trueDOK: A Modern Solution for Patients, Physicians Affected by High Deductible Plans
Healthcare is possibly the only industry in the country where consumers don’t know what they will pay for the services they use, and health care providers don’t know who will be paying for the services they deliver.
But that is changing…in real time.
“The current practice model is being completely disrupted,” said Joe Anstine, founder of trueDOK, a cloud-based system that synergistically benefits both patients and health care providers.
“As the costs of medical insurance rise, subscribers are increasingly signing up for lower premium, higher deductible plans,” Anstine said. “That means that more patients are responsible for more of costs of their services and procedures. They want more pricing transparency.” And, physicians and other medical professionals—as would any other group of service providers—want and deserve to be paid for the work they do. Healthcare providers need to know before they deliver service whether the payer will be the insurance company, the patient, or both.
Improving the healthcare service model for patients, physicians, and practices
In the midst of all the changes in the healthcare industry, trueDOK, a cloud-based healthcare platform offers benefits to both patients and physicians that can improve the efficiency and delivery of care.
For example, insurance companies often make prior authorization of a procedure a condition of payment. The medical practice typically administers this step. Often prior authorizations are done manually by telephone or, if online, at the each individual insurance provider’s web site.
As more and more procedures require prior authorization, the workload on the back office staff of a medical practice mounts up. “Private practices are really feeling the pinch,” Anstine said.
With trueDOK, the practice administrator can go to one web site and verify all of their patient’s detailed insurance information and enter all prior approval requests using a single, familiar trueDOK format.
“All the data is out there spread all over the place,” said Anstine, who has prior experience as a Gold Certified Microsoft partner in analytic software and big data. “We basically brought it together into one easy-to-use interface that allows physicians to determine eligibility and calculate patient responsibility estimates in one place, in real time, with a click of a button.”
Telephone prior authorizations can average from 45 to 60 minutes. “We’ve reduced that to less than two minutes,” Anstine said.
trueDOK’s HIPPA-compliant software as a service automates the submission, tracking, and ultimate determination of a patient’s procedure and referral prior authorizations all from one easy-to-use interface. Real-time determinations help patients gain access to the doctors they need to see and get the procedures they need faster. Once an appointment is scheduled, providers will be able to calculate and electronically share with a patient his or her financial responsibility prior to delivering services. This can increase price transparency for the patient and more frequent collection points for the medical practice.
“We know that when we empower the patient, good things will also happen to the doctor,” Anstine said.
trueDOK is developing an online shopping center for health care services which works very similar to online retailers such as Amazon or eBay. Patients will be able to search for the medical procedure or appointment they need. trueDOK will identify providers who are close to where patients live and work, allowing those patients to compare price estimates and quality care information.
“We want to give the patient information that allows them to choose their providers based on price, quality, and distance among other things” Anstine said. “If we empower the patient, the doctor also wins.”
Through trueDOK, patients will be able to schedule appointments, pay medical bills, as well as manage the entirety of their healthcare for all family members, doctors, and multiple health insurance plans.
“trueDOK will eventually empower patients to purchase a number of health services at lower buy-now prices, which could be typically 10 to 25 percent less than normal insurance prices and will accrue towards the patient’s insurance deductible,” Anstine said.
In exchange for discounting their services, trueDOK provider members will receive patient payments prior to services being rendered; trueDOK will also submit the insurance claims.
Creating a market-driven solution that physicians and patients want
trueDOK began with one idea, enrolled in Concept Academy, and then as so many companies do, pivoted based on direct feedback from the market.
“They wanted real time insurance verification before the patient’s appointment and to record the services the patient received and the cost of those services before the patient left the office,” Anstine said.
“We’ve been at this a year,” he said. “We are on our twenty seventh version of the prototype. Every time we create something, we take it to our customers. We ask them if they would pay for a feature, if not we tweak it until they say yes.”
trueDOK is in development with a targeted group of beta customers, working toward a limited fourth quarter launch. trueDOK anticipates that the first wave of customers will be small- to medium-sized medical practices that are privately owned as well as hospital imaging centers.