For those tired of the hassle of dealing with mistakes on out-of-network medical bills, there is hope: Startup Better has already raised $1.1 million in funding so it can advocate on your behalf to reduce your medical bills.
According to TechCrunch, Better works through both automation and human-powered filing of insurance claims on their customer’s behalf. A user simply downloads the app, fill out some information to verify her identity and then snaps a picture of her medical bill. Better then starts looking for errors and contacting the user’s insurance company to fix any errors and lower the bill.
Medical bill errors are commonplace, with one study finding rampant hospital billing errors resulting in overcharges of up to 26 percent and nearly half of all Medicare claims containing billing errors. While patient advocates who do this kind of work already exist, they often charge a 20 to 30 percent fee — and often don’t have the technology to back them up.
Better uses a mix of human advocates and automation to spot errors and reduce costs. It’s free to patients right now (until it hits $1 million in claims) but will eventually charge around 10 percent of the total bill after any reductions.
The startup will file out-of-network claims for any medical expenses, including therapy, psychiatry, acupuncture, chiropractic care, optometry, dental work, lab tests and medication. Better also has plans to grow and has raised $1.1 million from Initialized Capital with participation from Ben Blumenfeld and Enrique Allen’s Designer Fund and various other angel investors.