server system 110 that is commonly accessed by each user of the system through operation of any of a plurality of client systems 140 that are operatively coupled to the central server system via a communication network 150. Central server system 110 further includes a database server P 2 that is coupled to a data store 114 and an application server 116, an each client system 140 is a user terminal or other client device implementing software for and running a respective client application 142 for accessing services provided via network-based application (also referred to herein as a network service) implemented by application server 116. [0086] As further illustrated, exemplary marketplace system 100 may also include at least one third- patty server system 160 to enable other functionality that may be accessed and utilized by server system 110 to provide and/or enhance the network service discussed herein. In exemplary embodiments,marketplace system 10Q can include additional servers clients, and other devices not shown in FIG. 1.. The particular architecture depicted in FIG 1 is provided as an example for illustrative purposes and, in exemplary embodiments, any number of client systems 140 may be connected to server system 110 at any given time via network 150, and server system 110 can comprise multiple server components and databases locate within a single server system or within multiple server systems, where the multiple server systems arc integrated with or accessible by users of client systems 140 as a distributed server system via network 150,

[0687] In exemplary embodiments network ISO can be configure to facilitate .communications between server system 110 and client systems 140, as well as communications with and between other devices and computers connected together within marketplace system 100, by any suitable wired (including optical liber), wireless technology, or any suitable combination thereof, including, but not limited to, personal area networks (PANs), local area networks (LANs), wireless networks, wide-area networks (WAN), the Internet (a network of heterogeneous networks using the Internet Protocol, IP), and virtual private networks, and the network may also utilize any suitable hardware, software, and firmware technology to connect devices such as, for example, optical fiber, Ethernet, ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network), T-l or T-3 link, FDD! (Fiber Distributed Data Network), cable or wireless LMDS network, Wireless LAN, Wireless PAN (for example, IrDA, Bluetooth, Wireless USB, Z-Wave and ZigBee), HomePNA, Power line communication, or telephone line network. Such a network connection can include intranets, extranets, and the Internet, may contain any number of network infrastructure elements including routers, switches, gateways, etc , can comprise a circuit switched network, suc as the Public Service Telephone : Network (PSTN), a packet switched network, such as the global Internet, a private WAN or LAN, a telecommunications network, a broadcast network, or a point-to-point network, and may utilize a variety of networking protocols now available or later developed including, but not limited to the Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) suite of protocol for com muni cation

[0088] In exemplary tmibodmient , application sewer 116, database server 112, and any other servers employed within sewer system 110 and third-party servers utilized within marketplace system 100 can be implemented within any suitable computing system or systems such as a workstation computer, a mainframe computer, a server system (for example, SUN ULTRA workstations running the SUN operating system, IBM RS/6000 workstations and servers running the AD£ operating system, or an IBM ^Series eServer running ¾/OS, CNM, OG LINUX OS), a server duster, a distributed computing system, a cloud based computing system, or the like, as well as any of the various types of computing syste s and devices described below with reference to the client systems 140. Server system 110 may be implemented using an of a variety of architectures. For example, application server 116 and database server 112 may also be implemented independently or as a single, integrated device. While the exemplary embodiment illustrated in FIG. 1 depicts application server 1 16 and database server 112 as individual components, the applications provided b these servers, or various combinations of these applications, may actually be server applications miming on separate physical devices. In this regard, server system 110 may comprise a number of computers connected together via a network and, therefore, may exist as multiple separate logical and/or physical units* and/or as multiple servers acting in concert or independently, wherein each server may be comprised of multiple separate logical and/or physical units. In exemplary embodiments, server system 11 can be connected to network 150 through a collection of suitable securit appliances, which may be implemente in hardware, software, or a combination of hardware and software

[0089] As illustrated in FIG. 1, application server 116 is communicatively coupled to database server 112. Database server 112 is connected to data store 114, which comprises a plurality of databases that are maintained by database server 112, accessed by application server 116 via database services provided at a front end by database server 112, and store information on a variety of matters that isutilized in providing the services offered via the network service provided by the application server, as described below in greater detail.

[0090] The machine learning algorithm: 15 instructs the se dee offer database 114h to store each healthcare service provider service corresponding to the user selection and displays the bundled set of service offers via the graphical user interfitce/piovider portal 130 that matches the users’ selection

[0091] Any machine- learning algorithm 15 can be employed, such as neural networks, expert systems, Bayesian belief networks, fuzz logic, data fusion engines and the like. The system may also employ combinations of various artificial intelligence techniques to the service offer database 114h.

[0092] The machine learning algorithm 15 takes into account of each and every' parameter of user inputs such as type of disease, location, experti se, procedures, hospitals, pricing etc. Thus, the machine learning algorithm 15 display s the best results/hits based on the inputs and preferences of the user. [0093] As used herein, the term "data store," "data storage unit," storage device", and the like can to any suitable memory device that may be used for storing data, including manual Files, machine-readable files, and databases in exemplary embodiments, application server 116, database server 112, and data store 114 may have implemented together a single computing device, implemented within a plurality of computing devices locally coupled to each other via a suitable communication medium, such as a serial port cable, telephone line or wireless frequency transceiver, implemented within a plurality of computing devices remotely coupled to each other via network ISO, or any suitable co bi nation thereof

[0094] Client systems 140 are computer devices id which one or more users, which may he healthcare providers offering services or products or patients seeking to purchase healthcare services or products, or their human agents (for example, personal representatives or assistants), have access. It should be noted that the term "user" is used herein to refer to one who uses a computer system, such as one of client sy stems 140. As described in greater detail below, client systems 140 are each operable b such users to access server system 110 via network 150 and act as clients to access services offered by the network service provided by the server system within exemplary marketplace system 100. For this purpose, each client system includes a respective client application 142 that executes on the client system and allows a user to interact· with server system 110 via application server 116.

[0095 j in exemplary embodiments, the computer sy stems of client systems 140 can be any of a wide range of suitable computing devices such as one Or more workstations, desktop computers, laptops, Or other personal computers (PCs) (for example, IBM or compatible PC workstations running the MICROSOFT WINDOWS operating system or LINUX OS, MACINTOSH computers running the MAC OSX operating system, or equivalent), non-traditional-computer digital devices such as Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) and other handheld or portable electronic devices, smart phones and other mobile handsets, tablet computers, netbook computers, game consoles, home theater PCs, desktop replacement computers, and the like, or any other suitable information processing devices. An exemplary computer system for client systems 140 is described in greater detail below with reference to FIG. S

[0096] in general, during operation of exemplary marketplace system 100, a client system 140 first ®iabH re& a connection to server system 110 via network ISO Once the connection has been established, the connected client system may directly or Indirectly transmit data to and access content from the application server 116. A user accessing application server 1 16 through the connected client system can thereby to use a client application 142 to access sendees provided by the application server, which are described in greater detail below, via a user interface implemented by the client application within which the client application renders the information served by the application server

[0097] In exemplary embodiments, application server 116 can implement network service as a nonweb client application (such as a mobile application), a web client application, or both to provide the services accessed by client systems 140 within server system 110, and client applications 142 can correspondingly be implemented as non-web client applications, web client applications, or both for operation by users of the client systems to interact with application server 116 and access the services provided thereby. For example, application server 116 can comprise a web server configured to provide a web application for the respective client applications implemented on client systems 140 that are configured to provide web-based user interfaces for utilizing the services provided by the web server. For instance, the user interfaces of client applications implemented on client systems 140 can be configured to provide various options corresponding to the functionality offered in exemplar !aubo imehfs described herein through suitable user interface controls (for example, by way of menu selection, point-arid-click, dialog box, or keyboard command). In one general example, the user interfaces may provide "send" or "submit" buttons that allow users of client applications to transmit requested information to application server 116. The user interfaces can be implemented, for example, as a graphical user interface (GUI) that renders a common display structure to represent the network service provided by application server 116 for a user of a client platform.

[0098] More specifically, in such an example, application server 116 can, for example, be configured to provide services via a web-based software application hosting a corresponding website that includes a number of web pages (e.g., screens), and client applications 142 ca comprise a web browser executing on client systems 140, such that the services provided by application server 116 are accessible to client systems 114 using the Internet or an intranet. Users of client systems 140 ma thereby access the website provided by application server 116 by, for example, inputing or following a link to the uniform resource locator (URL) for the website in the web browser, which then enable users to display and interact with information, media, and other content embedded within the w eb pages of the website provided by application server 116. The web-based software application can transmit information that can be processed by the eb browsers to render a user interface using, for example, a browser-supported programming languages such as JavaScript, HTML, HTML5, and CSS, or the like, and can communicate with the web browsers using, for example, HTTPS, POST and/or GET requests. Client applications 142 and application server 116 ma be configured so that information transmitted between client systems 140 and server system 110 can be encrypted and sent over a secure network connection to protect, for example, patient privacy

[0099] Referring now to FIG. 2, a block diagram illustrating an exemplary embodiment of server system 110 is provided. M illustrated in FIG. 2, application server 116 is implemented to provide a pluralit of services via a customer portal 120 and a plurality of services via a provider portal 13Ό, As described herein, application server 116 can be implemented to provide a respective set services for each of various types of users (for example, unregistered guests, customers, individual physicians, nurses, office staff, practice group administrators, hospital system administrators, pharmacy administrators, and the like), and some of the services offered by application server 116 can he commonly applicable to and accessible by ail types of users, while other services can be applicable to and accessible only by specific types of users

[0100] For purposes of description, the terms "providers” an "provider users" are used herein to refer to the general class of users that register with the system offer healthcare services dr products for purchase by customer users registered with the system, which can include individual physician users practice group administrators hospital system administrators, pharmacy administrators, and the like. In addition, a user account for a particular provider can have any number of authorized users. As an example, an account established for a physician can have the physician as one of its users. It can also have nurses or office staff worki ng for the phy si cian as other authorized users. The other authorized users can log into the account and perform various actions with the permission and under the supervision of the physician

[0101] A single hospital system account may be established and shared by multiple staff member's For purpose of illustration, there can be a designated user (for example, an account administrator) who is responsible for managing the account, The administrator can be provided with greater access rights within server system 110 with respect to the account in exem lary embodiments, the particular client applications 142 or the particular client systems 140 that are utilized for accessing application server 116 can be respective to and customized for each type of user account. For example, the particular client application that is utilized for each type of account can be implemented to a provide virtual computing platform that is specific to the services offered for that type of account.

[0102] As further illustr ated in exemplary embodiment of FIG. 2, and as will also be described in greater detail below, data store 114 comprises a plurality of databases that are maintained and accessible by application server 116 via database server 112, including a customer profile database 114a, a physician profile database 114b, a practice group profile database 114c, a hospital system profile database 114d, a pharmacy profile database 1146, a condition information database 114f, an available services database 1 l4g, a service offer database 114h, an available products database 1141, & product offer database 114j, a transaction information database 114k, and one or more additional databases 1141 that may be used for storing arty other suitable information that may be utilized by server system 110 (for example, system usage data, audit trail data, data used internally within the system by application server 116, and the like).

[0103] The customer profile database 114a is configured to register users thereby providing user s personal information for purchasing healthcare services. The physician profile database 114b is configured to register and maintain records of individual physician offering healthcare services. The condition information database 114f is configured to register and maintain information records for various health conditions and diseases for which corresponding healthcare services arc offered.

[0 04] Phy i ci an profi I e database 114b is used to ai ntai n account i nformati on records for i n di vi dual physician users that register with server system 110 to offer healthcare sendees for purchase by registered with the system, as well as account information records for individual physicians that are registered with the system in association with a practice group or hospital system (as described in greater detail below). For each physician for which an account is registered with server system 110, various items of information relevant to the physician, such as name, practice specialty, office loeation(s) and hours, a profile picture, contact information, biographical information (such as awards, honors, publications, patient testimonials, and other information that can be helpful for marketing the physician to customers accessing the system), URLs or references to websites and social media profiles, group practice and hospital a fi!iationfs), outside facilities that are used for particular procedures performed by the ph sician (for example, particular hospitals or clinics), compensation information (indicating a financial account for receiving payment for purchases of services offered by the physician via the system), and any other suitable identifying information, as well a a unique user name and password associated with the account that can be used to log into the account, may be included in the respective account information record for the physician that is maintaine within physician profile database T14b. The account information record for each physicia can also be associated with an account status and a unique physician account identifier within physician profile database 114b that is used by application server 116 for performing various operations.

10105] Practice group profile database 114c is used to maintain account information records for practice group administrator users that register with server system 110 to offer healthcare services provided by phy sicians affiliated with a practice group for purchase by customer users registered with the system. For each practice group for which an account is registered with sewer system i If), various items of information relevant to the practice, such as practice group name, location and hours, contact information, URLs or references to websites and social media profiles for the practice group, physician and hospital affiiiation(s), outside facilities that are used for particular procedures performed by physicians affiliated with the practice group, compensation information (indicating a financial account for receiving payment for purchases of services offered by affiliated physicians via the system), and an other suitable identifying information, as well as a unique user name and password associated with the account that can be used by the practice group admi ni strator to log i nto the account, may be incl uded in the respective account information record for the practice group that is maintained within practice group profile database 1 14c The account information record for each practice group can also be associated with an account status and a unique practice group account identifier within practice group profile database 114c that may be used by physician users registered with the system for affiliating with the practice group and used by application server 116 for performing various operations.

[0106] The hospital system profile database 114d is configured to register and maiiitain account information records for hospital system administrators roviding pie-paid healthcare services Hospital system profile database 114d is use to maintain account information records for hospital system administrator users that register with server system 110 to make on-site, in-person sales of pre-paid healthcare services provided by physicians affiliated with a hospital system for purchase by patients operating client systems within marketplace system 100 For each hospital system for which an account is registered with server system 110, various items of information relevant to the hospital system, such as practice grou and physician affiiiation(s), facilities that are used for particular procedures performed by physicians affiliated with the hospital system, compensation information (indicating a . fthandai account for receiving payment for purchases of sendees offered by affiliated physicians via the system), and any other suitable identifying information, as well as a unique user name and password associated with the account that can be used by the hospital system administrator to log into the account, may be included in the respective account information record for the hospital sy stem that is maintained within hospital system profile database 114d. The respective account Information record for the hospital system may further include: a plurality of unique: user names and passwords associated with the account that can be respecti vely used by hospital sy stem staff m embers to log into the account The account information record for each hospital system can also be associated with an account status and a unique hospital system account identifier within hospital system profile database 1 !4d that may be used by physician users registered with the system for affiliating with the hospital system and used by application server 1 16 for performing various operations

10107] Pharmacy profile database 114e is used to maintain account information records for pharmacy administrators that register with server system 110 to offer healthcare products, such as prescription drugs and medical supplies, for purchase by customer users registered with the system. For each pharmacy for which an account is registered with server system 110, various items of inform tion relevant to the pharmacy, such as name, location(s) and hours, contact information, URLs or references to websites and social media profiles, compensation information (indicating a financial account for receiving payment for purchases of products offered by the pharmacy via the system), and an other suitable identifying information, as well as a unique user name and password associated with the account that can be used to l og into the account may be included in the respective account information record for the pharmacy that is maintained within pharmacy profile database 114c. The account information record for each pharmacy can also be associated with a account status and a unique pharmacy account identifier within pharmacy profile database 1 Me that is used by application server 116 for performing various operations.

(0108] Condition information database 114f is used to maintain information records for various health conditions and diseases for which corresponding healthcare services (for example, test and treatments) that can be offered by providers registered with server system 1.10 for purchase by customer users registered with the system. In exemplary embodiments, the various conditions, and diseases for which respective information records are maintained in condition information database 114f and the information that populates the respective information record for each condition or disease can he created and maintained by a back-end administrator of server system 110. For each condition or disease for which an information record is created, various items of information relevant to the condition or disease, such as name, description, causes, risk factors, symptoms, common treatments, corresponding healthcare services that can be offered by providers registered with server system 110 (for example, each associated healthcare service may be identified within the information record using a unique procedure identifier that is used to identify an information record for the service within available sendee database 114g as discusse below), and any other suitable information may be included in the respective information record for the condition or disease that is maintained within condition information database !14f.

10109] The a vail able service database 114g is configured to register and mai ntain record of various healthcare services offered by at least one of: a physician; and a hospital Available services database 114g is used to maintain information records for various healthcare services (for example, test and treatments) that can be offered by providers registered with server system 110 for purchase by customer users registered with the server system. In exemplary embodiments, the respective information records for healthcare services that are maintained in available services database 11.4g and the information that populates the respective information record for each sendee can be created and maintained by a backend administrator of server system 110 For each service for which m information record is created, various items of information relevant to the service, such as name, procedure detail, one or more medical specialties with which ire procedure is commonly associated, cost information (for example, average prices for the service for patients that are uninsured and/or have a h gh deductible insurance plan and an average price for purchasing the service that is offered by providers registered with server system I IQ), a medical code number Identifying the service according to the nomenclature used by a formal medical classification system (for example, a code that is used to Identify the service according to the Current Procedural Terminology (OPT) code set), a procedure identifier that is used by application server 116 to uniquely identify the particular sendee, and any other suitable information may be Included in the respective information record for the service that is maintained withi n available services database 114g

[0110] Additionally, in exemplary embodiments, the information record for each sen-ice that is maintained within available sendees database 1 Mg may further include an indication of the whether tire service can be offered by providers within marketplace system 100 as an individual primary' service or as: a primary service of a bundled set of a plurality of services (for which a single payment for the bundled set of services will be disbursed to different provider for each of the services in the bundled set) in such embodiments, for each service for which the information record Includes an indication that the service is offered as a primary service of a bundled set of services, various items of additionalinformation relevant to the bundled set of services associated with the service that is indicated to he a primary service may be included in the respective information record for the primary service that is maintained within available services database 1 S4g. Such ite s of information relevant to the bundled set of services included in the respective information record for a primary service may include, for example, items of information describing one or more secondary' services associated with the primary service (such as name-, a medical code number such as a CPT cod identifying th service according to the nomenclature used by a forma! medical classification system, and a secondary procedure identifier that is used by application server i 16 to uniquely identify the particular secondary service in association with tire unique procedure identifier for the primary service), one or more procedure identifiers for other services for which an information record is maintained within available services database 114g that are considered to be secondary services associated with the primary service, an indication of whether performance of each of the one or more secondary services (for which a single customer payment for the bundled set of services will be disbursed among different respective providers for the services in the bundled set) is optional or required in association with performance of the primary service, and an indication of whether the primary service is required to be performed at an outside facility. In addition, in such embodiments, for each service for which the information record includes an indication that the service is offered as a primary service of a bundled set of services, the cost information that is included in the respective information record for the primar service that is mainfaiaed within available services database 114g can include respective cost informal! on for each of the primary service, the one or secondary sendees, and, if required, the use of an outside facility for the primary sendee individually (for example, average prices for each sen-ice and facility of the bundled set of services for patients that are uninsured and/or have a high deductible insurance plan) in addition to an average price for purchasing the bundled set of service» that is offered by providers registered with server system 1 IQ.

[01.113 Service offer -datalsso 1 btfeis used to maintain information records for healthcare services that are being offered by providers registered with the system for purchase: b customer users registered with the system. In this regard, it should be noted that the same service may be separatel offered by multiple different providers registered with the system and, thus, sendee offer database 114h can include multiple information records for the same service that are each associated with a different provider. For each offered service for which a respective information record is maintained within service offer database T14h, various items of information relevant to the service being offered, such as the unique procedure identifier for the information record within available services database 114g for the service, the unique account identifier for the account informatio record (within physician profile database 11.4b, practice group profile database 114c, or hospital system profile database 114d) of the provider that i s offering the sendee through the system, the unique: physician account identifier for the account information record within physician profile database T 14b of the physician user that will perform the service, a location at which the service will be performed, a discounted price for purchasing the sendee within marketplace system 100, a regular price for the service when the service is purchased outside of the system, the unique account identifier for the account information record (within physician profile database 114b, practice group profile database 114c, or hospital system profile database 1 !4d) of the provider for which payment for the service when purchased through the system is to be directed, a payment a ount to b transferred to the provider for which payment for performing the service is to be directed, additional descriptive information that may be provided by the provider offering the service, a procedure offer identifier that is used by application server 116 to uniquely identify the offering of the particular service by the provider within the system, and any other suitable information may be included in the respective information record for the offered service that is maintained within service offer database 1 14h.

[0112] Additionally, in exemplary embodiments, the information records for offered services that are maintained within service offer database 1 14h can include information records that include additional information for services that are offered by providers registered with the system as a bundled set of services. In this regard, the information record for each offered service that is maintained within service offer database- 114h may further include an t ndt cation of the whether the offered service i s bei ng offered as an individual primary service or as a primary service of a bundled set of a plurality of services (fo which a single customer payment for the bundled set of services- will be disbursed among different respective providers for the sendees in the bundled set). In such embodiments, for each offered servic for which the information record includes an indication that the service is being offered by a provider as a primary service of a bundled set of services, various items of additional information relevant to the bundled set of services associated with the offered sendee that is indicated to be a primary service may be included in the respective information record for the offered service that is maintained within service offer database 114h. Such items of information relevant to the bundled set of services included in the respective information record for an offered service within service offer database 1 !4h that is indicated to be a primary service of a bundled set of services may include, for example, items of information for each secondary service such as the unique procedure identifier for the information record within available services database 114g for the secondary service (or the secondary procedure identifier that is included in the available services database 114g to uniquely identify the particular secondary service in association with the unique procedure identifier for the offered primary service w ere the information record for the primary service being offered in the available services database 114g includes an indication that the service is offered as a primary -servic of a bundled set of services), the unique physician account identifier for the account information record within physician profile database i 14b of the physician user that will perform the secondary service, a location at which the performed, a discounted price for purchasing the secondary service with n marketplace syste 100, a regular price- for the secondary service when the service; is purchased outside of the system, the unique account identifier for the account information record (within physician profile database 114b, practice group profile database 114c, or hospital system profile database i 14d) of the provider far which payment for the secondary sendee when purchased through the system is to be directed, a payment amount to be transferred to the provider for which payment for performing the secondary service is to be directed, and an indication of whether performance of the secondary service is optional or required in association with performance of the primary sendee The items of information relevant to the bundled set of sendees included in the respective information recor for an offere service within service offer database 11.4h that is indicated to be a primary service of a bundled set of services may further include, for example, an indication of whether the primary service is to be performed at. an outside facility and, if the primar service is to be performed at an outside facility, items of information; pertaining to each of one or more facilities that may be used to perform the primary service such as, for example, name, address, contact information, facility fee, and compensation Information indicating a financial account that is used by the facility for receiving a facility foe.

[0113] Available products database 114i is used to maintain information records for various healthcare products (for example, prescription drugs and medical supplies) that can he offered by pharmacies registered with server system 110 (that is, pharmacies for which an account information record is maintained wi thin pharmacy profile database 114e) for purchase by customer users registered with the system. In exemplary embodiments, the respective information records for the healthcare products that are maintained in available product database 114i and the information that populates the respective information record for each product can be created and maintained by a back-end administrator of server system 110. For each product for which an information record is created, various items of information relevant to the product, such as name(s), a list of dosage level options (for prescription drugs), size options (for certain medical supplies), and the like, a description of the product, an indication of whether a prescription is required to purchase the product, information for rendering a respective predefined fiiiable form for submitting prescription information for the product within a user interface, cost information (for example, average prices for the product for patients that are uninsured and/or have a high deductible insurance plan and a lowest price For purchasing the product that is offered for the service by pharmacies registered with server system 110), a product identifier that is used by application server 116 to uniquely identify the particular product, and any other suitable information may be included in the respective information, record for the product that is maintained within available products database 114i.

[0114] Product offer database 114j is used to maintain information records for healthcare products that are being offered by pharmacies registered with the system for purchase by customer users registered with the system. In this regard, it should be noted that the same product may be separately offered by multiple different pharmacies registered with the system and, thus, product offer database 114j can include multiple information records for the same product that are each associated with a different provider. For each product offered by a pharmacy for which a respective information record is maintained within product offer database 114j, various items ot¾ri¾rSationteisyanfet¾ : the product being offered, such as the unique product identifier for the information record within available products database 114i for the product, the unique pharmacy account identifier for the account information record withi pharmacy profile database I Me of the pharmacy that is offering the product, a discounted price for purchasing the product from the identified pharmacy within marketplace system 100, a regular price for the product when the service is purchased outside of the system from the identified pharmacy, a payment amount to be transferred to the pharmacy that is offering the product, additional descriptive information that may be provided by the pharmacy offering: the product, a product offer identifier that is used b application server 116 to uniquely identify the information record for the offering of the particular product by the pharmacy within the system, and any other suitable information may be included in the respective information record for the offered product that is maintained within product offer database 114j

[0115] The transaction information database 114k is configured to maintain records of purchases made by registered users. Transaction information database 114k is used to maintain information records for purchases that have been made via the system by registered customer users of healthcare services and products being offered by registered providers. For each purchase of service or product that has been made using the system, various items of information relevant to the purchase may be included in the respective information record for the purchase that is maintained within transaction information database 114k. In general, the items of information relevant to each purchase that is included in the respective information record for the purchase that is maintained within transaction information database 114k can include, for example, the unique customer account identifier of the account information record For the purchasing customer within customer profile database 114a, the unique procedure offer identifier of the information record for a purchased service within service offer database 114h or the unique product offer identifier of the information record for a purchased product within product offer database 114j, a purchase date, and a unique transaction identifier that is used by application server 116 to uniquely identify the information record for the purchase of the service or product within the system. For each purchase of a service that has been made using the system, the items of information relevant to the purchase included in the respective information record for the purchase that is maintained within transaction information database 114k may further include the unique physician account identifier for the account information record within physician profile database 114b of the physician user that is designated as performing the purchased service in the information record for the purchased service within servic offer databas 114h, an indication of whether the purchase has been redeemed and, if the purchase has been redeemed, a redempt on d te

[0116] Additionally, in exemplary embodiments, the information records for purchased services that are maintained within transaction information database 114k can include information records that include additional information for purchases and services that are offered by providers registered with the system as a bundled set of services in this regard, the information record for each purchased bundled set of services that is maintained within tra saction information database 114k may include an indication of a particular outside facility that has been selected for performing the primary service of the bundled set of services and, for each service of the bundled set of services that is included within the purchase (for example, each required secondary service or each optional secondary' service selected by the customer user to be included within the purchase, as well as the primary service), the unique physician account identifier for the account information record withi physician profile database 114b of the physician user that is designated as performing the service in the information record for the purchased service within service offer database H4h, an indication of whether the purchase has been redeemed with respect to that particular service, and, if the purchase has been redeemed with respect to that particular service, a redemption date for that particular service.

[0117] FIG. 3A is a screen shot illustrating an example of a graphical user interface provided by such a home page 300 for customer portal 12Hli-¾e IIIi M l exiliple, the search interface provided at home page 300 can include a drop-down menu 302, a search entry field 304, a location entry field 306, and a search button 308 Drop-down menu 302 provides a set of selectable options that allow the user to search for particular procedures offered by provider users registered with the system, particular products offered by pharmacy users registered with the system, information on: providers registered with the system, and information on health conditions that is maintained within system. In exemplary embodiments, navigation and search service 124 can be configured to use location information that may be gathered by y suitable location determining functionality implemented on the client system to provide a default location entry- (for instance, city name and/or zip code) within location entry field 306. In such embodiments, navigation and search service 124 may be further configured to request permission from the user via the user interface to be able to access and utilize such location information for this purpose

[01 I S] In one example, when the user selects the option within drop-down menu 302 to search for a particular service offered b provider users registered with the system, th user can then proceed to enter the name of the service within search entry field 304 In conj unction with selecting the particular .service, the user can also enter a city name and or zip code or opt to utilize a default location entry within location entry field 306 to localize a search radius for providers offering the sel cted service for purchase via marketplace system 100. fill 1 ] Once the appropriate search information is entered, the user can then select the searc button to direct navigation and search service 124 to conduct a search of local providers registered with server system 110 and offering the inputted healthcare service for purchase via marketplace system 100. Navigation and search service 124 can conduct such a location-based search by accessing, for example, service offer database 114h in conjunction with physician profile database 114b, practice group profile database 114c, hospital system profile database H4d, ahd/or any other suitable information and databases to which the application server has access to filter the information records included within available services database H4g for healthcare service# that match the specified search criteria, an then present the results of the search to user within a search result listing page.

[0120] Tn exemplary embodiments, whenever navigation and search service 124 is directed to conduct a location-based search by a user (for example, for local providers offering the inputted healthcare service or, as discussed below, for local providers! generally or for local pharmacy providers offering healthcare products), the navigation a d search service can be configured to maintain the location specified within location entry field 306 for search within a data object for a session with application server 116 that is maintained for the user.

[0121 ] FIG. 3B is a screen shot illustrating an example of GUI provided by a search result listing page 310 for customer portal 120 that presents a list of providers offering the service specified within search entry field 304 within a default search radius (for example, 50 miles) of the location specified within location entry·' field 306 returned m the search conducted by navigation and search service 124. In the illustrated example, search result listing page 310 includes a result listing section 311, a result filtering section 316, and a result sorting section 318. Result filtering section 316 provides various user infertaee controls for refining the results of the search presented within result listing section 311 by modifying the search criteria or inputting additional search criteria in the illustrated example, result filtering section.

[0122] la exemplary embodiments, such search result listing page 10 can be implemented to present any other appropriate information relevant to the search criteria specified by the user, such as, for example, a graphic depicting the average cost information included in the information record for the particular product specified in the search criteria that is maintained in available products database 114j (for prescription drug products, the average cost information can be provided for a default quantity of the prescription drag: or, alternatively, based on a calculation performed by navigation and search service 124 for the quantity specified by the user using the average cost information for a default quantity as a reference). Each entry for an offered product listed in the product search result listing page can include portions presenting information from the account information record of the pharmacy that is offering the product through the system (for example, pharmacy name, address, and contact information), cost inform alien for purchasing the offired product through marketplace system 100 (for example, the discounted price for the product that is specified i the information record for the offered product within product offer database 114 j or, for prescription drugs, a price that i calculated based on the specified discounted price hi relation to the quantit specified by the user) and a cost savings difference between the discounted price and the regular price for the product when the product is purchased outside of the system as specified in the information record for the offered product), and an option to select to purchase the offered produet listed in the entry (for example, via an "Add to Cart" button). When a user selects the option to purchase an offered product listed in the produet search result listing page, navigation and search service 124 can be configured to update the session data object for the session with application server G16 that is presently being maintained for the user to include an indication that the user has selected the offered product for purchasing (for example, by Including the product offer identifier that is maintained within product offer database 114j to uniquely identify the offering of the particular product by the pharmacy) in association with an Other required information (for example, in the case of a prescription drug, the quantity that is specified by the user and the price that is calculated based on the discounted price for the product that is specified in the information record for the offered product within product offer database 114j in relation to the quantity specified by the user). Upon selecting one or more services and/or products for purchase in association with a session with application server 116, the user may then have an option to navigate to a customer purchase page (for example, a ’’Check-Out" page) to roceed with purchasing the selected item(s) with respect to an account information record maintained within customer profile database 114a for a user,

[0123] For each offered service for which a respective entry is included in the purchase information section, the entry may include, for example, information retrieved from physician profile database 114b, available: services database 114g, sendee offer database 114h, and the session data object such as the name of the phy sician that will perform the service, a service name, and an indication of whether the service is being offered as a primary service of a bundled set of services. Each entry for an offered service that i s included in the purchase information section may further include user interface controls accessible by the user to remove the offered service from the purchase information section (and correspondingly direct purchasing service 126 to remove the indication the offered service as having been selected in the session data object) and/or to adjust a service quantity to be purchased by the user, and a price for purchasing the offered service that is calculated based on the service quantity specified by the user and the discounted price for the service that is specified in the information record for the offered service within service offer database 114h in relation to the quantity specified by the user.

[0124] hi addition, tor each entry for an offered service included in the purchase information section that is being offered as a primary service of a bundled set of services, the entr may further include user interface controls accessible by the user to present additional information about the bundled set of services and make additional selections regarding the offered service. The additional information may include, for example, information retrieved from physician profile database 114b, available services database 114g, a d service offer database 114h, such as the name of physician that will perform each secondary service, a service name for each secondary service, an indication of whether each secondary service is required or optional, and an indication of whether the primary service is required to be performed at an outside facility. In association with each secondary serv ce for which an indication that the secondary· service is optional is presented, the additional information may further include the discounted price for the secondary service that is specified in the information record for the offered service within service offer database 114h, and an associated user interface control may be provided that allows the user to select whether to purchase the optional secondary' service in association with the offered service. In association with an indication that the primary service is required to be performed at an outside facility, the additional information may further Include name and location information lor each facility for which information is specified in the information record for the offered service within service offer database 1 !4h, and, i f infonnafion is specified for more than one facility in the information record for the offered service, the facility fee for each specified facility may be presented in association with a user interface control that is provided to allow the user to select one of the facilities at which to have the primary service performed. Purchasing service 126 can be configured to, based on any optional secondary service and facility selections that are made by the user with respect to an entry for an offered sendee included in the purchase information section that is being offered as a primary service of a bundle set of sendees, recalculate and update the price for purchasing the offered service that Is presented in the entry for the offered service. In exemplary embodiments, the default initial settings for any optional secondary service and multiple facility selections for a service being offered as a primary sendee of a bundle set of services and, thereby, the default initial price for purchasing the offered service that is presented in the entry for the offered service, may be based on a selection to purchas each optional secondary service and a selection of the facil i ty having the lowest fac li ty fee

[0125J In the example screen shot depicted in FIG. 3B, each entry for an offered service listed in result listing section 311 includes a first portion 312 presenting information From the account information record within physician profile database 114 b of the physician that will perform the service as specified in the information record for the offered service within service offer database 1 14h (for example, the physician's name, specialty, and profile picture), a secon portion 313 presenting information from the account information record of the provider that is offering the service through the system (for example, provider name) and the location at which the offered service will be performed (for example, address and telephone number), and a third portion 314 presenting cost information for purchasing the offered service through application server Fib (for example, the discounted price tor the service that is specified in the information record for the offered service within service offer database 114h and a cost savings difference between the discounted price and the regular price for the service when the service is purchased outside of the system from the provider as specified in the information record for the offered sendee within sendee offer database 1 14h), and an option to select to purchase the offered service listed in the entry (for example, via an "Add to Cart" button included Wi thin third portion 314). When a user selects the option to purchase an offered service listed in result listing section 311, navigation and search service 124 can be session data object for the session with application server 116 that is presently being; maintained for the user to include an indication that the user has selected the offered service for purchasing (for exam le, by including the procedure offer identifier that is maintained within service offer database 114h to uniquely identify the offering of the particular service by the provider).

[0126] Referring now to FIG. 3C, a screen shot illustrating an example of a GO! provided b a healthcare service information page 320 implemented by navigation and search service 124 for a particular healthcare service is provided. In foe illustrated example, healthcare service Information page 320 includes a procedure overview section 322, a cost comparison graphic 324, and a provider listing section 326.

[0127] The information presented in provider listing section 326 can be generated in a manner similar to the information included in result listing section 311 of example search result listing page 310 depicted in FIG. 3B to present a li st of providers offering the particular service within a default search radius (for example, 50 miles) of a location determined by navigation and search service 124 The particular location that is utilized for this purpose may be determine using, for example, a location that is stored within the session data object for the session with application server 116 that is presently being maintained for the user or location informatio that is gathered by any suitable location determining functionality implemented on the client system to provide a default location entry. In the present example, provider listing section 326 presents an entry for each offered service for which a respective information record is maintained withi service offer database 114h that matches the particular service for which healthcare service information page 320 is generated and along with the determined location. Each entry for an offered service listed in provider listing section 326 presents information from the account information record within physician profile database 114b of the physician that will perfortn the service as specified in the information record for the offered service within service offer database 114b (for example, the physician's name and profile picture) and cost information for purchasing the offered sendee throug application server 116 (for example, the discounted price for the service that is specified in the information record for the offered service within service offer database 1 !.4h). In the present example, provider listing section further includes a location entry field 327 that, in conjunction with a "submit" button 328, allows a user to specify a particular location (for example, a city name and/or zip code) and submit a request for navigation and search service 124 to conduct a search and update the information presented in provider li ting section 326 to present a list of providers offering the particular service within the default search radius.of the newly specified location. Navigation and search service 124 can also be configured to, in response to such a request, update the location that is maintained within the session data object for the session with application server 11:6 that is presently being maintained for the user

[0128] In exemplary embodiments, as further illustrated in FIG. 3D, physician information section 332 can further include additional user interface elements such as a "Leave a review" button 333, a "Request an appointment" button 334, and a map element 335 depicti g a mapped location of an office location included within respective account information record that is maintained for the particular physician user in physician profile database 114b (which navigation and search service 124 may be configured to generate by remotely accessing a third-party mapping service) in response to a user selecting ‘'Leave a review" button 333, navigation and search service 124 can be configured to implement suitable user interface controls for allowing the user to post or submit a review of the particular physician to server system 110. In response to receiving such a review, navigation and search service 124 can be configured to, for example, include information pertaining to the review within the respective account information record that is maintained for the particular physician user in physician profile database 114b or send an electronic message to the physician user pertaining to the review, for example, by way of email utilizing the contact information specified in the respective account information record for the physician.

[009] In response to a user selecting "Request an appointment" button 334, navigation and searchse dee 124 can be configured to implement suitable user interface controls for allowing the user to submit a request for scheduling an appointment to the particular physician user (for example, by sending a notification to the physician user by utilizing the contact information specified in the respective account i formation record for the physician that includes contact information for the user). Navigation and search service 124 may also be configured to implement suitable user interface controls for allowing the- user to schedule an appointment with the particular physician user. Navigation and search service 124 may provide this functionality by, for example, accessing a service with which the particular physician user is associated, which may be a service offered by application server 1 16 or offered by a third-party service provider.

[9130] In the present example, as illustrated in FIG. 3D, the information presented in offered procedures section 336 of physician profile page 330 can include a listing of healthcare services offered by the particular physician for purchase through marketplace system 100.

[01313 fo the illustrated example, ph sician profile page 330 includes a physician information section 332 and an offered procedures section 336. The information presented in physician information section 332 can be generated based on the information that is included in the respective account information record that is maintained for the particular physician user in physician profile database 114b and ma include various items of information relevant to the physician, such as name, practice specialty, office loeation(s) and hours, a profile picture, contact information, biographical information (such as awards, honors, publications, patient testimonials, and other information that may be of interest to prospective customers accessin the system), URLs or references to websites and social media profiles, and group practice and hospital affiliation(s).

[0132] In exemplary embodiments, the user interface implemented by account management service 122 may be furthe configured to provide user interface controls for requesting authorization for payment of a predeterm ned fee to gain access to the ability to make prepaid purchases of healthcare services and products offered within marketplace system 100. The payment information input by the user ma he an instruction to use the billing information included within the respective account information record established for the user within customer profile database 114a or submission of alternative payment information such as, for example, bank account information, credit or debit card information or other electronic payment information (such as information for utilizing an account the user has with PayPal or any another entity facilitating payments and money transfers to be made through the Internet), which may be for an account mai ntained for the user or an account maintained for another perso or entity that the user is authorized to utilize for this purpose.

[003] Account management service 122 can be configured to, upon the authorization and appropriate payment information being provide by the user, access a corresponding third-party payment servicing system and utilize the payment information to direct the payment servicing system to transfer the amount for the payment authorized by the user from the account service of the use to a financial account maintained by the providers of marketplace system 100. In this regard, the respective account information record established for th user within customer profile database 114a can further include an account status that i s managed by account management service 122 for the user indicating whether the user is presently provided with the ability to make prepaid purchases of healthcare services and products offered within marketplace system 0D,

[0134] Upon a user registering a customer account with server system 110 to establish an account information record within customer profile database 114a and logging into his or her customer account (for example, by accessing a login user interface element or a login screen within the user interface implemented by customer portal 120 to provide the user name and password associated with the id), tenser then proceeds with purchasing any offered service or product for which the session data object for the session with application server 116 that is being maintained for the user includes an indication that the user has selected for purchasing. For example, upon the user selecting an option within the user interface implemented by navigation and search sen/ices 124 to navigate to a customer purchase page and initiate a purchasing session with purchasing service 126 to purchase one or more of the offered items indicated as having been selected by the user in the session data object in association with the registered customer account for the user.

[0135] The purchase information section included within the user interface implemented for the payment page may further include a total price for the purchase that is equal to a sum of the respective price for purchasing the corresponding offered item included for each entry included in the purchasing information section. In exemplary embodiments, purchasing service 126 may be configured to adjust the total price based on any applicable state taxes or any discount codes submitted by the user. In thi regard, purchasing sendee 126 may be further implemented to provide a user interface element allowing a user to submit any application discount codes to application server 116, [0136] For this purpose, the user interface controls implemented within a payment section may include a button that is accessible by the user to provide authorization for the request to be issued to the specified funding source (for example, a "Submit" or "Purchase" button) along suitable user interface elements accessible by the user to input the purchase information specifying the funding source to use for the purchase. The purchase information input by the user may be an instruction to use the billing information included within the respective account infonnation record for the customer account of the user within customer profile database 114a or submission of alternative purchase information such as, for example, bank account information, credit or debit card information, or other electronic payment information (such as information for utilizing an account the user lias with PayPal or any another entity facilitating payments and money transfers to be made through the Internet), The purchase information may, for example, specify an account maintained for the user, an account maintained for another person or entity that the user is authorized to utilize for this purpose, or an entity that has arranged to be invoiced and provide reimbursement for purchases of healthcare sendees and products made by the user within marketplace system 100.

[§131] Purchasing server 126 can also be configured to, upon processing the payment for the purchase of the offere service, generate a voucher for the customer user within the user interface for the purchased service that can be utilized by the customer user to redeem the purchase and receive the service from the physician specified for the offered service (the providers of marketplace system 100 can have pre-arranged agreements with providers registered with the system that the providers will agree to honor such vouchers generated by purchasing server 126 for purchased services). An example of such a voucher is illustrated in FIG. 4A. As depicte in the example, example voucher 400 can be generated to include identifying information for the customer user 402, identifying and contact information for the physician specified for the offered service 404, a description of the purchased service 406, a continuation number 408 for the purchase, which may be generated by purchasing server 126 based on the unique transaction identifier that is included in the respective information record for the purchase that is maintained within transaction information database : 114k, and instructions for redeeming the voucher 410. The confirmation number may also be provided in the electronic confirmation message to t e cus omer user and electronic notifications to the physician user that will be performing the service an the provider user for the offered service sent by purchasing system 126 to the customer user. The voucher can be presented to the user within the user interface, for example, as printable and/or machine readable form. [0138] Purchasing server 126 can be configured to, upon processing the payment for the purchase of the offered service that is being offered as a primary service· in conjunction with a bundled set of services, navigate the user interface to a purchase confirmation page and send an electronic confirmation message to the customer user and electronic notifications to each physician that will perform a service of the bundled set of services and the provider user for the offere service: (as specified according to the information record for the offered service within service offer database 114h), fo example, by way of email utilizing the contact information specified in the respective account information records for the customer, the physicians, and the provider for the offered service.Purchasing server 126 can be also be configured to generate a respective information record for the completed purchase with corresponding information· within transaction information database 114k, which initially indicates that the purchase has not yet been redeemed with respec to the primary' service, each secondary service, and any facility specified for the purchased offered service.

[8139] Purchasing server 126 can also be configured to, upon processing the payment lor the purchase of the offered service that is being offered as a primary serv ice in conj unction with a bundled set of services, generate a voucher for the customer user within the user interface for the purchased service that can be utilized by the customer user to redeem the purchase and receive the service from the corresponding physician specified for each of the services of the bundled set of sendees (the providers of marketplace system 100 can have pre-arranged agreements with providers registered with the system that the providers will agree to honor such vouchers generated by purchasing server 126 for purchased services). An example of such a voucher for a bundled set of service is illustrated in FIG 4B, As depicted in tile example, example voucher 400 can be generated to include identifying information fo the customer user 402, identifying and contact information for each physician specified for a service and any facility included in the offered service 404, a description of each service of the purchased service 406, a continuation number 408 for the purchase, which may be generated by purchasing server 126 based on the unique transaction identifier that is included in th respective information record for the purchase that is maintained within transaction information database 1.14k, and instructions for redeeming the voucher 410. The confirmation number (or any other suitable redemption information such as one or two dimensional bar code, a QR code, or any other form of machine readable information) may also he provided in the: electronic confirmation message to the customer user and electronic notifications to the physician user that will be performing the service and the provider user for the offered service sent by purchasing system 126 to the customer user. The voucher can be presented to the user within the user interface, for example, as printable aod/or machine readable form. [0140] Upon the user indicating an intention to register as a physician user, the user will be able to initiate a registration session with account management service 131 to register a physician account with server system 1 If). Account management service 131 may be configured, for example, to implement a user interface that includes a series of pages with user interface controls accessible by the user to guide the user through the account registration process and prompt the user to input various types of information or media to be maintained by database server 1 12 within a respective account information record that is established for tire user within physician profile databas 114b such as, for example, name, practice specialty, office location(s) and hours, a profile picture, contact information (such as an email address and/or a telephone number), biographical information (such as awards, honors, publications, patient testimonials, and other information that can be helpful for marketing the physician to customers accessing the system), URLs or references to websites and soda! media profiles, compensation information (indicating a financial account for receiving payment for purchases of sendees offered by the physician via the system), information pertaining to outside facilities that are used for particular services performed by the physician (for example, information pertaining to particular ospitals or clinics such a name, address, contact information, facility fee, and compensation information indicating a financial account that is use by the facilit for receiving a facility fee), an any other suitable identifying or descriptive information. The user interface may also be implemented by account management service 131 to prompt the user for any group affiliation codes or hospital affiliation codes.

[0141] Procedure management service 133 may be configured, for example, to implement a user interface that includes a series of pages with user interface controls accessible by the user to guide the user through the service offering process and prompt the user to input various types of information to be maintained by database server 1 12 within a respective information record that is established in association with the uni ue physician account identifier for the physician within service offer database 1 I4h. Upon the user indicating an intention to offer a healthcare sendee for purchase (for example, by selecting a “Offer Service” tab within the practice group accoun t page implemented by provider portal 130), the user will be able to initiate a service offering with procedure management service 133 to offer a healthcare service performed by affiliated physicians for purchase via server system 110. For example, the user may be provided with a drop-down menu providing a list of selectable medical specialties and, upon selecting a particular medical specialty, the user can be presented with a list of selectable healthcare services for which an information record for the sendee is maintained within available sendees database 1 !4g in association with the specialty. [0142] Upon the user selecting a particular service from this list, procedure management service 133 can assist the user with offering the service for purchase and establish the respective information -record for the offered service within service offer database 1 i4h. in particular, procedure management sendee 133 can present the user with a selectable list of the physician users affiliated with the practice group from which the user can submit an indication one or more of the affiliated physicians with whic to offer the service in conjunction with the practice group account. For each selected affiliated physician user procedure management service 13 can establish a respective information record for the offered service within sendee offer database 114h by populating the information record with the unique procedure identifier for the information record within available services database 114g for the selected service, the unique account identifier for the account information record for the practice group within physician profile database 114b as the provider that is offering the sendee through the system, the unique account identifier for the account information record for the physician user within physician profile database 1 14b a the physician user wilt perform the service, a location at which the service will be performed, the unique account identifier for the account information record (within physician profile database 1 14b, practice group profile database 1 14c, or hospital system profile database 1 14d) of the provider for which payment for the sendee when purchased through the system is to be directed (or, alternatively, other financial account information) as indicated by user input received from the practice group administrator, a payment amount to be transferred to the provider or other financial d¾@l?ta ll ¾Heli payment for the service is to be directed as specified by user input received from the practice group administrator, a discounted price for purchasing the service within marketplace system 100 (which may be calculated, for example, by adding a negotiated commission fee to the payment amount specified by the practice group administrator), a regular price for the service when the service is purchased outside of the system, additional descriptive information that may he provided via input received from the practice group admin strator, a procedure offer identifier, and any other suitable information (such as an indication that the service is required to be performed at: an outside facility and relevant facility information as specified by user input received from the practice group administrator).

[0143] in exemplary embodiments, procedure management service 133 can also assist the practice group administrator with offering services for purchase as a bundled set of services within marketplace syste 100 and establishing the respective information record for the service offered as a bundle set of services within service offer database 114h. In particular, procedure management service 133 can present the user with an option to indicate that a particular service selected by the user should he offered as a primary service of a bundled set of services or, alternatively, the information record for a particular service selected by the user that is maintained within available services database 1 14g can include an indication that the service can be offered by providers within marketplace system iOO as a primary' service of a bundled set of a plurality of services,

[0144] For a selected service for which such an indication is provided, procedure managementservice 13.3 may be configured, for example, to implement user interface controls accessible by the user to guide the user through the process for offering the selected service as a primary service of a bundled set of sendees and prompt the user to input various types of information to populate a respective information record that is established in association with the unique practice group account identifier for the practice group wi thin service offer database 114h Procedure management service 133 can first present the user with a selectable list of the physician users affiliated with the practice group from which the user can submit an indication of affiliated physicians with which to offer the primary service in conjunction with the practice group account and then populatethe information pertaining to the primary service in the information record with the unique procedure identifier for the information record within available services database 1 14g for the selected service, the unique account identifier for the account information record for the practice group within physician profile database 114b as the provider that is offering the primary service through the system, the unique account identifier for the account information record for the physician user within physician profile database 114b as the physician user will perform the primary service, a location at which the primary· service will be performed, the unique account identifier for the account information record (within physician profile database 114b, practice group profile database 114c, or hospital sy stem profile database 114d) of the provider for which payment for th primary service when purchased through the system is to be directed (or, alternatively, other financial account information) as indicated by user input received from the practice group administrator, a payment amount to be transferred to the provider or other financial¾¾oor®&r which payment for the primary service is to be directed as specified by user input received from the practice group administrator, a discounted price for purchasing the primary service within marketplace system 100 (which may be calculated, for example, by adding a negotiated commission fee to the payment amount for the primary service specified by the practice group administrator), a regular price for the primary service when the primar service is purchased outside of the system, additional descriptive information that may be provided via input received from the practice groupadministrator, a procedure offer identifier, and any other suitable information.

[0145] Procedure management service 133 can then receive an indication, either from the information record for a particular service selected by the user that is maintained within available services database 114g or through selections made by the user of services offered by affiliated physicians for which an information record for the service is maintained within available services database T 14g, of one or more secondary services to be included in the bundled set of services. Procedure management service can then populate the information pertaining to each secondary -service in. the information record with the unique procedure identifier for the information record within available services database 114g for the secondary sendee (or the secondary procedure identifier that is included in the vailable services database 114g to uniquely identify the particular seeondaty service in association with the unique procedure identifier for the offered primary service where the information record for the primary service being offered in the available services database H4g includes an indication that the service is offered as a primary service of a bundled set of services), the unique physician account identifier for the account information record within physician profile database 1 14b of the physician user that will perfor the secondary service* a location at which the service will be performed, the unique account identifier for the account information record (within physician profile database 114b practice group profile database 114c, or hospital system profile database 114d) of the provider for which payment for the primary service when purchased through the system Is to be directed (or, alternatively, other financial account information) as indicated by user input received from the practice group administrator, a payment amount to be transferre to the provider or other financial account for which payment for the secondary service is to be directed as specified by user input received from the practice group administrator, a discounted price for purchasing the secondary service within marketplace system 100 (which may be calculated, for example, by adding a negotiated commission fee to the payment amount for the secondary service specified by the practice group administrator), a regular price for the secondary service when the secondary service is purchased outside of the sy stem, and an indication of whether performance of the secondary service is optional or required in association wit performance of the primary service. Procedure management service can further populate the information in the information record with an indication of whether the primary service is to be perforated at an outside facility and, if the primar service is to be performed at an outside facility, items of information pertaining to each of one or more facilities that ma be used to perform the primary' sendee such as, for example, name, address, contact information, facility fee, and compensation information indicating a financial account that is used by the facility for receiving a facility fee (as specified by user input receive from the practice group administrator).

[0146) Upon the user indicating an intention to request payment for a purchased service that have been performed (for example, by selecting a "Voucher Processing" tab within the physician account page implemented by provider portal 130), the user will be able to initiate a voucher processing session with transaction processing service 136. In particular, transaction processing service 136 may be configured, for example, to implement a voucher history page within the user i nterface that presents information relevant to the physician user for a list of purchases for which the respective information record for the purchase that is maintained within transaction information database 114k includes the unique physician account identifier for the physician user within physician profile database 114b as the physician user that is designated as performing a service included the purchase (for example, a primary or secondar service for a bundled set of services). The relevant information for each listed purchase may include, for example, the voucher confirmation number or redemption code, name and contact information for the customer user, a description of the service the physician user is designated as performing for the purchase, a purchase date, and a voucher redemption status. Such a voucher history page may also be accessed in association with the user account for the physician user to verify vouchers presented customers requesting to have a service performed in association with a voucher.

[014? j lire voucher history page can also provide a user interlace element i association with each of the listed purchases for which the voucher redemption status for the service the physician user is designated as performing indicates the service has not been performed that is accessible by the physician user to submit a verification to application server 116 that the physician user has performed the service for the customer user in accordance wi th the purchase.

[0148] Referring again to FIG. 2, in exemplary 1 embodiments, when a user operating a cl ent system to access application server 116 via a corresponding client application executing on the client system initiates a registration with server system 1 10 and specifies an intention to register as a practice group administrator (for example, via a user interface element on an page implemented by navigation and search service 124), the user will be able to initiate a registration session: with account management service 131 to register a practice group account with server system 110. Account management service 131 may be configured, for example, to implement a user interface that includes a series of pages with user interface controls accessible by the user to guide the user through the account registration process and prompt the user to input various types of information or media to be maintained by database server 112 within a respective account information record that is established for the user within practice group profile database 114c such as, for example, practice group name, location and hours, contact information (such as an email addres and/or a telephone number), URLs or references to websites and social media profiles for the practice group, information pertaining to outside facilities that are used for particular procedures b physicians affiliated with the practice group, (for example, information pertai ni ng to particular hospital s or clinics such as name, address, contact information, facility· fee, and compensation information indicating a financial account that is used by the facility for receiving a facility fee), compensation information (indicating a financial account for receiving payment for purchases of services that are performed by affiliated physicians via the system), and any other suitable identifying or descriptive information.

[0149] The voucher history page can also provide a user interface element in association with each of the listed purchases for which the voucher redemption status for the service indicates the service has not bee performed that is accessible by the practice group user to submit a verification to application server i 16 that the affiliated physician user specified as performing the service has performed the service for the customer user in accordance with the purchase.

[0150] In exemplary : embodiments, when a user operating a clientsystem to access application server 116 via a corresponding client application executing o the client system initiates a registration with server system 110 and specifies an intention to register as a hospital sy stem administrator (for example, via a user interface element on any page Implemented by navigation and search service 124), the user will be able to initiate a registration session with account management service 1.31 to register a hospital system account with server system 110. Account management service 131 may be configured, for example, to Implement a user interface that includes a series of pages with user interface controls accessible fay the user to guide the user through the account registration process and prompt the user to input various types of information or mediate be maintained by databaseserver 112 within a respective account information record that is established for the user within hospital system profile database 114d Such as, for example, contact information (such as an email address and/or a telephone number), information pertaining to outside facilities that can be used for particular procedures by physicians affiliated with the hospital system: (for example, information pertaining to particular hospitals or clinics such as name, address, contact information, facilit fee, and compensation information indicating a financial account for that is used by the facility for rece ving a facility fee), compensation information (indicating a financial account for receiving payment for purchases of services performed by affiliated physicians via the system), and any other suitable identifyin or descriptive information.

[0151} In exemplary embodiments, the functionality that is provided within provider portal 130 for users of hospital system account can vary in certain respects from the functionality that may be provided within provider portal 130 for users of practice group accounts. For example, with respect to physicians that are affiliated with the hospital system account, users of hospital system accounts may only be provided with access rights (for example, to view, modify, and specify in a service being offered by tire hospital system for purchase) to services offered for purchase by affiliate physician users that have been specified by the physician users as being hospital procedures with respect to the physician accounts. Hospital system users may also be provided with functionality to, as an alternative to selecting a service by accessing a list of selectable medical specialties when initiating a service offering with procedure management service 133 to offer a service performed by affiliated physicians for purchase via server system 110, submit a search query for a service by inputting descriptive terms or a medical code number that is used to Identify the service (for example, according to the €PT code set) or access a list Of affiliated physicians arid, upon selecting a particular affiliated physician from the list, be presented with a list of selectable healthcare services for which an information record for the service is maintained within service offer database 114h that indicates th selected physician as the physician that will perform the sendee,

[0152] In addition, because a hospital system may be more likely to offer a higher quantity of services for purchase as a bundl ed set of services within marketplace sy stem 100 than other types of provider users, the functionality implemented by provider portal 130 within the user interface for allowing a user of a hospital system account to: manage information pertaining to services offered by the hospital sy stem for purchase and to view a history of transactions performed for services offered for purchase by the hospital system within server system 110 may include an additional user interface element that is:accessible by a user for the hospital sy stem account manage and view information pertaining to onl services that are offered by the hospital system as a bundled set of services.

[0153] FIG 5 is a block diagram of an exemplary computer system 600 that can be used for Implementing exemplary embodiments of the present invention. Computer system 600 includes one or more processors, such as processor 604. Processor 604 is connected to a communication infrastructure 60 (for example, a communications bu& cross-over bar, or network). Various software embodiments are described in terms of this exemplary computer system. After reading this description, it will becom apparent to a person of ordinary skill in the relevant art(s) how to implement the invention using other co puter systems and/or computer architectures.

[0154] Exemplary computer system 600 can include a display interface 608 that forwards graphics, text, and other data from the communication infrastructure 602 (or from a frame buffer not shown) for display on a display unit 610. Computer system 600 also includes a main memory 606, which can be random access memory (RAM), and may also include a secondar memory 612 Secondary memory 612 may include, for example, a hard disk drive 614 and/or a removable storage drive 616, representing a 11 oppy disk drive, a magnetic tape drive, an optical disk dri ve, etc. Removable storage dri ve 616 reads from and/or writes to a removable storage unit 618 in a manner well known to those having ordinary ' skill in the art. Removable storage unit 618, represents, for example, a floppy disk, magnetic tape, optical disk, etc. Which is read fey and written to by removable storage drive 616 As will be appreciated, removable storage unit 618 includes a compute usable storage medium having stored therein computer software and/or data.

[0155] In exemplary embodiments, secondary memory 612 may include other similar means For allowing computer programs or other instructions to be loaded into the computer system. Such means may include, for example, a removable storage unit 62:2 and an interface 620 Examples of such may include a program cartridge and cartridge interface (such as that found in video game devices), a removable memory chi p (such as an EPROM, or PROM) and associated socket, and other removable storage units 622 and interfaces 620 which allow software and data to be transferred from the removable storage unit 62 to computer system 600

|0I56] Computer system 600 may also include a communications interface 624. Communications interface 624 allows software and data to be transferred between the computer system and external devices. Examples of communications interface 624 may include a modem, a network interface (such as an Ethernet card), a communications port a .PCMCIA slot and card etc. Software and data transferred via communications interface 624 are in the form of signals which may he, for example, electronic, electromagnetic, optical, or other signals capable of being received by communications interface 624. These signals are provided to communications interface 624 via a communications pat (that is, channel) 626. Channel 626 carries signals and may be implemented using wire or cable, fiber optics, a phone line, a cellular phone link, an RF link, anchor other communications channel

[0157] In this document, the terms "computer program medium,” "computer usable medium," and "computer readable medium" are used to generally refer to media such as main memory 606 and secondary memory 612, removable storage drive 616, a hard disk installed in hard disk drive 614, and signals. These computer program products are means for providing software to the computer system. The computer readable medium allows the computer system to read data, instructions, messages or message packets, and other computer readable Information from the computer readable medium. The computer readable medium, for example, may include non-volatile memory, such as Floppy, ROM, Flash memory, Disk drive memory, CD-ROM, and other permanent storage. It can be used, for example, to transport information, such as data and computer instructions, between computer systems. Furthermore, the computer readable medium may comprise computer readable information in a transitory state medium such as a network link and/or a network interface including a wired network or a wireless network that allow a computer to read such computer readable information. [0158] Computer programs (also called computer control logic) are stored in main memory 606 and/or Second ry memory 612 Computer programs may also be received via co muni cations interface 624. Such computer programs, when executed, can enable the computer system to perform the features of exemplary embodiments of the present invention · as discussed herein. In particular, the computer programs, when executed, enable processor 604 to perform the features of computer system 600. Accordingly, such computer programs represent controllers of the computer system.

[0159] Referring now to FIG. 6, a schematic diagram illustrating an example network architecture for healthcare marketplace system 100 within which -an exemplary embodiment of a provider pricing tool in accordance with the present invention is implemented. It should of course be understood that FIG. 6 is intended as an example, not as an architectural limitation for different embodiments of the present invention, and therefore, the particular elements depicted in FIG; 6 should not be considered limiting with regar to the environments within w hi ch exemplary embodiments of the presen i vention may be i plemented.

[0160] in the example illustrated in FIG. 6, the particular components that are utilized for providing the provider pricing tool are integrated within system 100 in conjunction with the components of theSystem as described above with reference to the exemplary embodiments illustrated FIGS. 1 and 2 More specifically, the pricing tool 137 is shown in FIG. 6 as being implemented within procedure management service 133 included within provider portal 130, and data store 114 further comprises a service pricing information database 114m and a cost adjustment information database 114n that are maintained by database server 112, are accessed by application server 1 16 via database services provided at a trout end by database server 112, and retain informatio collected from a variety of data sources that m utilized in providing the services offered via the provider pricing tool within th network service provided by the application server, as described below·· in greater detail.

[0161] In the present exemplary embodiments, for use in conjunction with the physician service pricing information within service pricin information database 114m, a corresponding set of cost adjustment data can be compiled and maintained within cost adjustment information database H4n that can be applied to account for geographical variances in physician costs The cost adjustment data can, for instance, be compiled .from and/or determined based upon the Geographic Practice Cost Indices (GPCis), which is used along: with RVUs in Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PF§) provided by CMS to determine allowable payment/amounts for medical procedures in a manner that reflects geographical variations in practice cost GPCis are used to help standardize the differences in resource costs incurred in operating a private medical practice across geographic areas when. those costs are compared with the national average costs for the physician work, practice expense, and malpractice insurance components of the fee schedule

[0162] More specifically, the CMS has established a GPCl for every Medicare payment locality for each of the three relative value unit components for a procedure (that is, the RVUs for work, practice expense, and malpractice), and the GPCis are applied in the calculation of a fee schedule payment amount by multiplying the RVU for each component times the GPCl for that component A listing of the current GPCl locality structure, including state, locality area (and when applicable, counties assigned to each locality area), and the corresponding GPCis for each locality, can be obtained from the CMS website, and this information can be compiled and maintained within cost adjustment information database 114n by a back-end administrator of server system 110. In exemplary embodiments, a specific cost adjustment factor can be determined based on the GPCl information for each designated locality are and maintained within cost adjustment, information database 114a. For example, a standard rate adjustment factor for each designated locality area Can be determined by calculating an average (or any other suitable aggregate or composite-based) factor by which the corresponding GPCis for the locality impact the- standard national rate derived for each service:. As another example, such a standard rate adjustment factor for each designated locality area can be derived directly from the Geographic Adjustment Factor (GAF) that is determined for the locality by CMS. The GAF for each designated locality area is calcul ted as the weighted average of the three GPCis, where the weights are the percentage of RVUs nationally made up by the PW, PE, and MP RVUs.

10163] in another example, for each service for which the information record within service pricing information database 114m includes an indication that the service is offered as a primary service of a bundled set of services along with an indication that the primary service i required to be performed at an outside facility, the respective pricing information that is included in the information record for the use of the outside facility can be determined by whether the use of the outside facility is classified as a facility outpatient service or a facility inpatient service. For instance, for each facility outpatient service, the respective pricing information that is included in the information record for the use of the outside facility can be obtained front the APC price data that is maintained in association with CPT or HCPCS procedure codes by CMS. CMS assigns individual services classified according to HCPCS codes to APCs based on similar clinical characteristics and similar costs. Thus, APCs are essentially line-level fee schedules in which each HCPCS code for a sendee is assigned to one of hundreds of individual APCs, and for almost every' APC, the fee is determined by multiplying a prospectively established scaled relative weight for the. service's clinical APC by a conversion factor (CP) to arriv at a national unadjusted payment rate for the APC.

10164] Accordingly, in exemplary embodiments, for each service for which a respective informatio record is maintained within service pricing information database 114m and a Corresponding APC is provided b CMS, the corresponding national unadjusted payment rate for the facility outpatient service can be included in the set of pricing information of the respective information record for the service within service pricing information database 114m.

[0165] in the present exemplary embodiment, for use in conjunction with the facility outpatient service pricing information within service pricing information database 114m discussed above, a corresponding set. of cost adjustment data can be compiled and maintained within cost adjustment information database 114n that can be applied to account for geographic differences. The cost adjustment data for the facility outpatient service pricing Information can, for instance, be compiled from and/or determined based upon the facility wage index that is maintained by the CMS

[0166] hr the present exemplary embodiment, for use in conjunction with the facility inpatient service pricing information within service pricing information database 114m discussed above, a corresponding set of cost adjustment data can be compiled and maintained within cost adjustment information database 114n that can he applied to account for geographic differences.

[0167] Similar to the example discussed above with regard to the cost adj ustment data for the facility outpatient service pricing information, the cost adjustment data for the facility inpatient service pricing information can, for instance, be compiled from and/or determined based upon the facility wage index that is maintained by the CMS As noted above* in exemplary embodiments, the facility wage index information can be obtained from CMS and maintained within cost adjustment information database 1 14 st,

[016:8] In this regard, it should be noted that certain services for which the respective information record within sen-ice pricing information database 1.1.4m includes an indication that the sendee is offere as a primary service of a bundled set of services along with an indication that the prim ry' service is required to be performed at an outside facility ma facilitate a mapping of the use of the outside: facility·' to both facility outpatient service price data and facility inpatient service price data. In exemplary embodiments, its such services, a back-end administrator of server system 110 can make a determination of which set of facility price data is more suitable to include in the set of pricing information of the information record. For example, such a determination may be based upon whether the particular service is more typically performed as a facility outpatient service or a facility inpatient service in alternative exemplary embodiments, for each service for which the respective information record within service pricing information database 114m includes an indication that the service is offered as a primary service of a bundled set of services along with an indication that the primary servi ce i s required to be performed at art outside Facility for which the use of the outside facility can be mapped to both facility outpatient service price data and facility inpatient service price data, respective information records can be maintained for the sendee as an outpatient facility service and for the servi ce as an inpatient facility service within service pricing information database 114m.

|0169] Iti this regard, anesthesia time is a continuous time period from the start of anesthesia to the end of an anesthesia service, and one-time unit corresponds to a 15 -minute interval, or fraction thereof, starting from the time the physician begins to prepare the patient for induction and ending : when the patient ma safely be placed under post-operative supervision and the physician is no longer in personal attendance lire conversion factors are listed by the CMS according to Ideality. Thus, the conversion factor in the formula listed above will correspond to the locality of the performing provider.

(0170] In exemplar·' embodiments, to access the functionality provided by pricing tool 137, a provider user, upon registering a provider account with server system 110 (for example, a physician, practice group, or hospital system account) to establish an account information record within the corresponding: profile database maintained withi data store 1 14 and logging into his or her physician account, the user may be directed to a provider account page implemented by provider portal 130 that provides a set of user interface controls that can be accessed by the user to access functionality provided by procedure management service 133 to offer healthcar services for purchase by customer users registered with the system. A noted above, in the present exemplary embodiment, the accessible functionality provided by procedure management service 133 in this regard includes the functionality provided by pricing tool 137

(0171] In particular, upon the provider user indicating an intention to utilize pricing tool in conjunction with offering healthcare services for purchase via server system 110 (for example, by selecting a "Service Pricing Tool” tab within the provider account page implemented by provider portal 130), the user will be directed to an interactive service pricing page with information that is generated ba foon ¾¾ Information maintained in the respective infrmation record for the provider within the corresponding profile database maintained within data store 114 and the respective information records for healthcare services that are raainiai ned in service pricing information database 114m Price setting tool 137 may be configured, for example, to implement the interactive sendee pricing page to provide the provider user with detailed pricing information and recommended rates for services that may be offered by the provider for purchase via server system 110, as well as various user interface controls accessible by the user to perform adjustments to the recommended rates as desired.

(0172] FIG. 7A is a screen shot illustrating a first example of a graphical user interface provided by such a service pricing page 700 for a user accessing provider portal 130 in association with a registered ¾piial system account in the example illustrated in FIG. 7 A, the user interface provided at service pricing page- 700 includes a medical specialty drop-down menu 702, a locality adjustment section 704, a recommended rate adjustment section 706, a detailed pricing information section 708, and a set of selectable buttons 710a ("Email Prices"), 710b ("Save Changes"), and 710c ("Take Live"), the use of which will be described in greater detail below. Drop-down menu 702 provides a list of selectable medical specialties : (for example, orthopedies, general surgery, cardiac imaging, etc ), and pricing tool is implemented to, in response to the user selecting a particular medical specialty using drop-down menu 702, configure the user interface options and populate the information displayed within localit adjustment section 704, recommended rate adjustment section 706, and detailed pricing information section 708 in accordance with the selected medical specialty and further based on information maintained in the respective information record for the provider that is maintained within hospital system profile database iI4d, information that is maintained in the respective information records for each service indicated as being commonly associated with the selected medical specialty within service pricing information database 114m, and information maintained within cost adjustment information database 114n, which, as discussed above, can be accessed by" pricing tool 137 via database services provide at a front end by database 'Server 112.

[0173] For instance, in the example screen shot illustrated in FIG. 7L, the user has selected "Radiology" from medical specialty drop-down menu 702, and pricing tool 137 has, in response to this selection, configured fee user interface options and populated fee information displayed within locality adjustment section 704, recommended rate adjustment section 706, and detailed pricing information section 708 in accordance with the selection of "Radiology" from drop-down menu 702. More specifically, as shown in FIG, 7 A, locality adjustment section 704 has been configured to include a physician locality section an a facility section in response to the selection of "Radiology" from dropdow menu 702. The phy sici an locality section is provided for making pricing adjustments based on the locality of a physician that is affiliated with the hospital system and would be performing the radiology services being priced, The facility' section is included within locality adjustment section 704 in response to pricing tool 137 recognizing that the respective information records for services indicated as being commonly associated with the selected medical specialty of radiology within service pricing information database 1 14m include information records having an indication that the -service is a primary service of a bundled set of services that is required tobe performed at an outside facility and is provided for making pricing adjustments based on the facility that is affiliated, with the hospital system at which the radiology sendees being priced would be performed.

[0174] hi the present example, the physician locality section includes a physician location field 704a and a physician location rate field 704b, an the facility section includes a. facility field 704b and a facility rate fiel 704d. The physician location field 704a is for receiving and displaying an ntry' specifying the location of a physician that would be performing the Services indicated as being commonly associated with the selected medical specialty' of radiology within service pricing information database 114m, an the physician location rate field 704b is configured to provide a rate adjustment factor tor the pricing information included in detailed pricing information section 70S for the services indicated as being commonly associated with radiology. In exemplary embodiments, pricing tool 137 can be configured to derive an initial physician location entry based on the location associated with physician affiliations) included in hospital system profile database l l4d and include this derived physician location entiy as a default value within physician location field 704a. Physician location rate field 704b is provided for receiving and displaying a geographic adjustment rate for physician services that, by default, is derived based on information maintained in cost adjustment information database 114n and provided by pricing tool 137 in correspondence with the physician location entry that is currently specified within physician location field 704a. More particularly, in exemplary embodiments, pricing tool 137 can be configured to access the physician rate cost adjustment data in cost adjustment information database 114n that corresponds to the physician location entiy that is currently specified within physician location field 704a (for example, a standard rate adjustment factor determined for a designated locality area that ejicprapasses the specified physician location entiy·') and derive a corresponding geographic adjustment rate that is displayed as a default value within physician location rate field 704b.

[0175) In the present example, pricing tool 137 is further configured to allow the provider user accessing service pricing page 700 to proceed to enter text corresponding to a desired location of the physician that would perform the services associated with the selected medical specialty within physician location field 704a. In this regard, pricing tool 137 may be configured to require that the text entered by the user in physician location field 704a correspond to a particular locality area for which corresponding physician rate adj ustments are maintained i n cost adjustment i «formation database 114n. [0176] The list of suggested physician locations provided by pricing tool 137 can further include an option for the user to select a standard, national physician rate rather than a particular geographic location. In response to a specification of a new physician location within phy sician location field 704a, pricing tool 137 can be configured to dynamically access the physician rate costadjustment data in cost adjustment information database 114n that corresponds to the newly-specified physician location entry that is currently specified within physician location field 704a and derive a corresponding geographic adjustment rate that is displayed as the current value within physician location rate field 704b.

[0I77J In exemplary embodiments, pricing tool 137 can be configured to derive an initial outside facility entry based on the facility affiliation(s) included the respective information record for the hospital system account in hospital system profile database 114d being used to access the pricing tool 137 functionality via provider portal 130 and include this derived facility entry· as a default value within facility field 704c. Facility rate field 704d is provided for receiving and displaying an adjustment rate for facility services that, by default, is deri ed and provided by pricing tool 137 in correspondence with the characteristics of the facility that is currently specified as th entry wi thin facility field 704c.

( 178J In the present example, pricing tool 137 is further configured to allow the provider user accessing service pricing page 700 to proceed to enter text corresponding to a name of a desired outside facility at which the services associated with the selected medical specialty would be performed within facility field 704c In this regard, pricing: tool 137 may be configured to require that the text entered b the user in facility fiel 704c correspond to the name of a particular facility specified in the facility affiliations included the respective information record for the hospital system account in hospital system profile database II4d being used to access the pricing tool 137 functionality via provider portal 130

[0179) With continued reference to the example screen shot illustrated in FIG. 7 A, pricing tool 137 has, in response to the user selection "Radiology" from medical specialty drop-down menu 702, configure tire user interface options and populated th information displayed within rate adjustment section 706. More specifically, as shown in FIG. 7A, rate adjustment section 706 has been configure to include a physician rate adjustment field 706a and a facility rate adjustment field 706b in response to the selection of "Radiology” from drop-down menu 702. Physician rate adjustment field 706a is provided for making a general pricing adjustment to the pricing information included in detailed pricing information section 708 for physician fees for the services indicated as being commonly associated with radiology as desired by the provider user that may be based on any budgetary considerations specific to the provider and/or physician. [0180] With continued reference to the example screen shot illustrated in FIG. 7A, as noted above, pricing tool 137 has, in response to the user selection "Radiology" from medical specialty drop-down menu 702, configured the user interface options and populated the information displayed within detailed pricing information section 708. In general, as shown in FIG. 7A, detailed pricing information section 708 is generated by pricing tool 137 as a table with various interactive user interface: controls that includes a procedure column 711, a facility price column 712, a physician price column 713, an additional fee column 714, and a total amount column 715.

[0181] The information in procedure column 711 is generated by pricing tool 137 to include a row entry for each procedure category listed in the respective information records for services that are maintained in service pricing information database 114th and include an indication that the service is commonly associated with the medical specialty selected via drop-down menu 702, which is "Radiology" for the example screen shot depicted in FIG. 7A. For instance, the procedure categories listed in procedure column 71 1 in the present example include "Bone Density DXA Extremity” radiology procedures, "Bone Density DXA Scan" radiology procedures, an "Vi eofluoroseopic Swallowing Study" radiology procedures. As further illustrated in FIG. 7 A for the example of the “Bone Density DXA Extremity" radiology procedures listing in in procedure column 731, detailed pricing information section 708 is implemented to include user interface elements that are accessible by the user

[0182] In the present example, the expanded information for the "Bone Density DXA Extremity" radiology procedures listing includes row entries for a "Dxa bone density/peripheral * sendee and a "Fracture assessment via dxa" serv ice. As further illustrated in FIG. A, the expanded information for a particular procedure categor further includes, for each servic categorized as a sub-procedure of the procedure category, a medical code number used to identify the service (for example, a CRT code), a base facility rate, a base physician rate, an adjusted facility rate, and an adjusted physician rate, The base physician rate for each service liste in the expanded display is obtained by pricing tool 137 from standard national physician rate derived for the service and the adjusted physician rate for each sendee listed in the expanded display is calculated by pricing tool 137 for display within detaile pricing information section 708 by multiplying the corresponding base physician rate by both the current value that is specified in physician location rate field 704b of locality adjustment section 704 and the current percentage value that is specified in physician rate adjustment field 706a of recommended rate adjustment section 706. [0183] In the present example, as further illustrated in FIG. 7 A, the expanded information for aparffes!¾r p ocedure category further includes a physician price field 71 la that specifies price that will be set by the provider user for each of the sendees that have been categorized under the expande procedure category and a facility price field 711b that specifies a price that will be applied by the provider user for the use of an outside facility for each of the services that have been categorized under the expanded procedure category.

[0184] In exemplary embodiments, pricing tool 137 can be configured to derive and include initial, default price values within physician price field 711a an physician price field 711a. As further indicated in the example screen shot illustrated in FIG 7 A, the row entry for a particular procedure category will include a pricing value under physician price column 713 that corresponds to the pricing value that is specified within physician price field 711a in the expanded display for the procedure category, and, likewise, the row entry for a particular procedure category will include a pricing value under facility price column 712 that corresponds to the pricing value that is specified withi facility price field 71 lb in the expanded display for tire procedure category . In this regard, pricing tool 137 can be configured to dynamically update the pricing values provided under physician price column 713 and facility price column 712 in response to changes to the price values within physician price field 71 la and facility price field 71 lb respectively. As further illustrated In PIG. 7 A, the row entry for a particular procedure category can include a pricing value under total amount column 71 S that is provided as a sum of the price values listed under facility price column 712, physician price column 713, and, if included, additional foe column 714 in the row entry for a partied! ar procedure category This represents the actual price at winch each service listed In the expanded display for a procedure category would be offered for purchase via marketplace sy stem 100 as a bundled set of services from the provider user- accessing service pricing page 700 via provirierporial 130

[0185] As noted above and further illustrated in FIG. 7 A, the user interlace provided at service pricing page 700 in the present example also includes a set of accessible user interlace controls 710 ("Email Prices"), 710b ("Save Changes"), and 710c ("Take Live"). For purposes of the present example, these user interface controls are provided within service pricing page 700 as selectable buttons. In the present exemplary embodiment, pricing tool 137 can be configured to, in response to a provider user selecting “Save Changes” button 710b, generate a information record that includes indications of all of the information.

10.186] In the present exemplary embodiment, pricing too! ! 37 can b configured to, in response to a provider user selecting "Email Prices" button 710a, provide user interface controls for allowing the user to specify an email address and send an electronic document that includes indications of the pricing information.

[0187] Finally, with reference to the present example, pricing tool 137 can be configured to, m response to a provider user selecting "Take Live" buton 71 Qc, automatically initiate, on behalf of the provider user, a service offering with procedure management service 133 to offer each of the services currently included within detailed pricing information section 70S of service pricing page 700 for the particular medical specialty presente selected by the user from drop-down menu 702 for purchase via server system 110. In this manner, pricing tool 137 can provide a mechanism for a provider to offer a large number of services for purchase via marketplace system 100 by customer users registered with the system without having to perform full set of operations described above for accessing functionality provided by procedure management service 133 to offer each of the sen tees individually.

[0188] FIG. 7S is a screen shot illustrating a secon example of a graphical user interface provided by service pricing page 700 for a user accessing provider portal 130 in association with a registered hospital system account. In the example illustrated in FIG 7B, the user has selected "General Surgery" from medical specialty drop-down menu 702, and pricing tool 137 has, in response to this selection, configured the user interface options and populated the information displayed within locality adjustment section 704, rate adjustment section 706, and detailed pricing information section 708 in accordance with the selection of "General Surgery" from drop-dawn menu 702 More specifically, as shown in FIG. 7B, locality adjustment section 704 has been configured to include, in addition to the physician locality section and the facility section described above with reference to the example illustrated in FIG. 7C, an anesthesia locality section in response to the selection of "General Surgery" from drop-down menu 702, The anesthesia locality section is included within localit adjustment . section 704 in response to pricing tool 137 recognizing that the respective information records for services.

[0189] In th present example, the anesthesia locality section includes an anesthesia location field 7G4e and an anesthesia location rate field 704f. The anesthesia location field 704c is for receiving and displaying an entry specifying the location at which the services indicated as being commonly associated with the selected medical specialty of general surgery within service pricing information database 114m would be performed, and the anesthesia location rate field 704f is configured to providea rate adj ustment factor for the pricing information included In detailed pricing information section 708 for the sendees indicated as being commonly associ ated with radiology. [0190] Anesthesia location rate field 704f is provided for receiving and displaying a geographic adjustment rate for physician Services that, by default, is derived and provided by pricing tool 137 in correspondence with the anesthesia location entry that is currently specified within anesthesia location field 704e. More particularly, in exem pi ary embodiments, pricing tool 137 can be configured to access the information pertaining to anesthesia rate adjustments in service pricing information database ii4n corresponding to the anesthesia location entry that is currently specified within anesthesia location field 704e and derive a corresponding geographic adjustment rate that is displayed as a default value within, anesthesia location rate field 704e. The corresponding geographic adjustment rate can be derived, for example, based on a ratio of the CMS anesthesia conversion factor to a standard, national anesthesia conversion factor,

[01 1] Specification of a new locati on within anesthesia location field 704c, pricing tool 137 can be configured to dynamically access the information pertaining to physician rate adjustments in geographic factors database 114n corresponding to the newly -specified phys cian location entry within anesthesia location field 704e and derive a correspondi g geographic adjustment rate that is displayed as the current val ue within anesthesia location rate fiel 704f. In the present example, pri eing tool 137 is also configured to allow- the provider user to directly access anesthesia location rate field 704f and specify a desired value for the geographic adjustment rate that will override the particular geographic adjustment rate that is derived by pricing tool 137 based on the location entry within anesthesia location field 7G4e and displayed as the current value within anesthesia location rate field 704f. The effect of such an entry being submitted within anesthesi a rate field 704f will be described below with reference to detailed pricing information section 70S.

[0192] With continued reference to the example screen shot illustrated in, FIG. 7B, as noted above, pricing tool 137 has, in response to the user selection "General Surgery" from medical specialty drop down menu 702, configured the user interface options and populated the information displayed within rate adjustment section 706

[0193] With continued reference to the example screen shot illustrated in FIG. 7B, as noted above, pricing tool 137 has, in response to the user selection "General Surgery” from medical specialty drop down menu 702, configured the user interface options and populated the information displayed within detailed pricing information section 708 In general, as shown in FIG 7B, detailed pricing: information section 708 is generated by pricing tool 137 as a table with various interactive user interface controls that includes, in additi on to procedure column 71 1, facility price column 712, physi an pri ee column 713, additional fee column 714, and total amount column 715, an anesthesia price column 716. As illustrated in FIG, 7B, the expanded information for a particular procedure category further includes, for each service categorized as a sub-procedure of the procedure category, in addition to a medical code number used to identify the service, a base facility rate, a base physician rate, an adjusted facility rate, and an adjusted physician rate as described above with reference to FIG. 7 A, a base anesthesia rate and an adjusted anesthesia rate j0194j in the present example, as further illustrated in FIG. 7B > the expanded information for a particular procedure category further includes, in addition to physician price fiel 711a and facility price field 711b, an anesthesia price field 711c that specifies a price that will be applied by the provider user for each anesthesia service performed in association with the services that have been categorize under the expanded procedure category.

[0195] For example, pricing tool 137 can be configured to enable the user select between using the average of the corresponding adjusted anesthesia rates for all sendees listed in the expanded display for a procedure Category for the price values within anesthesia price field 71 1c or the highest of the corresponding adjusted anesthesia rates for all services listed in the expanded display for a, procedure category for the price values within anesthesia price field 71.1c In exemplary' embodiments, pricing tool 137 can be further configured to allow the provider user accessing service pricing page 700 to access anesthesia price field 71 lc to input a particular price value within this field.

[0196J As further indicated in the example screen shot illustrated in FIG. 7B, the row entry for a particular procedure category will include a pricing value under anesthesia price column 716 that corresponds to the pricing vaiue that is specified within anesthesia price field 7 lie in the expanded display for the procedure category. In this regard, pricing tool 137 can be configured to dynamically update the pricing value provided under anesthesia price column 716 in r sponse to changes to the price value within anesthesia price field 71 lc. As discussed above, in exemplary' configurations of pricing tool 137, such changes to the price value within anesthesia price field 71 lc in the expanded display for a particular procedure category may occur in: response to changes to any of the current value that is specified in anesthesia location rate field 704f of locality adjustment section 704, the current percentage value that is specified in anesthesia rate adjustment field 706c of recommended rate adjustment section 706, changes in the particular method employed by pricing tool 137 to derive and set the price value within anesthesia price field 71 Ic, and direct entries of a particular price value by a provider user within anesthesia priee field 7 tie. [0197] As further illustrated in FIG, 7B, the row entry for a particular procedure category can includ a pricing value under total amount column 715 that is provided as a sum of the price values listed under facility price column 712, physician price column 713, anesthesia price column 716, and, if included, additional fee column 714 in the row entry for a particular procedure category. This represents the actual price at which each service listed in the expanded display for a procedure category 1 would be offered for purchase via marketplace system 100 as a bundled set of services front th provider user accessing service pricing page 700 via provider portal 130. In exemplary embodiments, pricing tool 137 can be furthe configured to provide an option via user interface controls implemented within service pricing page 700 for a provider user that is accessing the service pricing page 700 and has selected a medical specialty from drop-down menu 702 for which pricing tool 137 recognizes that the respective information records for services indicated as being with the selected medical specialty within sendee pricing information database 114m include information records having an indication that the service is a primary service of a bundled set of sendees that a secondary service associated with the primary service in the bundled set is an anesthesia procedure to not include information and options pertaining to the associated anesthesia procedures and anesthesia pricing information within the sendee pricing page for the selected medical specialty.

[0198] FIG. 7C is a screen shot illustrating third example of graphical user interface provided by service pricing page 700 for a user accessing provider portal 130 in association with a registered hospital system account. In the example illustrated in FIG. 7€, the user has selected "GI" (gastroenterology) from medical specialty drop-down menu 702, and pricing tool 137 has, in respons to this selection, configured the user interface Options and populated the information displayed within locality adjustment section 704, rate adjustment section 706, and detailed pricing information section 70S in accordance with the selection of "GI” fro drop-down menu 702.

[0199] In general, as shown in FIG. 7C, detailed pricing information section 70S is generated by pricing tool 137 as a table with various interactive user interface controls that includes, in addition to procedure column 711, facility price colum 712, physician price column 713, additional fee column 714, and total amount column 7.15, a pathology price column 717.

[0200] As illustrated in FIG. 7C, the expanded information for a particular procedure category further includes, for eac service categorized as sub-procedure of In addition to a medical code number used to identify the service, a base facility rate, a base physician rate·, an adjusted facility rate, and an adjusted physician rate as described above with reference to FIG. 7A, a base pathology rate, The base pathology rate for each service listed in the expanded display is obtained by pricing tool 137 from the pathology rate for the service that is stored within the respective information record maintained for the sendee within service pricing information database 1 14m for display within detailed pricing information section 70S.

[0201] In the present example, as further illustrated in FIG 7C, the expanded information for a particular procedure category further includes, in addition to physician price field 71 la and facility price field 71 i b, a pathology price field 711 d that specifies a price that will be applie by the provider user for each pathology service performed in association with the service that have been categorized under the expanded procedure category. In exemplar embodiments, pricing tool 137 can be configured to derive and include an initial, default price value within pathology price field 71 Id. For example, pricing tool 137 can derive and set the default price value within pathology price field 71 Id as the average of the base pathology rates for all services listed in the expanded display for a procedure category . In exemplary embodiments, pricing tool 137 can be further configured to allow the provider user accessing sendee pricing page 700 to access pathology price field 71 Id to input a particular price value within thi s field

[0202] As further indicated in the example screen shot illustrated in FIG. 7C, the row entry for a particular procedure category will include a pricing value under pathology price column 717 that corresponds to the pricing value that is specified within pathology price field 71 Id in the expanded display for the procedure category In this regard, pricing tool 137 can be configured to dynamicall update the pricing value provided under pathology price column 7 i 7 in response to changes to the price value within pathology price field 71 1 d. As further illustrated in FIG. 7B, the row entry for a particular procedure category can include a pricing value under total amount column 715 that is provided as a sum of the price values listed under facility price column 712, physician price column 713, patholog price column 717, and, if included, additi onal fee colum 714 and anesthesia price column 716 in the row entry for a particular procedure category. This represents the actual price at which each service listed in the expanded di splay for a procedure category woul d be offered for purchase as a bundled set of services via marketplace system 100 from the provider user accessing sendee pricing page 700 via provider portal 130.

[0203] In exemplary embodiments, the functionality that is provided within provider portal 130 for users of hospital ystem accounts «an further include a set of user interface controls implemented by service selling sendee 135 that can be accessed by a user of a hospital system account to sell prepaid purchases of services to a customer in-person b operating a client system located at, for example, a medical clinic being visited by the customer to access application server 116. In this regard, service selling service 135 may provide functionality allowing a user of a hospital system account to sell, in addition to sendees that are offered for purchase by the hospital within server system 100, services that are constructed by a user of a hospital sy stem account, including bundled sets of services.

[0204] In exemplary embodiments, the user interface implemented by account management service 131 may be further configured to provide user interface controls for requesting authorization For payment of a predetermined fee to gain access to the abi lity to offer healthcare products for pus&ase within marketplace system 100. Such a fee may be, for example, a one-time charge or a periodic charge (such as a monthly, biannual, or annual foe).

[0205] Upon the user indicating an intention to offer a healthcare product for purchase (for example, by selecting a “Offer Service" tab within the harmacy account page implemented b provider portal 130), the user will be able to initiate a product offering with product management service 134 to offer a healthcare product for purchase via server system 110.

[0206] Upon the user indicating an intention withi the pharmacy account page Implemented by provider portal 130 to access various account management functions, the pharmacy administrator ca access various user interface elements provided by account management service 131 to, for example, manage pharmacy and payment or compensation information, manage information pertaining to products offered for purchase fay the pharmacy, and view a history 1 of transactions performed for products offered for purchase by the pharmac within server system 110.

[0207] in exemplary embodiments disclosed herein, because certain healthcare information may be considered highly confidential, marketplace system 100 can he implemented to provide for a high-level of security for information transferred between client applications executing on client systems 142 and application server 116. For illustration, whenever applicable, marketplace system 100 (for example, for operations an functionalities) may be implemented to comply with requirements under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIP A A). For example, if certain type of information should not be accessible to a specific party (for example, a prescription product manufacturer or service provider) according to HIPAA requirements or other confidentiality concents, system 100 can implement information -control or information-protection measures that ensure the specific party cannot access that type of information. As another example, to protect patient privacy, .information transmitted over a computer or communication network, such as information transmitted between application server 116 and any client system 140 and electronic messages transmitted by server system 110, can be encrypted, In exemplary embodiments, system 100 can be HiFAA-validate to ensure privacy and comply with all requirements.

[0208] FIG. 8 illustrates a flow chart of an insurance policy stored in the insurance database (tl4o, shown in FIG. 2) executed by the application sewer (116, shown in FIG. 2) The insurance database is programmed to provide an optimized bundled price 802 for healthcare services. For exemplary' purposes, the system maximizes collections at. each phase in th user's care cycle. For various phases there is an option for paying the payment 80:4. The patient is· referred or scheduled for a procedure, where the patient may receive a push notification to pa prospectively. Alternatively, the patient cheeksdn at a provider’s location and the patient pays at the point of service such as by cash, card, digital wallet, etc. Alternatively, the patient is made to pay after services are provided and/or at discharge wherein, the patient receives a push notification to pay e rospectively.

[0209] Further, each of the patient's information is monitored such as but not limited to a doctor's order/schedule (for example, CTTC Redox), propensity to pay data (CHC-Vendor), benefit status (CH€- ribbon health) and CareCredit pre-approval. Based on the patient information, a doctor's order is matche . Furt her, the pri ce is set based oil the pa tient 's capacity and/or willingness to pay for the service and/or product. Further, each payment is monitored to cheek if a patient is paying out-of-pocket. The system compares the bundled price to the remaining patient deductible to determine the patient's the services and/or product. Furthermore, patients are allowed to pay either in full or through CareCredit.

[0210] The system is configured to pay the optimal price in full every time to the hospitai/physician/pharniacy and any associated service provider. The procedure is transparent and acceptable to both patients and the provider . The service providers collect the maximum data on the patients who are willing to pay, Further, the hospital may leave revenue on the table by charging less than what patients are willing to pay

[02ΊI] The application server (116, shown in FIG. 2) processes the data stored in the insurance database 1 l4o and allows the user to access the insurance information via an insurance management service (14, shown in FIG. 2). The hospital sends an electronic claim to the system after care is delivered to the patient. The system then distributes payment and sends an electronic remittance file based on the information stored in the insurance database 114a. The system passes the electronic claim to the insurance company 806 to update the patient's accumulator (not for reimb rsement). The insurance 806 then notifies the system of accumulator status. The system then sends an update to the patients.

[0212] FIG. 9 illustrates a block diagram of a virtual payment system manager 170 communicating with a client system in a healthcare marketplace system in accordance with another exemplary embodiment of the present invention. As noted above, exemplary embodiments of the present invention may be implemented to provide a virtual payment system tor facilitating an accounting for the exchange of payment for services and products purchased by for otherwise purchased on behalf of) patients and offered by healthcare providers via the creation, transfer, and redemption of virtual funds within a central server system 110.

[0213] In some exemplary embodiments, the virtual payment system manager 170 is configured to facilitate the tracking and management of promotional credits that may be offered by the providers of a healthcare marketplace system 100 to registered users of the server sy stem TIG for taking certain ae¾fts¾I¾¾5 the system in association with their registered accounts.

[0214] For example, the providers of a arket lace system 100 may offer a promotion to potential customer users in which each user, upon completing registrat on of a respective customer account with server system 110, will receive a credit of a specified amount of funds (for instance, a credit of $25) that the customer user may use to purchase services and/or products offered within marketplace sy tem 100 by provider users that are registered with server system 110.

[0215] i one embodiment, the virtual payment system manager 170 is configured to, access the database server 112 to create the respective account information recor for the virtual money account for the customer within the virtual money account database 1 Mo, and access database server 112 to create a new virtual fund corresponding to a specified amount fo a promotional credit within the database of virtual fund objects included in the respective account information record

[0216] In this regard, the virtual payment system manager 170 generates a unique identifier for the new virtual fund object being created and defines the atributes of the object to include an indication of the value of the corresponding virtual funds, the unique identifier generate for the object, an indication that the original funding source is a credit that was convey ed by the providers of marketplace system 100, a creation timestamp for the object, an indication that the corresponding virtual funds for the object are not presently allocated to use as payment for an offered sendee or product purchased within the marketplace system, and, optionally, art indication of an expiration date for the promotional credit by which the customer user must use the credited funds to purchase the services and/or products offered within marketplace system 100.

10217] in such an example, the virtual payment system manager 170 is configured to further access database server 112 to also create a corresponding new virtual fund object for the promotional credit within the container of virtual fund objects included in the respective account information record for a virtual money account that is being maintained within virtual money account database i 14o for an entity that provides the marketplace system (which may have already been established, for example, by a backend administrator of server system 110). More specifically, virtual payment system manager 170 generates a. unique identifier for the new virtual fond object being created and define the attributes of the object to include an indication of the value of the corresponding virtual funds as a negative value, the unique identifier generated for the object, an indication that th original funding source is a correspondi ng amount of real currency held within an external financial account maintained by the providers of marketplace system 100 {and thereby owed to the virtual payment system by the marketplace system providers), an a creation ti estamp for the object.

[0218] In one embodiment the virtual payment system manager 170 is also configured to, upon ereati ng the corresponding virtual fond objects for the promotional credit within the respective account information records for the virtual money accounts for the customer user and the entit that provides the marketplace system within virtual money account database 1 I4o, updates the total balanc values and available balance values included in the sets of general information within the respective account information records for the respective virtual money accounts appropriately to reflect the newly-created virtual fund objects.

[0219] in the example illustrated to FIG. 9, the particular components that are utilized for providing the virtual payment sy stem are integrated within system 100 in conjunction with the components of the system as described above and herein below with reference to the exemplary embodiments illustrated FIGS. I and 2. In particular, as depicted in FIG 9, application server 116 is further implemented to include virtual payment system manager 170. As also depicted in FIG. 9, data store 114 further comprises virtual money account database 114p, which is maintained by database server 112, i accessed by application server 116.

[0220] In the present exemplary embodiment, virtual payment system manager 170 is shown in FIG. 9 as including a virtual account management module 171, a transaction tracking module 172, a communication module 173, a virtual fond creation and disbursement module 174, a virtual payment processing module 175, and an adjustment processing module 176. In general, the various modules implemented within virtual payment system manager 170 in the present exemplary embodiments are configured to interact with one another, customer portal 120, provider portal 130, and data store 114 via database server 112 to perform the various operations described in the examples provided above pertaining to exemplar ) ·' embodiments in which a virtual payment system is implemented within server system 110

[0221] The virtual account management module 171 is configured to access virtual money account database 114p to create respective account information records for respective virtual money accounts of participants to transactions conducted within marketplace system 100 The virtual account management module 171 retrieves, maintains, performs modifications to respective information account records as necessary in response to participants that are logged-in to server system 110 accessing the account management functions provi ded by account management service 122 or account management service 131 to manage and view information pertaining to the respective virtual mone accounts for the participants within the virtual payment system.

[0222] Transaction tracking module 172 can, for example, be configured to dynamically perform updates to the accounting details pertaining to transactions conducted within the virtual payment system. The module 172 dynamically calculates and performs updates to the balance values that are included within the general information in the respectiv account information records for the respective virtual money accounts in response to transactions conducted within the virtual payment System.

[0223] Further, module 172 dynamically performs processing for handling virtual fund object that have been created within the virtual money account based on promotional credits that have expire in response to such expirations occurring, and dynamically perform processing for reversing payment processing operations performed within the virtual payment system for purchases of offered services and products that have not been redeemed within expiration periods specified for such purchases in response to : the end of such expiration periods being reached

[0224] Communication module 173 can, for example, be configured to generate notifications and reports ith respect to virtual money accounts managed and transactions conducted within the virtual payment system, transmi generated notifications and reports to corresponding components of customer portal 120 and provider portal 130, receive notifications arid information from corresponding components of customer portal 120 and provider portal 130, and process such received notifications and information. [0225] Virtual fund creation and disbursement module 174 can. for example, be configured to implement functionality for creating or instantiating hew virtual fund objects within respective account information records for virtual money accounts as needed for transactions conducted within the virtual payment system, processing disbursal requests within the virtual payment system (including functionality for deleting virtual fund objects), and performing automatic periodic disbursals for virtual money accounts within the virtual payment system,

[0226] Virtual payment processing module 175 can, for exas&ptea ¾®*§©hί¾ ££ίίί ta Implement functionality for performing operations for facilitating payment processing within the virtual payment sy stem for purchases of offered services and products by customers users registered with server system 110, as well as to perform corresponding updates to the attributes defining the virtual fund objects within the respective account information records in response to performing such operations for facilitating payment processing within the virtual payment system. Adjustment processing module 176 can, for example, be configured to implement functionality for performing operations for processing: cancellation requests, refund requests, and other modifications to purchases of offered services and products for winch payment processing is handled within the virtual payment system, as well as to perform corresponding updates to the attributes defining the virtual fund object within the respective account information records in response to performing such operations for processing cancellation requests, refund requests, and other modifications to purchases within the virtual payment system

[0227] In exemplary embodiments disclosed herein, because certain healthcare information may be considered highly confidential, marketplace system 100 can be implemented to provide for a high-level of security for information transferred between client applications executing on client systems 142 and application server 116. For illustration, whenever applicable, -marketplace system 100 (for example, for operations and functionalities) ma be implemented to comply with requirements under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Aet(HIPAA), As another example, to protect patient privacy, information transmitted over a computer or communication networ such a information transmitted between application server 116 and any client system 140 and electronic messages transmitted by server system 110, can be encrypted. In exemplary-embodiments, system 100 can be HIPAA-validaie to ensure privacy and comply with all requirements.

[Ό22&] FIG 10 illustrates a block diagram of the application server showing a deductible checker, shopping cart and drug discount card in accordance with another embodiment of the present Invention. The application server 116 may further include a deductible checker 1002 to look up the patient's deductible, a shopping cart 1004 for providing details of pricing to the user, and a drug discount card 1006 for the user for subscription of healthcare Services

[0229] The deductible checker 1002 allows patient’s/user's to took up their deductible and to let the user know whether the healthcare service offered is at better and/or competitive prices. The shopping cart 1004 is automatically communicated to the registered users with the pricing details of the healthcare sendees with which they intend to proceed. The shopping cart 1004 is automatically communicated such as but not limited to email, SMS, Hashing on the graphical user interface, and any other similar communication networks etc. The shopping cart 1004 automatically checks for any deductibles, insurance and accordingly generates the pricing for the user

[0230] In another embodiment, the shopping cart 1004 is verified by an analyst to confirm the pricing. Thus, the shopping cart is sent to the analyst system and then to the user. This allows the user to pre-pay for the healthcare services. Further, the shopping cart 1004 is generated with the right bundled prices (e.g accounting for discounts when certain procedures are purchased together etc.) The drug discount card 1006 is provided to the users who subscribe to the healthcare sendees.

[0231] FIG. 11 is a process flow illustrative of an example aspect of patient lifecycle event triggered shopping cart provisioning design. The method depicted in FIG. 11 is given from the perspective of an exemplary patient lifecycle event triggered shopping cart provisioning engine (SCPE) implemented via processor-executable progra instructions executing on the SCPE processor 604, depicted in FIG 5. In various embodiments, the processor 604 implementing the process 1100 may be configured in an exemplary system 100 as described herein with reference to any of FIGs. I, 6, and 9 For example, the depicted process may execute as processor executable program instructions on processor 604 configured In the application server 116, depicted in FIGs. 1, 6, and 9. in various embodiments, the method depicte in FIG. 11 may also be understood as from the perspective of processor-executable program instructions executing on a mobile device operabSy coupled with the network 150, depicted at least in FIGs 1, 6, and 9. In the illustrated embodiment, the SCPE executes as program instructions on the processor 604, depicted in FIG 5 in some embodiments, the SCPE may execute as a cloud service communicatively and operatively coupled with system services, hardware resources, or software elements local to and/or external to the SCPE processor 604

[0232] The depicted method 1100 begins at step 1.105 with the processor 604 receiving an electronic message comprising a patient medical data update. The electronic message may Include an EHR (Electronic Health Record). The EHR may include updated patient medical data. The patient medical data may be updated relative to historical patient medical data. The processor 604 may access and store the patient medical data using the customer profile database 114a, depicted in FIG 2.

[0233] Then, the method continues at step 1110 with the processor 604 determining if a patient lifecycle event is detected based on the updated patient medical data. The processor 604 executes the process 1200, depicted by FIG. 12 and described herein, to determine if a patient lifecycle event is detected. The processor 604 may determine if a patient lifecycle event is detected based on accessing and storing patient, practice, or condition data using, for example, any of customer profile database 114a, practice group profile database 1 L4e, or condition information database 114f, depicted in FIG . 2. [0234] Then, the method continues at step 1115 with the processor 604 performing a test to determine if a patient lifecycle event is detected, based on the execution of process 1200 by the processor 604 at step 11 i 0. Upon a determination by the processor 604 at step 1 i 15 that a patient lifecycle event has not been detected, the method continues at step 1105 with the processor 604 receiving an electronic message comprising a patient medical data update.

{0235] Upon a determination by the processor 604 at Step 1115 that a patient lifecycle event has bee detected, the method continues at step 1120 with the processor 604 executing the process 1300, depicted by FIG. 13 an describe herein, to determine a medical service bundle to be offered. The processor 604 may determine the medical service bundle based on accessing and storing medical service data using any of customer profile database 114a, physician profile database 114b, practice group profile database 114c, condition information database 114f, or available service database 114g, depicted in FIG 2.

{0236] Then, the method continues at step 1125 with the processor 604 executing the proces 1400, depicted by FIG. 14 and described herein, to offer the medical service bundle for selection and prepayment. For example, the processor 604 may offer the medical service bundle for selection and payment through the customer portal 120 (depicted by FIG. 2), using techniques similar to those described herein with reference to the account management service 122 and purchasing service 126 (both depicted by FIG. 2).

[0237] Then, the method continues at step 1130 wi th the processor 604 performing a test to determine if payment for the medical service bundle has been received. Upon a determination by the processor 604 at step 1130 payment has not been received, the method continues at step ! 105 with the processor 604 receiving an electronic message comprising a patient medical data update.

[0238] Upon a determination by the processor 604 at step i 130 payment was received, the method continues at step 1135 with the processor 6M scheduling the paid : services. In various embodiments, the method may repeat. In some designs, the method may end. [0239] FIG, 12 is a process flow illustrative of an example aspect of patient lifecycle event triggered shopping cart provisioning design. The method depicted in FIG 12 is given -from the perspective of an exemplary patient lifecycle event triggered shopping cart provisioning engine (SCPE) implemented via processor-executable program instructions executing on the SCPE processor 604. depicted in FIG. 5. I various embodiments, the processor 604 implementing the proces 1200 may be configured in an exemplary system 100 as described herein with reference to any of FIGs 1 , 9. In various embodiments, the method depleted in FIG. 12 may also be understood as from the perspective of processor-executable program instructions executing on a mobile device operably coupled with the network 150, depicted at least in FIGs. 1, 6, and 9 For example, the depicted process may execute as processor executable program instructions on processor 604 configured in the application server 116, depicted in FIGs. 1, 6, and 9. In the illustrated embodiment, the SCPE executes as program instructions on the processor 604, depicted in FIG. 5. In some embodiments, the SCPE may execute as a cloud sssrsfeo vsnamunicatively and operatively coupled with system services, hardware resources, or software elements local to and/or external to the SCPE processor 604. The depicted method 1200 begins at step 1205 with the processor 604 performing a test to determine if the patient is a new patient. The processor 604 may implement the test to determine if the patient is a new patient based on patient medical data encoded by an EHR.

[0240] Upon a determination by the processor 604 at step 1205 the patient is a new patient, the method continues at step 1245 with the processor 604 indicating to the invoking process that a patient lifecycle event occurred.

[0241] Upon a determination by the processor 604 at step 1205 the patient is not a new patient, the method continues at step 1210 with the processor 604 determining the patient's historical patient lifecycle state based on patient medical data. The historical patient lifecycle state may be the patient s lifecycle state pre^mjc49 the cnrrcnt^vocati on of process 1200 The historical patient lifecycle state may be administratively assigned The historical patient lifecycle state may be programmatically determined by the processor 604 as a f unction of patient medical data encoded by an EHR. The processor 604 may determine fee historical patient lifecycle state based on, for example, patient medical data encoded b a previously processed EHR, administratively configured patient medical data, or an administratively configured lifecycle state. In illustrative examples, the EHR may encode patient physiological data such as, for example, a laboratory test report indicating the concentration of a substance in the patient’s body, or a test result indicating a measured patient physiological parameter such as blood pressure, heart rate, weight, or height. The processor 604 ma programmatically determine the historical patient lifecycle state base on, for example, operations such as comparing, or correlating, patient medical data encoded by an EHR with one or more range of similar data to determine the patient lifecycle state in an illustrative example, the processor 604 may determine the patient lifecycle state to be new patient, well patient, acute care patient, chronic care patient, or recovering patient Other patient lifecycle states may be determined by the processor 604 based on programmatically analyzing patient medical data such as laboratory results and measurements to determine correspondence with standardized or administratively determined medical data ranges. For example, at step 1210 the processor 604 may determine a patient with a blood pressure in predetermined range is an acute care patient based on patient medical dat encoded by an EHR.

[0242] Then, the method continues at step 1215 with the processor 604 determining tire current pati ent lifecycle state based on updated patient medical data. The processor 604 may programmatically determine the current patient lifecycle state based on updated patient medical data encoded b an EHR. The EHR encoding updated patient medical data may be provided as input to the system as a result of a patient’s examination by a medical professional The EHR encoding updated patient medical data may be provided as input to the system as a result of a measurement by a doctor during a patient visit. The EHR encoding updated patient medical data may be provided as input to the system as a result of a measurement remotely performed by a patient in a care context such as telemedieine, or self-care by the patient m the patient’s home. The operations perforated by the processor 604 to determine the current patient lifecycle state at step 1215 are inline with the operations performed by the processor 604 at step 1210 to determine the historical patient lifecycle state. In any case, the processor 604 at step 1215 determines the current patient lifecycle state based on evaluating patient medical data that has been updated in this example, the patient medical data has been updated relative to the patient medical data analyzed by the processor 604 at step 1210 to determine the historical patient lifecycl state. [0243] Then, the method continues at step 1220 with: the processor 604 comparing the historical patient lifecycle state determined hy the processor 604 at step 1210 with the current patient lifecycle stale detennii fey the 104 at step 5215. to determine if a patient lifecycle event occurred based on the comparison. In an illustrative example, the processor 604 may compare the historical and current lifecycle stales based on comparing archived patient medical data with updated patient medical data. 0244 Then, the method continues at step 1225 with the processor 604 performing a test to determine if the patient condition changed. The processor 604 may determine if the patient condition changed based on comparing archived patient medical data, such as, for example, a previous blood pressure measurement or 1 aboratory test result., with patient medical data updated by a more recent measurement or result. For example, the processor 604 may determine patient condition changed if a more recent test result or measurement is in a different range than a previous test result or measurement. Upon a determination at step 1225 by the processor 604 patient condition changed, the method continues at step 1245 with the processor 604 indicating to the invoking process that a patient lifecycle event occurred.

[0245] Upon a determination by the processor 604 at step 1225 the patient condition did not change, the method continues at step 1230 with the processor 604 performing a test to determi ne if the patient status changed. The processor 604 may determine if patieht status changed based on administrativel configured or programmatically determined patient status. The processor 604 may determine if patient status changed based on comparing archived patient data with updated patient data. The patient data used by the processor 604 to determine patient status may be medical, billing, payment, insurance, or other data. In an illustrative example, patient status may be new patient, active patient, inactive patient, former patient, referral patient, or referred patient. For example, the processor 604 may determine patient status changed from active to inacti ve if the patient has not kept an appointment for at least a predetermined time period. The processor 604 may determine the patient is a new patient if patient records were not previously accessible to the system. A referral patient may have been referred from another medical practice, and in view of this, patient care of such a patient may benefit from customized consideration, in line with what may be known by one of skill in the art. A referred patient may have specific goals resulting i the patient's referral to another medical practice, or to a specialist, for example. In an illustrative example, the referred patient may benefit from optional services offered through the specialises practice. In any case, upon a determination by the processor 604 at step 1230 the patient status changed, the method continues at step 1245 with the processor 604 indicating to the invoking process that a. patient lifecycle event occurred

10246] Upon a determination by the processor 604 at step 1 30 the patient status did not change, the method conti nues at ste 1235 with the processor 604 performing a test to determine if another patient lifecycle event occurred. The operations performed by the processor 604 at step 1235 to determine if another patient lifecycle event has occurred may include comparing archived patient data with updated patient data encoded by an EHR received with a notification or administratively configured in the system. In any case the processor 604 may determine a patient lifecycle event other than a change in patient condition or status has occurred, based on comparing the archived and updated patient data, to determine if a change has occurred based on the comparison. The change detected by the processor 604 may be any change in patient data that has not been identified previously. [0247] Upon a determination by the processor 604 at step 1235 another patient lifecycle event has not occurred, the method continues at step 1250 with the processor 604 indicating to the invoking process that no patient lifecycle event occurred.

[0248] Upon a determination by the processor 604 at step 1235 another patient lifecycle event has occurred, the method continues at step 1240 with the processor 604 determining the patient lifecycle event that did occur, based on the patient lifecycle state comparison performed: by the processor 604 at step 1220. The operations performe by the processor 604 to determine the patient lifecycle event at step 1240 are in line wit the operations performed by the processor 604 at ste 1225 an step 1230 with deeper analysis of the patient data at step 1240. The patient data analysis performed by the processor 604 at step 1240 may include lifecycle event determination based on patient data input to a predictive analytic, machine learning, or artificial intelligence model trained with patient data.

[0249] Then, the method continues .at step 1245 with the processor 604 indicating to the invoking process that a patient lifecycle event occurred. In various embodiments, the method may repeat In some designs, the method may end

[0250] FIG 13 is a process flow illustrative of an example aspect of patient lifecycle event triggered shopping cart provisioning design. The method depicted in FIG. 13 is given from the perspective of an exemplary patient lifecycle event triggered shopping cart provisioning engine (SCPE) implemented via processor-executable progra instructions executing on the SCPE processor 604, depicted in FIG. 5. In various embodiments, the processor 604 implementing the process 1300 may be configured in an exemplary system 100 as described herein with reference to any of FlGs 1, 6, and 9 For example, the depicted process may execute as processor executable program instructions on processor 604 configured in the application server 116, depicted in FIGs. 1, 6, and 9. in various embodiments, th method depicted in FIG. 13 may also be understood as from the perspective of processor-executable program instructions executing on a mobile device operably coupled with the network i 50, depicted at least in FIGs, I , 6, and 9. In the illustrated embodiment, the SCPE executes as program instructions on the processor 604, depicted in FIG. 5. In some embodiments, the SCPE may execute as a cloud service communicativel and operatively coupled with system services, hardware resources, or software elements local to and/or external to the SCPE processor 604. The depicted method 1300 begins at step 1305 with the processor 604 creating a default service bundle The default service bundle created by the processor 604 may include a service for which a patient Is already registered. The service for which the patient is already registered may be a primary service. The default service bundle may include a service window parameter related to a bundled service, such as, for example, location, facility, time slot, or doctor. The processor 604 may create the default service bundle as an empty bundle with no service, or no sendee window

[0251] Then, the method continues at step 1310 with the processor 604 identifying appropriate optional services to offer to the patient based on patient medical data. The processor 604 may determine an optional service is appropriate to a patient if the optional service considered is not contraindicated by medical care standards, : in view of the patient’s medical condition. The patient’s medical condition may be determined by th processor 604 using techniques similar to those described herein with reference to process 1200, depicted by FIG 12.

[0252] Then, the method continues at step 1315 with the processor 604 deteraiuiieg if any ,of th¾ optional services determined at step 1310 by the processor 604 as appropriate are medically indicated for the patient based on the current patient lifecycle event and patient medical data. The processor 604 may determine an optional service is medically indicated for a patient if the service is related by medical care standards to the patient condition. For example, if a medical care standard suggests a doctor treating a patient with a given condition should also consider treatment with a particular class of drug or screening by a particular test for another condition, the processor 604 may determine that consideration of the dru treatment or screening test may be medically indicated for the patient based on the current pattern lifecycle event and patient medical data. The current patient lifecycle event may be determined by the processor 604 using techniques similar to those described herein with reference to process 1200, depicted by FIG. 12.

[0253] Then, the method continues at step 1320 with the processor 604 performing a test to determine if medically indicated procedures should be added to the default service bundle, based on the determination by the processor 604 at step 1315, as to whether appropriate optional services may bmedically indicated. Upon a determination at step 1320 by the processor 604 some appropriate optional service is medically indicated, the method continues at step 1325 with the processor 604 adding at least one medically indicated appropriate optional service to the default service bundle. The sendee added to the service bundle by the processor 604 may include a service window parameter related to the added service, such as, for example, location, facility, time slot, or doctor

[0254] Upon a determination at step 1320 by the processor 604 no appropriate optional sendee is medically indicated, the method continues at step 1330 with the processor 604 performing a test to determine if a follow-up service may be added to the service bundle A follow-up service may be, for example, mandatory , such as a post-surgical visit for suture removal. In some cases, a follow-up service may be optional. A candidate follow-up service: considered by the processor 604 for addition to the service bundle ma be a foliow-up service to a primary sendee, or a follow-up sendee to an optional .service. Upon a determination by the processor 604 at step 1330 some follow-up service may be added to the service bundle, the method continues at step 1335 with the processor 604 adding at least one follow-up service to the sendee bundle.

[0255] Upon a determination by the processor 604 at step 1330 no follow-up servic may be added to the service bundle* the method continues at step 1340 with the processor 604 determining if additional optional services are available within the same service window (for example, location, facility, time slot, or doctor) as a primary service.

[0256] Then, the method continues at step 1345 with the processor 604 performing a test to determine if an optional service available in the same service window as a primary service may be added to the service bundle. Upon a determination at step 1345 b the processor 604 an optional service available in the same service window as a primary sendee may be added to the service bundle, the method continues at step 1350 with the processor 604 adding to the service bundle an optional service available within the same service window as a primary service.

[0257] Upon a determination at step 1345 by the processor 604 no optional sendee available in the same service window as a primary sende may be added to the sendee bundle, the method continues at step 1355 with the processor 604 determining if performing bundled services in another optional service window (that is, a service window different from, or alternative to, the primary service window) would improve resource utilization. The resource utilization data evaluated by the processor 604 at step 1355 may include facility·', equipment, or medical professional cost per unit time, percent idle time, or percent active time. The processor 604 may determine if resource utilization may be improved based m comparing calculated projected utilization of one or more resource based on the resource utilization data for more than one service window. The processor 604 may determine the relative cost to provid sendee in various service windows, to facilitate offering a discount determined b the processor 604 as a function Of relative resource utilization between the service window's.

[0258] Then the method continues at step 1360 with the processor 604 performing a test to determine if offering service in an alternative service window would improve resource utilization, based on the evaluation of resource utilization in optional service windows performed by the processor 604 at step 1355 Upon a. determination by the processor 604 at step 1360 offering service in an alternative service window would improve resource utilization, the method continues at step 1365 with the processor 604 adding an optional service window to the service bundle.

[0259] Upon a determination by the processor 604 at step 1360 offering service in an alternative service window would not improve resource utilization, the method continues at step 1370 with the processor 604 adding a prepayment discount determined as a function of relative sendee window resource utilization to the service bundle offer. In various embodiments, the method may repeat. In some designs, t e method may end.

[0260] FIG. 14 is a process flow illustrative of an example aspect of patient lifecycle event triggered shopping cart provisioning design The method depicted in FIG. 14 is given from the perspective of an exemplary patient lifecycle event triggered shopping cart provisioning engine (SCPE) implemented via processor~exeoutai?M instructions executing on tire SCPE processor 604, depicted in FIG 5.

In various embodiments, tire processor 604 implementing the process 1400 may be configured in an exemplary system 100 as described herein with reference to any of FlGs. 1, 6, and 9. For example, the depicted process may execute as processor executable: program instructions on processor 604 configured in the application server 116, depicted in FIGs. i, 6, and 9. In various embodiments, the method depicted in FIG 14 may also be understood as from the perspective of processor-executable program instructions executing on a mobile device operably coupled with the network 150, depicted at least in FIGs 1, 6, and 9 In the illustrated embodiment, the SCPE executes as program instructions on the processor 604, depicted in FIG. 5. In some embodiments, the SCPE may execute as a cloud sendee communicatively and operatively coupled with system services, hardware resources, or software elements local to and/or external to the SCPE processor 604. The depicted method 1400 begins at step 1405 with the processor 604 constructing a shopping cart based on die service bundle oHfer predetermined by the processor 604 executing the process 1300, depicted by FIG. 13.

[0261] Then, the method continues at step 1410 with the processor 604 presenting the shopping cart of bundled services to a patient as a function of service window (for example, a service window may include location, facility, time slot, doctor, or other variables) and a prepayment discount. The shopping cart of bundled services may be presented to the patient in an email, text message, mobile app, web page, chat window, or automated phone call Various designs ma enable the patient to select from among the offered services presented in the shopping cart. In an illustrative example, the shopping cart may offer a choice of servi ce window with some services. For example, gi ve an offered service such as a particular medical procedure, a service window choice presented to the patient with the medical procedure may include a choice of location, facility, time slot, doctor, or other optional procedures available within the service window. In some eases, more than one service window may be presented to a patient for selection. The service window choice may include a prepayment discount. More than one prepayment discount amount or prepayment discount percentage may be offered to a patient. The prepayment discount may vary as a function of the service window. The prepayment discount may be determi ned as a function of medical practice resource utilization, medical practice cost per unit time to provide a service in the service window, or medical professional availability during the service window; The prepayment discount may be a prepayment discount valid for prepayment before a predetermined date

[0262] Then, the method continues at step 1415 with the processor 604 receiving an indication of patient service selection from the shopping cart of bundled services presented to the patient by the processor 604 at step 1410. The indication of pati ent service selection may be an indication the patient did not select an offered service after a predetermined time period. Th indication of patient service selection ma be an indication the patient rejected the off ered sort- ices.

[0263] Then, the method continues at step 1420 with the processor 604 performing a test to determine if the patient selected a service. Upo a determination by the processor 604 at step 1420 the patient did not select a service, the method continue at step 1425 with the processor 604 optionall adjusting the prepayment discount, and the method continues at step 1405 with the processor 60 constructing a shopping cart based on a sendee bundle offer.

[0264] Upon a determination by the processor 604 at step 1420 the patient selected a service, the method continues at step 1430 with the processor 604 applying the prepayment discount to the selected services, and the- method continues at step 1435 with the processor 604 accepting payment. In various embodiments, the method may repeat. In some designs, the method may end

[0265] Although various embodiments have been described with reference to the Drawings, other embodiments are possible.

[0266] In the Summary' above an in this Detailed Description, and the Claims below, and in the accompanying drawings, reference is made to particular features of various embodiments of the invention it is to be understood that the disclosure of embodiments of the invention in this specification includes all possible combinations of such particular features. For example, where a particular feature is disclosed in the context of a particular aspect or embodiment of the invention, or a particular claim, that feature can also foe used . to the extent possible . in combination wkh and/or in the context of other particular aspects and embodiments of the invention, and in the invention generally.

[0267] In the present disclosure, various features may be described as being optional, for example, through the use of the verb “may;”, or, through the use of any of the phrases; “in some embodiments,” “in some implementations, ” “in some designs,” “in various embodiments,” “in various implementations/’, “in various designs/’ "in an illustra ti ve example/’ or “for example;” or, through the use of parentheses. For the sake of brevity and legibility', the present disclosure does not explicitly recite each and every' permutation that may be obtained by choosing from the set of optional features. However, the present disclosure is to be interpreted as explicitly disclosing all such permutations. For example, a system described as having three optional features may be embodied in seven different ways, namely with just one of the three possible features, wit any two of the three possible features or with all three of the three possible features.

(0268] in various embodiments, elements described herein as coupled or connected may have an effectual relationship realizable by a direct connection or indirectly with one or more other intervening elements

[0269] The phrases "connected to,” ” coupled to” and ”in communication with” refer to any form of interaction between two or moreentities, including mechanical, electrical, magnetic, electromagnetic, fluid, and thermal interaction. Two components may be functionally coupled to each other even though they are not in direct contact with each other. The terra "abutting" refers to items that are in direct ph sical contact with each other, although the item may not necessarily be atached together.

[0270] In the present disclosure, the term "any" may beimderstood as designating any number of the respective elements, l.e. as designating one, at least one, at least two, each or all of the respective elements. Similarly, the term "any" may be understood as designating an coliection(s) of the respective elements, l.e. as designating one or more collections of the respective elements, a collection comprising one, at least one, at least two, each or all of the respective elements. The respective collections need not comprise the same number of elements.

[0271] While various embodiments of the present invention have been disclosed and described in detail herein, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that various changes may be made to the configuration, operation, and form of the invention without departing from the spirit and scope thereof In particular, it noted that the respective features of embodiments of the invention, even those disclosed solely in combination with other features of embodiments of the invention, may be combined in any configuration excepting those readily apparent to the person skilled in the art as nonsensical Likewise, use of the singular and plural is solely for the sake of illustration and is not to be interpreted as limiting.

(0272] The Abstract is provided to comply with 37 C F R. § I..72(b), to allow the reader to quickly ascertain the nature of the technical disclosure and is submitted with the understanding that it will not he used to i nterpret or limit the scope or meaning of the claims. [0273] In the present disclosure, any method or apparatus embodiment may be devoid of one or more process steps or components. In the present disclosure, embodiments employing negative limitationsare expressly disclosed and considered a part of this disclosure. f®274] -The term “comprises” an grammatical equi valents thereof are used h erein to mean that other components, ingredients, steps, among others, are optionally present- For example, an embodiment “comprising” (or " which comprises”) components A, B and € can consist of (i.e., contain only) components A, B and C, or can contain not only components A, B, and C but also contain one or more other co ponen ts .

[0275] Where reference is made herein to a method comprising two or more defined steps, the defined steps can he carried out in any order or simul taneously (except where tire context excludes that possibility), and the method can include one or more other steps which are carded out before any of the defined steps, between two of the defined steps, or after all the defined steps (except where the context excludes that possibility).

[0276] Recitation in a claim of the term "first" with respect to a feature or element does not necessarily imply the existence of a second or additional such feature or element.

[0277] Reference throughout this specification to "an embodiment" or "the embodiment" means that a particular feature, structure, or characteristic described in connection - ith that embodiment is included in at least one embodiment. Thus, the quoted phrases, or variations thereof as recited throughout this specification are not necessarily all referring to the same embodiment

[0278] Similarly, it should be appreciated that in the above description of embodiments, various features are sometimes grouped together in a single embodiment, Figure, or description thereof for the purpose of streamlining the disclosure. This method of disclosure, however, is not to be interpreted as reflecting an intention that any claim in this or any application claiming priority to this application require more features than those expressly recited in that claim. Rather, as the following claims reflect, inventive aspects may lie in a combination of fewer than all features of any single foregoing disclosed embodiment. Thus, the claims following this Detailed Description are hereb expressly incorporated into this Detailed Description, with each claim standing on its Own as a separate embodiment. This di sclosure includes all permutations of the independent claims with their dependent claims.

[0279] Aspects of exemplary embodiments of the present invention described herein can be implemented using one or more program modules and data storage units. As use herein, the term "modules", "program modules", "components”, "systems”, "tools", "utilities", and the like include routines, programs, objects, components, data structures, and instated on s, or instructions sets, and so forth that perform particular tasks or implement particular abstract data types. As can he appreciated, the modules refer to computer-related entities that can be implemented as software, hardware, firmware, and/or other suitable components that provide the described functionality, and which may be loaded into memory of a machine embodying an exemplary embodiment of the present invention. Aspects of the modules may be written in a variety of programming languages such as C, C+-+, Java, etc. The functionality provided by modules used for aspects of exemplary embodiments described herein can be combined and/or further partitioned.

[0280] As used herein, the terms "data storage unit," "data store", "storage unit", and the like can refer to any suitable memory device that may be used for storing data, including manual ties, machine readable files, and databases. The modules and/or storage units can ail be implemented and run on the same computing system (for example, the exemplary computer system illustrated in FIG. 5 and described below) or they can be implemented and mu on different computing systems. For example, one or modules can he implemented on a personal computer operated by a user while other modules can be implemented on a remote server and accesse via a network.

[0281] According to an embodiment of the present invention, the system and method may be accomplished through the use of one or more computing devices. As depicted, for example, at least in FIGs. 1, 2, 5, 6, and 9, one of ordinary skill in the art would appreciate that an exemplary system appropri ate for use with emh odi en s i n accordance wi th the present appl 1 cation may general I y t n elude one or more of a Central processing Unit (CPU), Random Access Memory (RAM), a storage medium (e.g., hard disk drive, solid state drive, flash memory, cloud storage), an operating system (OS), one or more application software, a display element, one or more communications means, or one or mor input/output devices/means. Examples of computing devices usable with embodiments of the present invention include, but are not limited to, proprietary computing devices, personal computers, mobile computing devices, tablet PCs, mini-PCs, servers, or any combination thereof. The term computing device may also describe two or more computing devices communicatively linked in a manner as re distribute an share one or more resources, such as clustered computing devices and server banks/fanns One of ordinary skill in the art would understand that an number of computing devices could be used, and embodiments of the present invention are contemplated for use with any computing device. [0282] Throughout this disclosure and elsewhere, block diagrams and flowchart illustrations depict methods, apparatuses (i e., systems), and computer program products. Each element of the block diagrams and flowchart illustrations, as well as each respective combination of elements in the block diagrams and flowchart illustrations., illustrates a function of the methods, apparatuses, and computer program products. Any and all such functions (“depicted functions”) can be implemented by computer program instructions; by special-purpose, hardware-based computer systems; by combinations of special purpose hardware and computer instructions; by combinations of general purpose hardware and computer instructions; and so on - any and all of which may be generally referred to herein as a “circuit,” “module/’ or “system/ '

[0283] While the foregoing drawings and descripti on may set forth functional aspects of the disclosed systems, no particular arrangement of software for implementing these functional aspects should be inferred from these descriptions unless explicitly stated or otherwise clear from the context

[0284] Each element in flowchart illustrations may depict a step, or group of steps, of a computer- implemented method. Further, each step may contain one or more sub-steps. For the purpose of illustration, these steps (as well as any and all other Steps identified and described above) are presented in order it will be understood that an embodiment can contain an alternate order of the steps adapted to a particular application of a technique disclosed herein. All such variations and modifications are intended to fall within the scope of this disclosure. The depletion and description of steps in any particular order is not intended to exclude embodiments having the steps in a different order, unless required by a particular application, explicitly stated, or otherwise clear from the context.

[0285] Traditionally, a computer program consists of a sequence of computational instructions or program instructions it wifi be appreciated that a programmable apparatus (i.e;, computing device) can receive such a computer program and, by processing the computational instructions thereof, produce a further technical effect

[0286] A programmable apparatus may include one or more microprocessors, microcontrollers, embedded microcontrollers, programmable digital signal processors, programmable devices, programmable gate arrays, programmable array logic, memory devices, application specific integrate circuits, or the like, which can be suitably employed or configured to process computer program instructions, execute computer logic, store computer data, and so on. Throughout this disclosure and elsewhere a computer can include any an all suitable combinations of at least one general purpose computer, special-purpose computer, programmable data processing apparatus, processor, processor architecture, and so on.

[0287] It will be understood that a computer can include a computer-readable storage medium and that this medium may be internal or external, removable, and replaceable, or fixed. It will also he understood that a computer can include a Basic Input/output System (BIOS), firmware, an operating system, a database, or the like that can Include, interface with, or support the software and hardware described herein.

[0288] Regardless of the type of computer program or computer invo ved, a computer program can be loaded onto a computer to produce a particular machine that can perform any and all of the depicted functions. This particular machine provides a means for carrying out any and all of the depicted functions.

[0289] The elements depicted in flowchart illustrations and block-diagrams throughout the figures impl logical boundaries between the elements. However, according to software or hardware engineering practices, the depicted elements and the functions thereof may be implemented as parrs of a monolithic software structure, as standalone software modules, or as modules that employ external routines, code, sendees, and so forth, or any combination of these. All such implementations are within the scope of the present disclosure.

[0290] Unles explicitly stated or otherwise clear from the context, the verbs '‘execute 5 ’ and "'process” are used interchangeably to indicate execute, process, interpret, compile, assemble, link, load, any and all combinations of the foregoing, or the like. Therefore, embodiments that execut or process computer program instructions, computer-executable code, or the like can suitably act upon the os code in any and all of the ways just described.

[0291] While the invention has been described hi detail with reference to exemplary embodiments, it will be understood b those skilled in the art that various changes and alternations may be made and equivalents may he substituted for elements thereof without departing from the scope of the Invention as-defined by the appended claims. In addition, many modifications may be made to adapt a particular application or material to the teachings of the invention without departing front the essential scope thereof.

[0292] Variations described for exemplary embodiments of the present invention can he realized in any combination desirable for each particular application. Thus particular limitations, and/or embodiment enhancements described herein which may have particular limitations need be implemented in methods, systems, and/or apparatuses including one or more concepts describe with relation to exemplary embodiments of the present invention.

(0293] Therefore, it is intende that the invention not be limited to the particular embodiments disclosed as the best mode contemplated for carrying out this invention, but that the invention will include all embodiments falling within the scope of the present application as set forth in the following claims, wherein reference to an element in the singular, such as by use of the article "a" or "an" is hot intended to mean “one and only one" unless specifically so stated, but rather "one or more." Moreover, no claim element is to be construed under the provisions of 35 U.S.C. § 112, sixth paragraph, unless the element is expressly recited using the phrase "means for" or "step for." These following claims should be construed to maintain the proper protection For the present invention.