Startup Helps Health Insurance Cards Go Digital

In an era of e-tickets, bitcoins and app-based banking, it seems pretty antiquated that we still have to fumble through our wallets for an insurance card each time we go to the doctor's office. But a Philadelphia-based startup has a plan for making those flimsy pieces of cardboard digital — and the upside isn't just the potential for going paper-free.

With the rise of high-deductible plans, patients are increasingly on the hook for more of their medical expenses than they've ever been before. For patients, that means a bigger need for tools that provide more transparency about health care costs. And for doctors, particularly independent physicians, said Medlio co-founder and CEO David Brooks, that means a growing problem with collecting payment.

According to a 2007 report from McKinsey, hospitals and providers usually only collect about 50 percent of the postinsurance balance (or the amount owed by the patient beyond what insurance covers or what they pay at the time of treatment). That's not because patients are inherently delinquent, Brooks emphasized, it's often because they're either too confused about what they need to pay or they don't believe that they were billed correctly.

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Source: USA Today

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