A Mid-Atlantic health insurer says it will give physicians the data necessary to help them tell patients how much the patients will have to pay for care.

Highmark Inc., Pittsburgh, says it has set up a system that can tell in-network doctors and other in-network providers how much patients owe in “real time.”

Providers can use the information to collect payments from patients when services are delivered, or to make other payment arrangements, Highmark says.

The system incorporates information about deductibles as well as coinsurance rates, co-payment levels and other cost-sharing arrangements, Highmark says.

Highmark began offering the system to providers in November and hopes to make the system available to all network providers in April 2009.