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Pricing Healthcare is busting the healthcare pricing market wide open, exposing the closely guarded pricing secrets of insurers and healthcare providers. We let consumers go to a single, easy-to-use website where they can compare procedure-level prices across all the healthcare facilities in their area.
If you’ve ever experienced the shock of an expensive medical bill, or known someone who has, then you understand the problem we’re trying to solve. Consumers have no recourse for outrageously high prices. They want to know what they’re being billed for, what all of those procedure codes mean, if their bill is correct, and most importantly, if there's a place nearby that charges less.
There are lots of prices out there – list prices, insured rates, cash discounts. We let people see all of it. Nothing like this exists today.
The Solution (patent pending)
A number of companies have tried for years to convince hospitals and insurers to publish pricing data, but it's in the best interest of hospitals and insurers to keep this information secret. Without this data, our competitors have been left to provide overly generalized estimates and very small fragments of the pricing picture, and have been unable to expose protected pricing data.
The data that could transform the healthcare industry is out there. It’s sitting in our file cabinets and in the pile of bills on our kitchen counter. Our model is to help patients come together at the grass roots level, and anonymously share the pricing data from their healthcare bills. That data is then combined and shown for your specific community, anywhere in the country.
Using our site is easy. A user simply selects the facility listed on their bill, enters their primary insurance, then enters the service date, procedure code, and price charged from the bill details. The site then displays descriptive information on the code, the lowest price for all payment types (including the average insured rate, the providers's retail and cash discount prices, and the medicare rate for the region), and names of the lowest-priced facilities in the area, with their prices.
Pricing Healthcare is pulling back the curtain on healthcare pricing by letting consumers anonymously share information from their bills online. It's as simple as it is revolutionary.
Consumers can save hundreds and thousands of dollars, comparing prices and finding the best healthcare at the lowest price. Not only can patients choose to go to a lower-priced provider for big savings, but our information can also be used in trying to get a provider to lower the amount on your bill after the fact. Pricing Healthcare also helps consumers find abnormalities and errors in their bills, such as double billing. We save all the data you submit and provide you with a dashboard that allows you to see and manage your healthcare history.
Imagine what we could all do, collectively, with all the data from our healthcare bills anonymously online and freely available to other consumers. Healthcare providers, like all American businesses, will have to compete on quality and price.
The rise in healthcare prices is one of America's biggest crises. Nothing is more effective at lowering prices than good old-fashioned competition. We can work together and make a huge difference, by exposing healthcare prices on a single site that is open to everyone.
Who We Are
We have a small, talented team of senior developers and a handful of top marketing and legal resources. Most of us have had leadership roles on very large, enterprise-level projects at some of the biggest companies in America, and the founding members have worked together for years.
Randy, the founder and CEO, is also our chief architect and senior developer. In addition to working for Intel, Microsoft, and HP, he has spent years building scalable web healthcare systems, and is passionate about making healthcare more affordable.
What We Need
We are just a couple months away from launching our public Beta (planned for June 2013). Over the last year the Pricing Healthcare team has poured a lot of our savings and free time into this product. In order to have a successful launch and reach a critical mass of people, we need additional funding for the following things.
- A robust hosting environment: There are tens of thousands of codes with prices at hundreds of thousands of facilities in this country. Our data set at launch time will be very large, and we need servers that can handle it. Because our environment also has more complex security needs for things like HIPAA compliance, we can't get by with the cheap, smaller-scale hosting plans.
- Supplemental data: We have opportunities to supplement portions of the pricing data, but that data has a price.
- Outreach campaigns: The speed at which this site transforms the pricing landscape depends on getting information from a lot of people in a relatively short timeframe. Additional funding will be carefully used to accelerate our outreach campaigns in targeted locations.
Your donations at any level will go toward these things. We're asking for your help.
If you feel like you just can't contribute funds, we would love help getting the word out by mentioning our campaign in email and social media (see links to our pages below). We also encourage you to use IndieGoGo share tools.
On behalf of our small team at Pricing Healthcare we thank you for your generous support as we bust healthcare pricing wide open. We’ve tried to provide enticing rewards for your donations, but we know that the real reward comes in June 2013 when we launch our Beta and Americans can start comparing prices for the healthcare services that matter to them, at PricingHealthcare.com.
Randy Cox - founder and CEO
Listen to Bill Clinton talk at HIMSS 2013 on March 9th about the need for transparency in healthcare pricing
"Another thing, I think, needs to be done everywhere that isn't ..., is we need much more transparency in pricing" (interrupted by applause)
Founder, CEO, CTO - Randy is a software architect, experienced analyst, and senior developer. He has worked for Intel, Microsoft, HP, Allscripts, building scalable web healthcare systems over the last 3 year. Randy is an expert in highly reliable, scalable systems, is rigorous in approaching enterprise-level solutions, and has a strong artistic / creative side.
Randy has a soft spot for families who struggle financially but want to be able to stand on their own two feet. In a previous life Randy was a film composer and real estate investor.
|Don Bennion||Chief Marketing Advisor, Board of Directors - Don is the chief marketing advisor for Pricing Healthcare. He is currently Director of Business Strategy & Development at Adobe (Digital Marketing Business Unit), and has consulted large companies on their digital marketing strategy for 7 years - companies like Ford, Ikea, American Express. Don also has experience in online sales, social media strategy and execution, and search engine marketing (SEM).|
|Bonnie Schreck||Advisor, Medical Coding Expert - Bonnie was a director and product manager at Ingenix and Contexo, with emphasis in coding and billing. She consults on medical coding for various organizations and has an entrepreneurial spirit.|
|Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe - Orrick is Pricing Healthcare's legal counsel. Orrick is a global law firm that represents many of the largest public firms as well as over 1200 startups. They took us on as a client in September, 2012, and our primary liaison is San Francisco-based attorney Joseph Perkins, who was involved in advising Instagram in their buyout by Facebook.|
Our site is open to everyone, and independent of any provider, insurance carrier, or government entity. At this time we are not planning to collect ad revenue. Our revenue model includes a small annual subscription fee after Beta (currently targeting about $15 per year for consumers) to cover license fees and other costs so we don't have to have ads on our site. This keeps our loyalties focused on patients. Later revenue streams may include hospitals, insurance brokers, and government agencies seeking to buy the data from the collective efforts of the American people (hospitals and insurers paying patients - that would certainly be a welcome change).
Some might be concerned about Pricing Healthcare positioning itself to rely on data streams from third parties. We are of course always looking for data sources to complement our user submissions, but our goal will always be to serve consumers. We have no interest in taking money or data from third parties that seek to move us in any way from that primary focus.
Finally, unlike insurance carrier price estimate tools, PricingHealthcare.com doesn't need to keep a group of hospitals or providers happy by hiding what they charge or hiding what competitors charge. Nor are we under contract to keep some prices secret, as large medical institutions often are.
High Disparity in Healthcare Prices
2013, Mar – N.Y. Times (Economix) – U.S. Health Care Prices Are the Elephant in the Room - http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/03/29/u-s-health-care-prices-are-the-elephant-in-the-room/?smid=tw-share
2013, Feb – N.Y. Times (Healthy Consumer) – Quotes on a hip replacement in St. Louis might surprise even hardened health care economists - http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/11/price-for-a-new-hip-many-hospitals-are-stumped/
2012, Jul – Consumer Reports – Health-care prices are all over the map, even within your plan’s network - http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2012/07/that-ct-scan-costs-how-much/index.htm
Consumers Struggle to Pay
2012, Jun – NY Times – Many Americans Struggle to Pay for Health Care, Survey Finds - http://bucks.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/18/many-americans-struggle-to-pay-for-health-care-survey-finds/
Big Changes in Employer and Other Insurance Plans
2013, Mar – BenefitsPro – 60% of employers moving away from traditional “managed trend” approach to healthcare benefits - http://www.benefitspro.com/2013/03/04/employers-taking-bold-steps-with-health-benefits#.UTZ0y5vXmnk.twitter
2013, Mar – NY Daily News – Small business owners have no strategy for coping with rising healthcare costs - http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/small-business-owners-strategy-coping-rising-healthcare-costs-report-article-1.1257787
Lack of Transparency, Competition
2013, Mar – Pittsburgh Post Gazette – Keeping us clueless on cost of health care - http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/business/opinion/regional-insights-keeping-us-clueless-on-cost-of-health-care-677693/
2012, Jun – The Heartland Institute – Sometimes the cash price is lower than the insurance negotiated discount. Private-pay eliminates the third party and the insurance companies, and is truly a free-market device for patients as consumers of health care. The trend of patients paying cash for health care services is a win-win situation for both the patient and the provider. - http://news.heartland.org/newspaper-article/2012/06/19/california-health-care-providers-offer-discounts-cash-payment#.USmr3CMQYTc.twitter
2011, Dec – National Review – Why Not Medical Pricing Transparency? - http://www.nationalreview.com/agenda/285019/why-not-medical-pricing-transparency-josh-barro
2011, Jul – Kellogg Insight – An Unhealthy Market for Competition: Health insurance companies in the U.S., not consumers, control the market - http://insight.kellogg.northwestern.edu/article/an_unhealthy_market_for_competition
Consumer Awareness, Advocacy
2013, Feb – HealthDay News – Patients who take an active role in their health care have substantially lower healthcare costs, even among patients with the same type of chronic illness - http://www.wate.com/story/20966821/patient-involvement-lowers-health-costs-study-says
2012, Aug – U.S. News (My Money) – 10 Ways to Deal with an Expensive Emergency Room Bill: request an itemized statement, check your statement - http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/my-money/2012/08/16/10-ways-to-deal-with-an-expensive-emergency-room-bill
2012, Jun – About.com Patient Empowerment – What Is Healthcare Billing Fraud and How Can It Be Stopped? - http://patients.about.com/od/costsconsumerism/f/healthcarefraud.htm