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Thought Leaders in Healthcare IT: Torben Nielsen, Co-Founder of HealthSparq (Part 1)

Posted on Friday, Jan 2nd 2015

The consumerization of healthcare, moving into the 21st century, a Web 3.0 world — let’s discuss these with Torben Nielsen.

Sramana Mitra: Please introduce us to HealthSparq and yourself.

Torben Nielsen: I’m the Co-Founder and the SVP of Products and Strategy here at HealthSparq. HealthSparq is a leading provider of cloud-based healthcare transparency solutions. In essence, it means that we’re trying to change something in an industry that has been very slow at changing. I think healthcare is one of the few, if not the only one, where you don’t really know what it’s going to cost until after the treatment. You go see your doctor and have a treatment done and you have no idea whether that doctor is the right doctor for you. You don’t know the quality of the doctor. You don’t know what it’s going to cost you until maybe 30 days after, you get something in the mail that says, “This is not a bill. This is an explanation of benefit.”

We think there’s a big opportunity in the market to really empower the individual to feel much more like a consumer in any other industry where you actually have the ability to shop for care, shop for doctors, look up treatments, and look at what it’s going to cost you and even tie it to your benefit. Healthcare is very complex and you have your own insurance and various benefit levels. We want to make it very personalized so you, as an individual, can actually go in and look up a certain treatment at a certain hospital and see what it’s going to cost you to have that particular treatment done.

Sramana Mitra: You have the full database of treatment and costs and how it’s going to look like against insurance reimbursement. You have all of that in one place?

Torben Nielsen: Yes, that’s the interesting part of it. A lot of that data is becoming more and more available. We are working with health plans. They are our clients. We’re seeing a strong interest among health plans to really provide these types of tools to their members. We have over 70 health plans contracted right now that’s giving us a lot of this data. They’re giving us real-time claims data as well as benefit information and levels for all their members. Today, we probably serve close to 80 million members across the US where they have the opportunity to sign in to the health plan’s member website and actually look up all this information. They can go look up providers. In some cases, they can see pictures and care philosophy about the provider. They can look at treatments and see what it’s going to cost to have a certain treatment.

This segment is part 1 in the series : Thought Leaders in Healthcare IT: Torben Nielsen, Co-Founder of HealthSparq
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