The new health savings account and health reimbursement arrangement plans could create billions of dollars in new business opportunities over the next 5 years.

Aamer Baig, a consultant at Diamond Management & Technology Consultants Inc., Chicago, makes that prediction in a report that notes that, today, “consumer-directed healthcare plans don’t have a reputation for being particularly consumer-friendly.”

Simply providing the technology services and business services needed to tie health accounts, health records and other components of the programs together could generate more than $10 billion in business, Baig estimates.

Helping consumers make health care decisions could create more than $6 billion in business, and health account payment processing could generate more than $5 billion in business, Baig predicts.

Baig contends that helping consumers cope with the gaps between when health care bills arrive and when contributions go into health accounts could create a $5 billion consumer health care financing opportunity.