One BILLION dollars processed… that number is crazy to me. If you lined up one billion dollar bills, end to end, the line would circle the globe nearly four times. If you’re into social media, that’s one dollar for every active monthly Instagram user. That’s more than the GDP of 21 countries!
One BILLION dollars… that’s a special milestone, but not one we’ve ever been focused on at Patientco. We set out to make healthcare better one payment at a time and, in true ‘Field of Dreams’ fashion, we built it and they came.
I joined Patientco just over five years ago. It was exciting. We had recently released our first product into the market and raised a small round of of capital. We were inspired by the vision of our co-founders Bird Blitch and Joshua Silver and fueled by caffeine and pizza. There were 15 of us crammed in one room at ATDC daring to rethink what the patient financial experience in healthcare could and should look like if we built technology to serve both patients and their providers. Could there really be a win-win? We believed yes, and still do.
Like any new business, there were mountains to climb, hoops to jump through, chasms to cross and all the other metaphoric acrobatics businesses must perform to grow, but through it all, our true north has always been the patient. Why? Because we are all patients. Our families are patients. Our friends are patients. Our neighbors are patients. You get the idea. There is an exponential amount of good that can be spread into the world by fixing a small but massively important part of the U.S. healthcare system. The part where patients have to pay for their care.
As we’ve grown, we’ve seen the patient payment problem get even bigger. The ACA introduced heath exchanges in 2014 covering more U.S. patients than ever before and healthcare costs, including deductibles, have risen every year for the past 10 years, much faster than wage growth. In fact, average deductibles now top $2,000, yet 61% of Americans say they can’t afford an unplanned $1000 expense.
We knew our mission was important, but I’m not sure we could’ve predicted that in 2018 we’d be on the front lines of an affordability crisis in healthcare. Sure, we fight the good fight with patient-focused technology and payment options to make paying for healthcare easier, but in truth, at Patientco, we fight with our hearts.
I’ve never been a part of a company who cared more about patients, and it shows. Patients leave us comments every day thanking us for ‘making it easy to pay’, or making it ‘less frustrating to manage their family’s bills’ or ‘finally getting healthcare billing right’. That’s pretty amazing – I know I have never thanked a company after I paid their bill so we’re doing something right.
So here I am, jamming to the Patientco Billion Dollar Jams playlist on Spotify, taking a minute to look back over what we’ve accomplished, and celebrating processing $1 billion as a result of making it easy for patients to understand and pay their bills – but not for too long. There’s much more work to be done, and we’re just getting started.