A new mobile technology empowers patients through digital healthcare.
According to a report from Salesforce, 63% of Americans still rely on their doctor to keep track of their medical records, with a mere 20% using the web to access them. While innovations in mobile and digital healthcare are exploding, patients are still primarily using antiquated methods to communicate with their doctors and to manage their health-especially when it comes to managing medical test results.
Medical tests are any type of procedure performed to detect, diagnose or monitor diseases, disease processes and susceptibility. They determine the course of treatment. Specifically, a total of over 13 billion medical tests are performed in over 250,000 certified clinical laboratories each year in the United States. As a result, 70% of medical decisions are based on the results of these medical tests – making them a crucial part of the diagnostic process.
Unfortunately, as important as lab and radiology tests are for today’s patients, Americans are spending twice as much on healthcare per capita than any other country in the world-with a big chunk of these fees coming from surprise medical bills. Specifically, these hidden costs come into play in large part due to the misunderstanding between the concept of a provider “accepting” insurance versus actually being “in network” with a patient’s plan. For example, when a patient goes to a particular lab and is told that the lab “accepts” their insurance plan, this patient may be under the impression that their insurance coverage will leave them with a significantly lower cost for the test-as opposed to paying out-of-pocket. While the patient leaves the lab feeling assured of their test coverage, a few weeks later the patient receive an outrageous bill letting them know that their insurance actually did not cover that particular lab test, leaving them stuck with an unexpected medical bill that they are required to pay.
With the cost of living also on the rise, getting hit with unwanted medical bills can eat into a family’s savings-potentially leaving them extremely vulnerable in the event of an emergency. While our instinct may be to directly criticize and attack the healthcare industry as a whole, the truth is that patients are very likely to reduce their annual healthcare costs by actively becoming more informed.
LabFinder is a new online lab and radiology test scheduling and result-reporting service providing search, appointment assistance and document storage by integrating and archiving information in a HIPPA compliant central location. It provides patients with the tools and information they need and, ultimately, eliminates the frustrations and unexpected costs associated with medical testing. To ensure patients avoid any unexpected out-of-network fees from a given testing center, LabFinder verifies patients’ insurance automatically to ensure the laboratory or radiology center and medical tests are approved by their particular insurance provider.
As with most digital healthcare platforms out there today, the goal is to make user lives easier by integrating modern technology with traditional healthcare practices. Similar to how Apple’s latest iOS 10 software will soon allow users to request medical records right from their iPhone, the App allows users to access and view their lab test results (i.e., blood, urine, radiology, imaging) right from their mobile device and/or computer.
Along with providing a free-of-charge service for patients, the App supports its subscribing labs and radiology centers by helping to build and strengthen their online reputations. By increasing doctor and patient loyalty, labs can create leads with new doctors via LabFinder’s network, as well as receive analytics and metrics based on the location of their facility.
While the patient, doctor, and lab relationship cannot be fixed overnight, improving the quality of communication between patients and doctors is the first step towards developing the best treatment options, as well as detecting and preventing disease. If patients are more informed and have the knowledge required to better manage their health, this will, in turn, help doctors to better manage the health of their patients.