Health insurers are trying to come together to reduce the time and expensive doctors devote to coping with the mishmash of payer computer systems.

America’s Health Insurance Plans, Washington, and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, Chicago, say they will start working in November to sponsor regional and statewide initiatives to assess how best to offer physicians in each region access to multiple insurers through the same information channel, such as Web portals.

The portals would help doctors with key office tasks, such as verifying eligibility for benefits and getting information about the status of claims.

AHIP and the Blues teamed with provider groups to announce the initiative today in Columbus, Ohio.

Health plans participating in the initiative include giants such as Aetna Inc., Hartford; CIGNA Corp., Philadelphia; Humana Inc., Louisville, Ky.; Kaiser Permanente, Oakland, Calif.; and UnitedHealth Group Inc., Minnetonka, Minn. Other carriers that have a significant presence in Ohio also are participating.