February 7, 2013 in ATDC News

Startup Chronicles: Patientco

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Patientco At a Glance

It all began with a baby.

While knee-deep in bottles and diapers following the birth of his firstborn, Atlanta entrepreneur Bird Blitch received one piece of mail after another – all bills from different doctors utilizing different billing systems.

“I was stunned by the complexity of all the bills and paperwork,” said Blitch. “It was extremely difficult to understand. I eventually sat down with Joshua Silver (experienced in secure payment processing and scaling consumer internet portals) and we began looking at all of the different problems in healthcare. The idea was to create a solution to help the average patient better understand and manage their healthcare expenses.”

In 2008, the pair founded Patientco – initially named SecureHealthPay – with a mission to provide people with an easier way to pay their healthcare bills. Users benefit from a secure web portal that conveniently manages the tracking, consolidation and payment of medical bills for providers. A simplified statement shows patients exactly what they owe, what insurance will pay and when a payment is due so they can quickly cover the balance. In addition, multiple payment options are offered, such as credit and debit cards, paper checks, health savings or flexible spending accounts, and patients can choose whether to pay those bills online, by phone, snail mail or through an interactive voice response system.

“Just like you get a monthly water bill or power bill, you can now get one healthcare bill that pulls together different charges from different hospitals or doctors,” said Blitch. “Our technology helps empower patients to manage payments in a way that works for them. By simplifying the statement and offering multiple ways to pay, we are ultimately helping to get patients to pay their bills on time and in full.”

With more than 140 clients in 25 different states and communicating to more than one million patients, Patientco’s future certainly seems bright. Last year, the ATDC member startup closed a Series A investment round worth $3.75 million, courtesy of BlueCross BlueShield Venture Partners and Chicago-based Sandbox Industries. As the now 25-person startup looks to the future, they plan to continue utilizing ATDC’s resources and guidance as they move into their next phase of growth.

“There is no other technology platform that uniquely communicates to patients to help them understand their healthcare expenses like Patientco,” said Blitch. “We have a proven market, a great management team and a great set of investors. And we’re taking one of the most unfriendly consumer experiences in one of the largest sectors of our economy, and making it better. That’s beneficial to both patients and providers, so everyone wins.”

Bird Blitch

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