“Household salaries have remained flat over the past 20-plus years as every potential salary raise is applied to feed the healthcare beast…………”
Article Contributed By Bill Ebaugh, Sierra Birkshire & Associates
Skyrocketing healthcare costs drives physician to create transparency app
Published April 19 2017, 10:05pm EDT
Rising healthcare costs were no surprise to Bill Hennessey. As a physician, he witnessed prices for healthcare soar while salaries and benefits remained stagnant — seeing firsthand how much the change affected his patients.
“I kept watching prices for healthcare skyrocket, but I didn’t know anybody getting a raise to pay for it,” he says. “We are paying way too much for healthcare. [It’s] such a stressor; it’s the No. 1 reason for bankruptcy in the country, so when I kept hearing about this over and over in my office, I took this as a personal challenge.”
That challenge resulted in Pratter, a medical-cost savings and transparency company that aims to empower consumers to save thousands of dollars per year by searching and comparing prices for a medical test or procedure, including blood work, imaging and elective procedures.
The Pratter technology solution includes redirecting consumers to low-cost and high-quality providers in network. Pratter, which is available as an employee benefit with per-employee-per-month pricing, also provides employers with a medical cost savings analysis of their de-identified medical claims data focusing on outpatient care, giving companies the knowledge and power to manage their claims and reduce healthcare costs.
“Our service solution and search and save engine make it abundantly clear that in-network pricing varies greatly when the quality does not,” explains Hennessey, who, for his efforts, received a 2017 EBN Benefits Technology Innovator Award, a program designed to recognize visionaries who are driving technology innovation in the employee benefits space.
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“All working Americans deserve to have access to affordable healthcare within their budgets and ‘know before you go’ pricing for medical care,” says Hennessey, who also is Pratter’s CEO. “Household salaries have remained flat over the past 20-plus years as every potential salary raise is applied to feed the healthcare beast. Paying less for medical care and saving money for other family matters is of paramount importance.”
Technology platforms such as Pratter, he says, can take complicated medical claims data and make it easy to understand and actionable for employers and employees. It’s all part of driving consumerism.
“In an era where high deductibles rule, we are now consumers of healthcare. Consumer-centric models of healthcare will emerge and improve delivery efficiencies,” Hennessey says. “Technology will be used to create the desperately needed capitalism in healthcare. In our case, known pricing creates smart shopping. Known pricing also creates competition, and with competition, the consumer wins every time.”