Emily Hague, Imaging Performance Partnership
A new tool in Colorado helps patients shop for discount imaging exams. Following the model of popular discount travel sites like Travelocity, CarePilot helps patients book empty appointment slots at off-peak times at a discount of between 10 and 30%.
The business was started by Scot Woolley, a former principal in two radiology startups, who saw an opportunity that would be mutually beneficial to providers and patients – helping physician offices streamline workflow and maximize capacity, and empowering patients as consumers in control of their own healthcare. In addition to scheduling off-peak appointments, the model offers savings to patients by reducing the need for insurance companies and collection agencies. Some providers also use the site to offer discounts to new customers.
Patients can schedule appointments directly through the CarePilot website, and a color-coded calendar shows savings over the market price. The service must be paid for upfront (using a credit card, HSA, or Paypal), but CarePilot has a specialist on staff to help patients determine whether their insurance might reimburse the cost or apply it toward their plan’s deductible.
CarePilot currently contracts with over 300 verified, certified, and accredited providers, and has over 20,000 available procedure slots in the Denver area. It will soon be expanding to Tulsa, Salt Lake City, and Boise, and eventually across the country. According to CBS Denver, Woolley is talking with CMS about potential for expanding the model to a national level.
As we’ve blogged about before, price transparency is increasing – and with it, price sensitivity—and imaging providers need to find ways to compete. The Imaging Performance Partnership’s 2011 webconference Overcoming Emerging Barriers to Growth helps to address these challenges, and this year’s Perfecting the Outpatient Footprint will help providers take advantage of market opportunities and achieve service excellence. Register for the 2012 national meeting today.