I received an email yesterday from a reader mentioning that he would like to see less posts on the user experience, and more introducing cool healthcare companies. Swallowing the urge to write back, “you’ve missed the POINT of my blog,” I’ve decided to add a “Get to Know” bucket where I’ll briefly introduce a few neat websites. After all, there are hundreds of consumer focused healthcare websites and whether I spend the time to examine the websites in detail or not, I would like to share them with you. So yes, as stubborn as I am, I will acknowledge when a good suggestion is made.
Today’s Get to Know is on organizing your medical expenses and tracking your meds and doctor visits. I’m sure many of you use Mint or Quicken to consolidate your bank accounts and recurring bill payments, or at the very least you log on to your various bank websites to pay off monthly bills. Now there are companies that do the same thing but for your medical expenses– i.e. dentist, doctor, pharmacy, medical insurance, etc.
About a year ago, Google disabled Google Health. Citing that the application targeted too small of a demographic (only tech-savvy patients and their caregivers), Google urged people to download their medical data and transfer it to Microsoft’s HealthVault. Check out some other up and coming firms that are also doing personal medical expense management and health information tracking/sharing.
Microsoft’s HealthVault (HealthVault) has some upstanding qualities. You can upload data from multiple fitness and health tracking devices into HealthVault (such as Withings). You can also track prescriptions and manage family prescriptions by connecting HealthVault directly to your pharmacy (such as CVS and Walgreens). Additionally, you can check your drug regimen for any negative drug interactions your doctor may have missed. And, if you have a chronic disease, you can link HealthVault to your glucometer, blood pressure monitor, etc., and deliver that information directly to your healthcare provider. Microsoft HealthVault is designed to get all your medical records in one place for you and your family. What the system lacks is a way for you to pay your medical bills through the user dashboard – however, some medical record systems, such as Greenway, are starting to integrate with HealthVault so you can do just that. It will be interesting to see what HealthVault transforms into in the near future.
CakeHealth (CakeHealth) is aiming to better streamline your health insurance billing and payment experience. The Company rolled out a redesigned website last month and is growing fast. Unfortunately the young company hasn’t connected with too many insurance companies yet so my personal dashboard doesn’t give a great showcase of what they have to offer, but it’s only a matter of time. There is also currently no way to directly pay your bills online.
Simplee (Simplee) is a great tool to compile you and your family’s healthcare records and bills into one easy to understand online dashboard. You can pay your medical bills through the Simplee website and also see exactly what each health plan covers. Simplee also cross-checks your bills vs. your plan to make sure you aren’t being wrongly charged. The site is easy to understand and demystifies questions regarding deductibles, co-pays and other ‘insurance jargon.’
The Company has been around longer than CakeHealth and currently works with a much broader range of health insurance companies, including my health/vision and dental plans. However, for this and CakeHealth, the system is only as perfect as those companies that report to it. It looks like I never paid for a doc visit in April but after cross checking with my credit card statement, I did pay for it. This is likely an issue with my insurance company / healthcare provider’s accounts receivable and not with Simplee.
Managing healthcare expenses is important especially with rising costs and an uncertain economy. Hopefully some of these sites might be useful for you.Follow @alexisavvy