Medical bills are often confusing to patients, and this confusion can delay their payments. Patientco is one of several providers aiming to add clarity for the patient and the health care biller alike.

"Patients [sometimes] don't understand what they're paying for," says Bird Blitch, CEO of Patientco. "It's a mess out there. We're helping patients understand and giving them more flexibility."

Based in Atlanta, Patientco was started in 2008 and began working with health care providers in 2010. The company provides software as a service across their entire hospital network, sending out bills from all the physicians that operate out of the hospital.

The company also does patient financial engagement, collecting data on how a specific customer pays medical bills and advising the hospital how to respond. For example, if a patient usually pays a bill with a check in $50 increments regardless of the bill's total amount, the hospital is advised to proactively offer a payment plan with installments of $50.

"Happy patients pay," says Josh Byrd, director of marketing at Patientco. "We make it easy for a patient to pay the provider and everybody wins in that situation."

Plus the system automates all the bills on the back end.

Patientco takes all the payments that were made that day and sends them to the billing office in one daily deposit. The billing office can then load the bills to the native system with no manual entry.

Simplee is another company that helps health care providers and patients organize bills. The 3-year-old company uses a personal finance management-style system with payment capabilities.

Alegeus Technologies is another provider of health care payments. Alegeus created a mobile app that allows users to view insurance plan details, review transactions, upload receipts and submit claims. The latest version of the app supports mobile payments.  Alegeus recently partnered with Wex Inc. to create a virtual card for health care claims.

While Patientco doesn't have a mobile payments app, "we're keeping a keen on the mobile space," Byrd says.

Most people paying health care bills are 50 or older, Blitch says.

The majority of this demographic is not as tech-savvy, he says. "Checks are dying but they're dying a really slow death in health care." 

Patientco is backed by Blue Cross Blue Shield and Sandbox Industries out of Chicago. 

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