Communicating with healthcare providers and understanding your health is a serious problem in the United States. Medical records, payment systems, messaging are typically run on outdated technology.
Kareo Patient Portal aims to help reduce frustation in three areas: payments, health records, and patient-provider communication.
- Insurance payments come after claims have been received. But patients don't know what they will be charged and what their insurance will cover. This is called an EOB—an Explanation of Benefits. It looks like a bill but it isn't. You get that later.
- When you owe money not covered by your insurance, you'll receive a bill from the provider. If the provider is a small medical office (1-5 doctors), the bill will be a cryptic, indecypherable mess.
- Once you figure out what you owe to your doctor, many times you are required to pay by check or over the phone. A barrier that prevents people from paying on time.
Simply getting access to your healthcare records can be a nightmare. We wanted to design an accessible and simple way to see your current and past medical histories using baselines set by the federal government.
One problem I wish we worked on was interoperability. Healthcare records are locked in databases owned by insurance and healthcare providers. This data is a valuable commodity for the organization (it increases switching costs for the patient and thus creates a defensive mote around the company) and they are not keen to share it.
However, by locking data in these silos, it prevents accurate information from reaching doctors at the right time and leads to poor health outcomes for patients.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) included incentives for healthcare providers to allow patients to securely message their doctors. As a doctor, if you gave your patients a website where they could email or otherwise message you, the federal government would send you a check for several thousand dollars.