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Drchrono Now Lets Doctors Accept Payments Via Square, View Real-Time Insurance Info On iPad

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Drchrono, a startup focused on bringing medical records and more to the iPhone and iPad, is announcing a big update today which introduces mobile payment feature to its platform, as well as a new way for physicians and patients to access their health insurance information from mobile devices.

Specifically, the company is adding two new features to its product line-up today: iPhone patient payment processing, which allows doctors and staff to process payments using the Square card reader attached to an iPhone or iPod Touch, and a real-time health insurance eligibility checking feature which will integrate with Drchrono patient check-in app for iPad called OnPatient.

For those unfamiliar, DrChrono is a startup creating a freemium SaaS solution for doctors that’s built on top of Apple’s iOS platform. The company offers an online service and accompanying iPad app which doctors can use to schedule patient appointments, write or dictate notes via audio, take pictures, write prescriptions and send them to pharmacies, enable reminders, access lab results, or input health records. There’s also a more lightweight EMR (electronic medical record) app for iPhone and iPod Touch as well as an iPad app called OnPatient, which replaces the patient check-in process by swapping out clipboards for digital input.

The company raised $2.8 million in funding this January, in a round led by Yuri Milner, with Google’s Matt Cutts and other investors participating. The startup had previously raised $1.3 million in seed funding from Milner, General Catalyst, Charles River Ventures, 500 Startups, Gmail creator and FriendFeed co-founder Paul Buchheit, Cutts, and the Start Fund.

What’s notable about today’s announcement is that this is the first time that real-time medical insurance checks have become available through an iPad application. Although there may have been standalone solutions for mobile or legacy software solutions that have allowed for this, it hasn’t been done before on the iPad. But more typically, office staff has had to phone insurance companies in order to find out the details of a patients’ current coverage. Now they’ll be able to verify it instantly.

In addition, for patients, they’ll be able to immediately see details like what their co-pay and deductible are, or what procedures are covered. Drchrono CEO Michael Nusimow says that the feature covers the top 20 commercial carriers in the U.S., including the top state Medicare and Medicaid carriers. By volume, the top 80% of insurance companies offer the APIs the app needs to pull in this information – and if they offer it, then it’s integrated.

Meanwhile, the newly added Square-based mobile payments feature is targeting the smaller scale doctors’ practices (one to ten doctors). However, notes Nusimow, these practices account for 80% of the U.S. healthcare market today. Already, the company is making inroads into this market, with some 23,000 registered doctors on its service, the majority of whom are in the U.S. For comparison purposes, that’s up from 15,000 at the beginning of the year, and up from 5,000 last summer.

Nusimow thinks the Square feature will entice even more to try the service, saying it’s almost “like bribing doctors,” by giving them “something sexy,” that they really want to use. “It makes them feel modern,” he says.

The company doesn’t talk revenue numbers, but COO Daniel Kivatinos compares the split between free and paid customers to something that’s comparable with other freemium services like Evernote or Dropbox. (Doctors pay for premium features like speech-to-text, medical billing, the new insurance checks and more. The additional features are available as in-app purchases.)

The new features are live now. More info and sign-up is here.