Medical Bill Negotiator

copatient

Yes, just like the Priceline Negotiator, now comes something similar called the CoPatient.  Usually, I segue in rant berating these third parties but….I love this!  I love the concept and I love the company.  Their four step process is as follows:

  1. You submit your hospital bill to them
  2. They review
  3. You get their free assessment to argue on your own
  4. Or, they appeal on your behalf for a fee (a few options but normally 30% of what you save)

Obviously, they only make money on number 4, but so what?  You were going to pay more in medical bills.  Here is one example they use:

Ellen was diagnosed with cancer last summer. Ellen has health insurance with an out-of-pocket maximum of $5,500 per year. However, over six months of her chemotherapy treatments, Ellen received so many bills from her oncologists that she stopped opening her mail. After paying out over $9,000 to the clinic, she turned to CoPatient for help. CoPatient organized all of her bills and tallied up the statements. Ellen was shocked to learn she had been directly billed nearly $40,000 by her oncologist. Ellen immediately opted in to CoPatient’s appeal service. After countless phone calls to the billing office and her health plan, not to mention sorting through reams of documents, CoPatient’s Advocate, Britta, discovered that instead of discounting her bill by the amount her insurance company had negotiated, the oncologist was charging her the full balance. Ellen saved $31,136 once Britta showed the oncologist’s billing service how to correct the error.

I would love your feedback on this.  Am I missing something?  I don’t think so.  They seem to be one of the good guys fighting for us little guys.  Help me spread the news about this company so others can benefit.

Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected] 

  2 comments for “Medical Bill Negotiator

  1. Princess of Problem Patients
    July 23, 2014 at 11:13 am

    Medical negotiator services have been around for a few years. The one that’s popular here (as an employment benefit with several healthcare-related non-profits in my area, anyway) is Compass (compassphs.com) since they also do pricing comparisons and patient advocacy tasks. I’m used to wrangling with insurance companies so haven’t used their services, but I know several people who have and they’ve all had good experiences.

  2. Sharon DiSantis
    July 23, 2014 at 10:01 am

    As an independent agent who sells group and individual health insurance, I offer this service to all of my customers at no additional cost – I only get paid the commission paid to me by the insurance company. Yes, I have delivered to me reams of statements and EOB’s to look at and decipher. And yes, sometimes the provider is billing incorrectly and sometimes the insurance company has processed the claim incorrectly. Actually sometimes the provider has coded the service incorrectly. ANY good independent agent is going to provide this service. Why should someone be paying a third party? Oh, I guess the people who are purchasing online without an agent or through healthcare.gov without an agent need to spend additional money for this service.

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