Paul Ketchel is founder and CEO of MDsave, the world's first transactional healthcare marketplace. In this Q5, he talks about alternatives to make healthcare more affordable.

Paul Ketchel is founder and CEO of MDsave, the world’s first transactional healthcare marketplace. In this Q5, he talks about alternatives to make healthcare more affordable.

1. Paul, how does MDsave provide a solution to help Americans get affordable healthcare? Does a plan bypass insurance companies?
MDsave does not bypass insurance companies.  However, we do help patients who have out-of-pocket responsibility due to either being under their insurance deductible,  facing an uncovered procedure, or those who do not have current insurance coverage.    MDsave saves patients on average 40 percent to 60 percent on the amount of out-of-pocket expense they would owe using their insurance.  
We get these rates from providers by guaranteeing hospitals zero bad debt and payment in six days or less without the need to file a lengthy insurance claim.  
By streamlining the provider payment process our patients are able to save more and our providers are able to net more due to removing the inefficiencies in the healthcare payment process.  

2. Why has Congress not considered companies like MDsave as a proposed alternative as they keep attempting to repeal and replace the Affordable Health Care Act?
Congress has traditionally focused on regulatory based reform as a solution to reducing healthcare cost.  However, we have now demonstrated that healthcare cost can be reduced by 50 percent or more by simply connecting the patient to the provider and removing the five to six intermediaries in the middle of every healthcare transaction.    MDsave is currently in discussions with several senior government officials in Washington regarding the potential uses of our platform.   Our hope is that in the near future we could launch a pilot program with federal and state governments to demonstrate lowering cost through a healthcare marketplace.  

3. As founder and CEO of MDsave, what has been your experience in healthcare and government?
I have part of the leadership team in three different healthcare startups that became successfully commercialized.     In government I spent six years working in the U.S. Senate as an aide to U.S. Senator Bill Frist, M.D.  
After leaving the hill I spent five years working as Director of Government Relations for American Capitol Group a healthcare focused government relations firm that represented over 40 clients in the healthcare and pharmaceutical fields.      

4. MDsave offers the opportunity for users to compare prices, procedures and doctors. Why is this important, and why is it so difficult for patients to obtain this information directly from doctors and hospitals?
Comparing and shopping for healthcare services can save consumers a tremendous amount of money.  
On average the cost variation for a healthcare procedure nation wide is around 770 percent and locally over 300 percent.  
In addition, data has shown that there is not correlation between cost and quality in healthcare.    
Traditionally it has been difficult to obtain transparent pricing because providers are most often only familiar with their own fees and not the fees of the other providers who may be administering care for a patient episode.  
At MDsave we bundled together pre-negotiated rates of all the providers participating in the episode and display those rates as one simple price the patient can understand.    

5. What do you hope your company can do for our complicated health care system and how can the company help to ensure that all Americans have access to affordable health care?
Our goal at MDsave is to improve access to patient care.  
We believe the primary way to improve access is to dramatically lower the cost of care through transparency, market efficiencies, and improving patient choice.  
We have processed over 100,000 patient transactions and have saved patients on average between 40 percent to 60 percent on their healthcare cost.  
By lowering cost and providing improved choice patients can access care early and be enrolled on a care plan that can prevent complicated healthcare issues down the road.  

— Rimsie McConiga