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Rachael Norman and I met each other at ACA 2017 and I knew right away we needed to get her on the show. Rachael is the CEO & Founder of Better, a company that allows your clients to get reimbursed more from the insurance companies. It’s something every therapist should be recommending to their clients, especially if you’re private pay.
What Better does is it allows patients to submit bills when they see a provider that does not take their health insurance, and Better does all the hard work of actually reviewing the claims for correctness, submitting to insurance companies, and getting the money back that they’re owed.
It’s a truly groundbreaking service/product and can really help you grow your business, particularly if you are more of a cash-based private practice.
This is a little different of an episode than what you’re used to. I hope you enjoy the change of pace!
Thanks to Rachael for joining me this week. Until next time!
TranscriptClick here to read the Transcript
Perry: Fantastic, Well, I’m just so excited to have Rachael on the show today. This is a pretty cool episode because this is the first of the therapist where I’m not interviewing a therapist or a psychologist or a professional behavioral health specialist so we have a really cool show for you guys today about a fantastic news service and product. Rachael and I met each other at ACA, what was it two months ago or so.
Rachael: Yeah, about that.
Perry: When I met Rachael, I was like, oh my god, we need to get you on the show Rachael and you have to tell our audience about Better because it is such a cool phenomenal service and product and I just can’t wait to share it with everybody. So let me tell our audience a little more about you and then we’ll dive into the meet of the show here.
Rachael: Sounds great.
Perry: Rachael is the founder and CEO of Better. An app that helps patients get money back from their health insurance. She was pre-med at Stanford and spent her career in operations at startups developing technology products that improve lives. Rachael is combining her health background with her experience in tech to create simple products to improve health care. Rachael, tell us a little bit more about your background and how you got into the mental health industry and tell us what Better is.
Rachael: Yeah, so my background, I was pre-med at Stanford and I was very committed to being a doctor. I was really excited about it but as i worked with more and more doctors already in the field, I kept hearing over and over again that because of how complex our insurance and systems were that wouldn’t choose the career a second time and I knew that I really like to improve systems and so I went to tech where you can affect change more quickly, you can build products much more rapidly and that was what my experience has been. I’ve come to health and I’m very excited to be working on that space again because this is a problem that I’ve experienced where dealing with my health insurance, getting them to reimburse me for care that they should is way too difficult and there was no one available to help me with the issues.
Perry: So what does Better do?
Rachael: So Better, what it does is super simple. We allow patients to submit bills when they a provider that does not take their health insurance and we do all of the hard work of actually reviewing them for correctness, submitting some to the insurance companies and getting them the money back that they are owed.
Perry: That’s perfect. That’s awesome. How does that work? How do you make the logistics of that actually function in a real way?
Rachael: Yeah, so from the patient’s perspective, it works like magic whenever they bill from a healthcare provider, it either a piece of paper or something that they’ve been sent in a electronic format. If it’s a piece of paper, they take a picture, if it’s electronic, they just forward that unto us and their done. Filing a claim takes about a second. From our side, we use a combination of technology and humans to check for correctness, make sure that all of the necessary information is there and then work through any problems that come up along the way working with the insurance company.
Perry: What happens if someone is a pure-cash based private practice? Are you able to their patients get money back from their insurance as well even if they’re not on that board?
Rachael: Absolutely, that’s the only place that where we really come in and the practice, the best thing about us is they don’t have to do anything different, they keep creating a super bill and giving it to their patients however they do that and we see different practices do that in a variety of different ways. They keep that system exactly the same and then their patient has more support from making a quick and easy process to submit whatever they got to us so that we can deal with headache of their insurance.
Perry: That’s awesome because nobody wants to deal with the headache of insurance. You’re solving a major problem there. So, what does it cost for a patient or for a provider, how does the cost structure come into play for you guys?
Rachael: So everything we do is completely free for providers. The patient gets charge a percentage of what they are getting back and that’s actually something that we are starting a little bit later this year so today it’s free for everybody. For that patient, later this year, when they’re getting money back from, their insurance, we’ll take 10% percent of whatever they get. If what they submitted is going towards their deductible or it something that’s not covered by their insurance there’s no cost. That gives people an easy way to find out what’s covered and try to get money back without any risk to them.
Perry: That’s awesome. So, how much are you actually seeing comeback to the patients? Is there a regular amount that you’re usually able to acquire back or is it such a wide variety and no real across the board numbers that you can give?
Rachael: The exact amount for a session, it really varies depending on that person’s particular policy and that’s something we help that patient to better understand how their policy specifically works but for a lot of people that do regular therapy, it can be five or six thousand dollars a year that we see going back from their insurance to them so it can really reduce the cost and allow them to access more care.
Perry: That’s a substantial amount of money there.
Rachael: It really is.
Perry: There’s really no reason why someone shouldn’t be doing it. I mean, I guess people could go and you know, go through the headaches and hassles of trying to negotiate and get money back from the insurance companies themselves but you know patients are an expert in this . It makes sense for them to go through you, I would imagine.
Rachael: Yeah, this system is really complicated and its really design from the insurance companies perspective to reduce how they’re reimbursing, trained billing professionals. Your average hospital or large doctor’s network, they employ a lot of people and they use a lot of systems to help them with their insurance billing process. For an individual patient to go into that system themselves and try to get reimburse, it’s too much work and they often don’t get great results. We’ve found that people who brought us claims that they’ve previously filed, they often did not get reimbursed the full amount that they were owed or their insurance missed making payments or missed processing certain claims and that patient wasn’t aware so for a lot of people having a structure and someone who’s on top of it is what really makes the difference for them getting all of the money that they are owed.
Perry: Do you work at all with providers in helping them get the money and reimburse the money that they’re owed?
Rachael: Our focus is really the patients and handling these out of networks claims where the patients already paid for the services or is being billed for it and we’ll pay soon but to do that we all have to work together and we work with providers all the time to answer their questions and help them when issues arise in the process and that can be anything from quoting questions, what should be on a super bill or when they actually have to give the insurance company a little additional information to help some claims go through.
Perry: That makes sense. A lot of therapists that we speck with and we just finished up a full “private pay” mini-series on how to transition to a private pay private practice and so for any of our audience who have not listen to that yet, definitely go take a little to it, it’s pretty awesome and that over at brightervision.com/privatepay/ but you know, after completing that mini-series and working through it , we hear from a lot of therapist about how they’re just nervous to just switch over from insurance panels to be a fully cash-based practice even though they know that the number work better for them, they’re nervous that they are gonna lose alot of their clients. What do you say to this fear and are their ways that Better can help make that transition easier?
Rachael: Yeah, so we have definitely helped quite a few health care providers in general make this transition and where we come in is really helping inform and support patients so that they’re not thrown into this complex system trying to figure out all of this paperwork and faxes and phone calls on their own but we can help them understand what are your benefits to you? How are they gonna cover this care and make that they have a really easy process for keeping on top of things so we understand that the healthcare system is very complicated. I can’t imagine being an individual healthcare provider and managing billing for all of my patients in addition to doing my regular full time work taking care of them so we really want to relieve that burden from everybody and provide a simple solution that makes it work.
Perry: So if a therapist wants to use your service but you know they’re a cash-based practice and so they get their fee from their client, how does their client then go and file their claims through Better to get their reimbursement back? Is it really just a simple as simple as taking a photo and sending to you guys? Do they need an account set up? How does that whole process work from the patient’s perspective?
Rachael: Yeah, so the step one for them is to set up an account and it takes about a minute to do so. They’re going to give us a photo of their insurance card, their date of birth, their address, their phone number and that’s it. By creating that account, they’ve given us permission to advocate on their behalf and talk to their health insurance and their all done, anytime they get a claim that they want submitted, they take that photo or they forward that to us via email and we go from there.
Perry: Are you technically a business associate or no? I don’t believe you would be because you work exclusively with patients?
Rachael: Yeah, because we work for the patients, there’s no need for a business associate relationship with the provider. The patient is the one choosing to send us health information but to support providers, if they have a question, they’re having difficulties with something and they want our support on it, we can give them a BAA so that we can support in that way and then we just do that as a courtesy to make sure that providers aren’t struggling with questions and don’t have anywhere to go for support.
Perry: Gotcha. So many times when a client is seeking treatment, after they say ‘hello’, the first thing that they’re going to ask a therapist is do you take insurance? Do you take my insurance? Now, if the therapist is not on insurance panels or doesn’t take that particular insurance but they are referring their clients to Better to get reimbursed, do you have any like sale pitches or language that the therapist can use to help this client understand the better client relationship and how they can seek reimbursement for their services?
Rachael: We do,yeah, so where we can come in at that point is it’s very hard alot of times to get clear answers about what the patients benefits are or what’s really truly going to be covered when they start submitting claims and so where we help in that space is that patient can go ahead and sign up; once we have their insurance information, they can ask whatever questions they like and we’ll do our best to guide them through the process and get them the information they need to make good decisions. We find that’s really helpful when patients know what to expect upfront and it can often be a really big struggle to get that information. To help providers with this, we have brochures and you know information in lots of different formats, whatever works for their practice so that they can let patients know that they this free resources is available.
Perry: How much money have you guys gotten back for patients? Is that publicly available?
Rachael: Yeah, so the number that we made public is we’ve well over a million dollars’ worth if claims to date so that’s mostly from Mental Health care. It’s an awful lot of therapy visits and the majority of those, the patients getting quite a bit back.
Perry: That’s awesome, my goodness. It’s so great to see a business that once supports private practices, you know and supports cash-based practices and therapists to grow their business because this is a major hurdle while simultaneously also helping the patient get their money back and get reimbursed from insurance companies. It such a cool business and just the way that it’s helping both therapist and patients simultaneously get what their owned, it’s just so awesome. Do you work beyond behavior health, do you also work with someone see has to go the hospital for something and medical bills that way. Does Better help them as well?
Rachael: Yes, we file any claims that we get. People have lots and lots of health needs so we don’t want to restrict you just one type of care so commonly receive bills for laboratory work, hospital visits, regular doctors’ appointments, acupuncture, chiropractic care, you name it and we can take of all of those.
Perry: So, say I’m a therapist, I’m listening to this episode and I want to learn more about better. I want to start to giving my clients access to better, what do I do?
Rachael: So a really great place to start is our website, that’s getbetter.co and there’s information for providers and through that you can contact us and we can send you brochures, answer any questions you have and we’re always happy to schedule a phone call and talk through any specific questions or concerns you have that relate to your practice.
Perry: Awesome. Rachael, anything else that our audience should know about Better and what you guys are doing and how it can help them or should they just be going over to get better.co, check you guys out, give you a call and get some brochures to start giving to their clients.
Rachael: That’s a really great place to start. I think the other thing I really want to make sure that everyone knows is that we’re here as a resource. We fully understand exactly how complicated this system is and how frequently it’s changing so we’re always happy to answer questions, whatever they are to help make this more understandably and easier for everybody.
Perry: Awesome. Well, to our audience, I know this nit what you typically expect when you listen to the therapist experience podcast but you know, like I said, we just needed to get Rachael on here and tell you all about this fantastic service and product that and the great work that their doing over at getbetter.co so I hope you guys got a ton of value out of all of this, I know it’s a super short episode. I know it’s not typically what you’re expecting but I really hope you check out getbetter.co and see what their up to and see how it can help you and your patients out some more. Rachael, thank you so much for being on the show today, we’ll have links to getbetter.co and I believe that the only resource we mention here in this week show notes at brightervision.com/session62/. Rachael, thank you so much for being on today and for the therapist helpful experience that you’ve provided here.
Rachael: Thank you, it’s an absolute pleasure.
Perry: And to our audience, if you’re ever interested in getting a website started, there’s a Brighter Vision to help support you through for just 2$ dollars a day, less than 2$ dollars a day, we’ll build a website that’s as unique as your private practices, take care all of your tech support so you don’t have deal with those headaches and do all of your optimizations so people can find you online. Pair that with Better and you don’t have to even deal with insurance company headaches much anymore. So head on over to brightervision.com, drop a note through one of our contact forms and we’ll love to help you get started and help you grow your practice through a phenomenal website. Thank you much for tuning in today and we will see you next week.