Friday, July 1, 2011
'Just Click It'
Working in the healthcare space everyday, it also reminded me of the idea that QR codes could put a stop to the stuggle of understanding medical bills. Where am I at with my deductable? What did my insurance cover? Is this the same bill from the provider and hospital?
As a consumer, I would love to seperate my healthcare expenses from other expenses. I assume others would too, as 62% of bankruptcies are from healthcare debt. BlueCross BlueShield started incorporating QR codes on paper bills to cut down the amount of information that was sent with the bill. Not a bad idea for patients to opt-in for further information, given that the current paper billing system averages $8 per transaction. Did I forget to mention...
- Approximately 15 - 20% of the cost of health care goes towards billing and collections (typical hospital margins are 4%).
- The U.S. healthcare system is a major driver of the overall economy with $1.9 trillion payments processed a year.
- Bad debt from self-pay patients is now close to 40% of total billing.
- In 2005 consumers spent $250 billion on healthcare, a figure that is expected to grow to $420 billion by 2015.
As much as hospitals want to improve patient satisfaction, control costs, and increase collections, patients want a place that will host all there healthcare bills.
I propose a platform is built by a large healthcare corporation that will fulfill this need. QR codes, along with apps, are not a solution, rather a part of the strategy to communicate a larger idea.
The larger idea:
- All healthcare bills are mandated with a QR Code for the consumer to opt-in with their smartphone to set up an account online(+app) where the bill will then be uploaded to the site.
- The site will consolidate all bills, have informational videos explaning each bill, as well as recommended next steps. It will show where the consumer stands against their deductable and will allow hospitals to nuture customer relationships and satisfaction by setting up appointments and follow ups if the consumer chooses to opt-in.
- The corporate sponsor of this site potentially have an opportunity to target consumers with their programs and services that would suit their needs with advertising on the site.
- Consumers would be able to pay with the click of their phone.
My phone is decorated with colorful financial apps including: Currency, ING Direct, Well Fargo and Mint.com. Between financial and healthcare apps such as WebMD and DocGPS, I would love to add this billing facilitation app to the mix as I believe it could transform healthcare.