Barnett Banks Inc. and Cooperative Healthcare Network will begin jointly marketing to physicians later this month services that automate claims, card processing, and balance reporting.

Each company will market two products: Cooperative Healthcare Network's StatLink, which automates the forms process, including claims, submissions, claims status, and eligibility, and Barnett's on-line banking and card processing services.

Many banks are looking to the health care industry's payments system as a lucrative source of fees. "It remains to be seen" whether the product will be a significant source of fee income, said Wade Nield, health care segment manager for Barnett, a $38 billion-asset bank based in Jacksonville, Fla.

The products aim to speed the flow and posting of physicians' accounts receivable, which now are often delayed by administrative inefficiencies, the bank says. The service will allow physicians to verify receipt of payment before updating receivables.

Barnett will begin testing the marketing effort on July 27 in its branches in Highlands and Pinellas counties in late July.

Cooperative Healthcare, a subsidiary of Atlanta-based BellSouth, has agreed to market with Barnett exclusively in the state of Florida. Barnett also plans to market the product in Georgia.

In a separate move aimed at the medical industry, Barnett and MasterCard are co-sponsoring seminars on managing a medical practice.

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