Entrepreneurs launch Goodbill to target at-home test reimbursement, negotiate hospital bills

Navigating insurers’ methods for getting reimbursed for at-home COVID-19 tests can be complicated. It usually involves cutting bar codes off the box, filling out an online form, then printing that form and mailing it to the insurer.

Detroit entrepreneur Ian Sefferman and colleagues in Seattle have streamlined that process with a new website called Goodbill.

The site, and eventually coordinating mobile app, works by uploading your insurance card and the appropriate bar codes on the tests and automates the reimbursement process for the user.

But the product isn’t really designed to help only with COVID testing reimbursement. Sefferman and his business partner Patrick Haig launched Goodbill in December with plans to capitalize on new federal regulations that forced hospitals to publish pricing data.

“We saw this (COVID-19 testing reimbursement) as a way for us to come on to the scene,” Haig said. “Our entire goal is to make consumer life easier in the health care system. There was a lot of confusion when the government (as part of an Obamacare mandate) ordered insurance providers to pay for testing. We realized we could use the product we already built.”

The real goal of Goodbill is to aid in navigating the often confusing world of medical bills. Few consumers use hospitals’ transparency data, Crain’s reported last year.

Goodbill, which is in beta testing, is designed to allow users to tabulate whether they had been overcharged for a hospital procedure by generating comparable procedures from the hospital price-transparency data and automate the user’s ability to dispute and negotiate those charges.

“Nearly every single hospital bill is negotiable,” Haig said. “Our product empowers the user to use the data available for a lower or more accurate bill. You can know not only what Beaumont charged you, for instance, but what other users are charging for the same services.”

The software also checks for errors in the billing codes, which Haig and Sefferman said is common, so the user can bring this to the billing department to reduce their bill.

The co-founders are also working to build out the app for a “negotiated outcome-as-a-service” service. Here the app would automate the bill negotiation for the user.

Goodbill has raised more than $3 million from a stable of high-profile investors, including Seattle-based venture capital firms Maveron and Founders’ Co-op, as well as from notable angel investors Dan Yoo, former CEO of Nerdwallet, and Christian Sutherland-Wong, CEO of Glassdoor, among others.

Haig and Sefferman expect a larger launch of the Goodbill product in the coming months.

“We’re targeting market by market,” Haig said. “We’re hoping the reimbursement element shakes out any problems in the consumer experience while we make sure our data is good for larger launch.”

This story first appeared in our sister publication, Crain’s Detroit Business.

Source: modernhealthcare.com

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