Health care providers are concerned they will be hit with a wave of patients who put off seeking help and now have chronic health issues due to delayed care in 2020. Patients are concerned about higher medical bills, even as access to health insurance coverage continues to increase. Deductibles, copays, coinsurance and out-of-pocket cost sharing can add up and a simple procedure can lead to tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills.
Braden Pan (pictured), founder and CEO of Resolve in Hanover, says he received a 15-minute consultation that resulted in exorbitant bills. This inspired him to launch Resolve to help people lower bills.
“It got to the point where, on principle, I was just not going to stop. But it also got me thinking. There’s got to be a better way to do this. The system is messed up,” says Pan. “With a background in startups and acquiring venture capital, it was only natural that I looked for a way to create a solution.”
He launched Resolve in 2019 and initially focused on helping people with “absolutely exorbitant bills of $20,000 or more, and there are far too many Americans who face that problem. Now we help people with bills of $5,000 or more.”
Anna Seale, growth manager at Resolve, says people are looking for someone to help them but are used to being treated like a number. Every time they call a hospital or insurance company, they speak to someone different. “We listen to the whole story and follow up with them individually,” says Seale. “Every time they call us, they don’t have to start over. We know who they are; we know their story. They are relieved to finally have someone who will listen and who understands the medical billing system.”
Seale says they start with a fair price analysis and examine the bill for errors. Are there double charges? Did the hospital unbundle codes, essentially charging separately for each part of a procedure that when bundled may cost less? Did they bill for any procedures that didn’t actually happen?
Pan says many of Resolve’s clients are people who had an emergency room visit. A big part of Resolve’s work is negotiating a lower price with the hospitals. Many people receive the first bill for a few thousand and they pay it and think they’re all set, then they get another for $50,000.
Resolve charges the client 10% of what they save; for smaller bills it is 25% because they must cover the cost of doing the work. But Pan says they are looking for ways to drive efficiency, lower costs and be able to offer the service to a broader swath of people. “There is a huge emotional aspect to what we do,” says Seale. “Empathy plays a large role in helping patients and walking them through this. It wouldn’t be as rewarding if there wasn’t that emotional aspect.”
For more information, visit resolvemedicalbills.com.