How would you feel if you were told you could get a rebate for having necessary surgery? That’s the concept behind a new Chicago based company called “Health Engine.”
The motto is "Get paid to save."
Mose Tolliver is home recovering after arthroscopic surgery. He injured his shoulder at work while loading boxes. Now, he's feeling stronger and the check he received for the surgery for $3600 dollars is making him feel a whole lot better.
Tolliver took advantage of a Chicago based startup called “Health Engine.” Think of it as a Priceline or Expedia of sorts for health care.
"Health Engine" allows facilities and hospitals to compete by offering lower rates for your surgery or diagnostic procedures: Everything from orthopedic surgery, to colonoscopies, back surgery -- a total of 400 of the most common procedures. There’s also more than a million doctor profiles on the database so you're getting high quality healthcare at a lower cost.
Here’s how it works: with the help of a concierge, the consumer can comparison shop by price. And the bonus is if they book a cheaper quote than the standard rate, the patient can pocket more than 50% of the savings in the form of a rebate.
"So if the insurance agrees to price of 30-thousand and there's another facility a doctor can take you too, suddenly there's a bidding war taking place and they’ll offer to give back some of that money,” said Jonathan Weiss.
Weiss is a physician and the founder and CEO of "Health Engine." He says up to 90% of the cost of surgery is coming from the facility where it's being done, 10% of the cost from the doctor and many of these buildings are only at 50% capacity. That leaves a lot of time where they sit empty.
Larry Coven is an attorney who specializes in worker's compensation benefits. He encourages his clients to use health engine and in the end, he, the clients, the doctor, the facilities and health engine all make money as a result of the savings.
"It's an absolute win for everyone,” Coven said.
Mose Tolliver is one of Coven's clients. He says the pain of the surgery was almost worth it.
"You’re going to go through some pain when you have surgery but at least you'll get a reward for having your surgery,” Mose Tolliver said.
"Health Engine" is currently working with cities and municipalities to enable more workers to take part in this platform regardless of their healthcare plan.
The goal it says is to provide high quality health care and make it more affordable to the average consumer. This comes at a time when health care costs are out of control.
The city of Chicago and the state of Illinois are currently in talks with health engine to look at possibly using this platform for city, state and county workers as a way to save local government money on healthcare costs.