It's not difficult to find patients who are dissatisfied with the healthcare billing process. More than half of insured patients are boggled by their bills, and almost two-thirds are surprised by their out-of-pocket costs, according to a 2014 survey from TransUnion Healthcare.
Kent Ivanoff knows the problem well. He used to work at credit and banking giant Capital One and created several consumer finance startups that were acquired by Capital One. He saw people struggle with mounds of medical paperwork and benefit statements that looked like hieroglyphics. Patients often battle insurers and providers, uncertain about the details behind their medical expenses. Patient-friendly billing practices have long been discussed by groups such as the Healthcare Financial Management Association, but best practices are far from widespread.
Ivanoff wanted to help resolve these conflicts because, he says, most patients want to pay their bills. But in healthcare, they frequently don't know what they owe. “It's a broken, ineffective billing process,” he said.
In 2010, he co-founded Boise, Idaho-based technology company iVinci Health. The firm's main product is VisitPay, an online portal that helps patients manage, pay and finance their healthcare bills, all in one spot.
Ivanoff, iVinci's CEO, developed the technology after a year managing the revenue-cycle process at St. Luke's Health System in Boise. Ivanoff told the system's executives that if they wanted to reduce bad debt and handle the rising tide of high-deductible plans, they had to understand patients' payment patterns.