With employers and employees expected to carry a rapidly increasing portion of out-of-pocket healthcare spend, enterprises and employees alike are in need of new tools that reduce the complexities of healthcare billing, help navigate rising cost and make more educated plan and benefit choices.
To help their clients in this endeavor, brokers may want to take a look at a new product that attempts to simplify the healthcare payment and saving system. By utilizing a collaboration of healthcare, benefits and financial networks, Medxoom has initiated the first wave of its app to deliver mobile-first bill payment and financing for users.
Tito Milla, co-founder of Medxoom, says the app is meant to give price awareness to employees who might not know that their health plan, doctor’s office or their prescriptions are not the cheapest choice within the options provided to them.
“When you look at the market today, the growth of out-of-pocket spending has grown to over 250% since 2006,” Milla says. “The average is well above $1,000 across the country and for employers with under 200 employees, the number jumps to $2,000.”
Milla adds that when it comes to billing systems for provider networks, traditionally their payout comes from insurance companies with a 95% to 96% success rate. However, for patient responsibility 30% to 50% of network billing comes from the employee, rather than the insurance carrier, depending on the practice.
“The more the cost shifts to the patient, the more it becomes a billing issue for the doctors,” Milla says. “We are a mobile first platform and we are about making healthcare payments simple.”
With the freedom to not be tied down to one specific doctor and their electronic or paper format of payment, Medxoom provides users with the ability to make payments to any provider with any type of health plan, including PPOs, HMOs and HDHPs — with access to HSAs should the employee have one available.
Also see: “Employers broadening health programs.”
Jordan Hackmeier, managing partner at Jeff D. Hackmeier & Associates INC. out of Miami, is one of the brokers who has partnered with Milla and the Medxoom team to share the app with his clients. Hackmeier says his firm is piloting the app with a small physicians group and plans to pilot the app with a second client with a 50 to 90 employee base.
“The employers are finding value in this product by the way it provides clarity by explaining what their deductible is, what’s left to be paid, why the employee is still paying out-of-pocket. What is most exciting is how they can still add on more and more features,” Hackmeier says. “It appears to me that this product is going to be something that is going to solve a lot of problems in the healthcare industry.”
One feature Hackmeier says is appealing to him is Medxoom’s ability to offer a loan option to users who lack the funds to pay their medical bills immediately. “If you can’t pay $5,000 to satisfy your deductible at your hospital, Medxoom partners with lenders who will loan you the money,” Hackmeier says.
Hunt Turner, co-managing director of Wood Gutmann & Bogart Insurance Brokers out of Tustin, Calif., is sharing Medxoom’s app with his clients on the West Coast, and says Medxoom is one of the more comprehensive options for healthcare apps on the market.
“I’ve seen platforms that are more transparency-driven through analytics, but not really tied specifically to HSAs,” Turner says. “My self-funded clients want to have the best information on the healthcare market and it has been a bit of a challenge to find a good comprehensive site.”
From both Hackmeier and Turner’s clients who are piloting the app at their companies, response has been mostly positive. “I think there is a learning curve just around understanding of what it does and doesn’t do because it is relatively new to consumers,” Turner says. “Those who immediately understand the technology are appreciative of the quick access to information.”
Milla says he and his partners are starting Medxoom in the smaller employer market and want to eventually ramp to the large employer market by the end of 2017, with the assistance of large regional brokers.
Simplifying the healthcare payment system