SOURCE: Smart Medical Consumer

February 25, 2008 10:35 ET

Smart Medical Consumer Enhances Web-Based Medical Expense Management Service to Increase Billing Error Detection and Simplify Record Keeping

New Versions of MySMC and MyDocs Services Help Consumers More Easily Track Medical Bills and Identify Erroneous Charges to Better Manage Their Personal Medical Costs

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - February 25, 2008) - Smart Medical Consumer (www.smartmedicalconsumer.com), a leading web-based service for personal medical expense management and education, today announced new features to its patent-pending MySMC and MyDocs services that empower consumers to more effectively handle their personal medical expenses. By extending the ways consumers can track, understand and archive their medical bills, and automatically identify billing anomalies to reduce unnecessary costs, Smart Medical Consumer eliminates much of the stress and time typically associated with healthcare spending.

"We are excited to put even more power into the hands of consumers," said Dr. Banu Ozden, founder and CEO of Smart Medical Consumer. "These new features raise the bar for today's personal medical expense management solutions by easing the experience for consumers through time and money savings, reduced confusion related to healthcare costs and the ability to more effectively plan for future spending."

Managing medical expenses can be a daunting task for consumers. While understanding even one medical bill can be a challenge, patients typically end up juggling multiple statements. Billing mistakes made by providers or insurance companies complicate things more, and often go undetected by the consumer who ends up overpaying. With rising healthcare costs and trends towards high deductible and high out-of-pocket limit insurance plans and health saving accounts, consumers need a clear picture of their personal medical spending and related information.

Smart Medical Consumer is the first intelligent web-based service for maintaining medical records in an organized and easily accessible manner. The service smartly analyzes data to detect medical billing and insurance coverage errors, warn users of billing mistakes, insurance coverage anomalies and incorrectly allocated payments and, based on patterns discovered in the data, increases error detection over time.

"During my professional career, more than 20 U.S. patents have been issued under my name, and I have served as a consultant to a number of companies on the subject of intellectual property," said Dr. Ozden. "Based on that experience, I am very excited about the patent we have filed related to our unique web architecture for health expense management, automatic error detection and pattern learning techniques that allow Smart Medical Consumer to improve over time. Our work in medical expense management for consumers is already having a significant impact on the market, as evidenced by consumer sentiment and Intuit's change in direction from a software product to web services. We look forward to continuing to help consumers better navigate the personal healthcare landscape."

In addition to Intuit, companies such as Revolution Health, Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft are developing products to address the needs brought about by consumer-driven healthcare.

The new features offered by the MySMC and MyDocs services were created to improve the organization and general usability of the Smart Medical Consumer service, while giving users more control over their medical expenses. New features include:

MySMC

The Smart Medical Consumer MySMC service for managing medical expenses automatically detects billing errors present in the data and warns users of mistakes. The service also enables users to analyze their own data more effectively, so they can make informed decisions about future medical treatments and spending.

--  In the new version, when the system detects billing mistakes, users
    are automatically alerted to the errors. The alerts are saved and
    searchable, allowing for easy recall of the data without requiring users to
    maintain explicit notes.
--  Also new to MySMC is extended error coverage. For example, a common
    mistake made by insurance providers is to cover a service as 'out-of-
    network,' even though it should have been paid as an 'in-network' service,
    which would significantly reduce the patient's costs. MySMC is able to
    detect these types of errors and alert users to the inaccuracies.
--  In addition, MySMC now presents users with graphic displays of billing
    anomalies to provide an even greater level of explanation and
    understanding.
    

MyDocs

The Smart Medical Consumer MyDocs service allows users to file and store medical expense-related documents electronically so they don't have to hassle with hard copies. This enables users to easily organize and recall documents, such as statements from insurance providers, physicians and healthcare savings accounts at their convenience. The ability to maintain these documents is important for a number of reasons, such as records for disputes and IRS regulations.

--  The ability for MyDocs users to make personal notes and other
    annotations using electronic tags and notes has been enhanced in the new
    version, allowing users to more easily recall specific details about their
    medical bills when they are needed.
--  In addition, MyDocs automatically recognizes and imports the
    'explanation of benefits' documents uploaded from the websites of insurers,
    United Healthcare and Delta Health Systems, and posts this information to
    the MySMC service. This capability eases data entry and allows for analysis
    of such documents for billing error detection.
--  Also, with the new version, MyDocs users have been enjoying a sleek
    new look, making the service even easier to use.
    

About Smart Medical Consumer

Smart Medical Consumer provides an easy way for consumers to manage, maintain and analyze medical expenses, enabling them to enjoy greater peace of mind about their healthcare spending. Smart Medical Consumer's unique patent-pending technology platform helps users easily track bills, expenses, payments, insurance claims and reimbursements. The service automatically detects billing errors to save users time and money, and provides the information users need to understand their medical statements. Smart Medical Consumer is based in New York City, and was founded by Dr. Banu Ozden, PhD, an expert in database and Internet systems. The company is privately held.

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