Make telehealth convenient and offer consumers the Amazon experience at the same time

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Why didn’t 65 million people have a medical procedure within the last 12 months? Because they didn’t know what the cost would be. They didn’t have the Amazon experience in healthcare.

A billing issue in Michigan is just one more example of the pressing need for price transparency. And a flat, $25 fee for telehealth in Missouri and Wisconsin is an example of meeting that need.

Have you ever worried that you’ll be billed extra for asking your physician a few questions? That actually happened to a patient of Michigan-based Spectrum Health who was billed an additional $142 because she asked questions at her annual exam that the insurance company deemed non-preventive, according to an article in Becker’s Hospital Review.[1]

“’She didn’t do any additional treatment, testing or prescribe me anything. There was no follow-up scheduled. There was no indication that this was anything other than a typical conversation one might have with their new doctor,” the patient wrote.”[2]

Tina Freese Decker, CEO of Grand Rapids, Michigan-based Spectrum Health says there needs to be more billing transparency. “’We agree with you that a more transparent process is necessary … I have shared your suggestion (for additional transparency) with our Spectrum Health Medical Group leadership that we can apply this suggestion into our workflow.”[3]

Swinging the pendulum to the other side is an initiative for Wisconsin and Missouri residents by St. Louis-based SSM Health. SSM is “offering all residents — established patients or not, health insurance or not — $25 virtual visits within an hour of requesting an appointment, according to an article in Becker’s Hospital Review.”[4]

The telehealth offering is broad-based and generous. For example, “the service will be available Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Residents who wish to use the service log onto SSM’s virtual visit platform, complete a questionnaire and within 15 minutes to an hour, will receive a video or phone call from an SSM Health clinician.

“The service is available for patients ages 2 to 75 for nonurgent health conditions like flu, pink eye or bladder infections. Parents or guardians must complete visits for minors.

“SSM Health will charge a $25 flat fee for a virtual visit. However, if the issue cannot be resolved online and a follow-up visit in person is necessary, the virtual visit is free.”[5]

What would you prefer, paying a flat $25 for a convenient visit over your smartphone or paying an extra $142 because you asked a few additional questions? Granted, the Michigan patient was at her annual exam, but the point is, the telehealth’s flat-fee model provides patients with everything they need to know about the cost up front. And, it’s more convenient.

In order for telehealth to truly be an option, though, it must be convenient to access. For instance, one family we know personally is part of an association health plan. This family received a detailed, confusing letter about accessing telehealth. The letter is buried in a file somewhere and the family hasn’t taken advantage of the telehealth offering yet and likely won’t because they aren’t sure how to access it.

People want the Amazon experience. And you can give it to them. But you need the technology infrastructure to provide this. HealthQRS’ platform enables telehealth connectivity and you can take advantage of it immediately to start marketing telehealth visits to your consumers.

With HealthQRS, consumers can schedule a telehealth visit, pay for it, and have the visit right from the app on their smartphone. Talk about convenience. And if they need more than telehealth, we enable that as well. HealthQRS allows patients to see what their actual out-of-pocket expenses will be before they schedule services. Not estimates. Actual prices.

Our technology enables people to connect to more cost-effective, consumer-oriented healthcare options and we keep them in-network. HealthQRS integrates fully to EHRs and can also enhance existing portals and other patient engagement solutions, improve meaningful use numbers and increase meaningful use funds.

HealthQRS allows you to offer an entire online retail experience with one, easy-to-use platform. And we have developed the only complete e-commerce platform for healthcare on the market. HealthQRS is an e-commerce platform that you can brand for your hospital and that will keep consumers in-network. Our ecommerce platform gives people a full, rich retail experience in healthcare. When they login to the app on their smartphones, tablets or PCs, they see your logo and they think you are providing this experience. And you ARE providing the experience … HealthQRS is providing the platform.

How do we do all of this?

Our solution is built with complicated algorithms that use real-time data: the actual payer contracts by provider + insurance verification information + charity + other business rules to provide consumers with a true out-of-pocket per patient per procedure. HealthQRS interfaces with virtually any existing practice management system and electronic medical record. We have over 30 modules that work independently or all together depending upon your needs to provide a holistic, seamless, total experience for the consumer from start to finish. We combine navigation, the capability to make an appointment, referral management (if needed), payment management and so much more than we can list here.

Our solution is simple to use. We invite you to see for yourself with this 2-minute video of the HealthQRS price transparency tool. Click on this link, then you’ll be instructed to download and watch:

Developing a solution of this magnitude didn’t happen overnight. We started with the consumer experience in mind and spent years drawing on the knowledge of best-of-breed experts to perfect, fine tune and put together this complicated, yet complete solution for medical e-commerce.

In fact, HealthQRS has over 15 years of experience developing healthcare retail experiences for people and our founders have over 50 combined years of e-commerce experience. We also invite you to watch our user-friendly app video that you can use to win consumers as well as our point-of-service solution video that may interest you. You can also check out our E-Commerce Medical Marketplace Flyer for more information.

Contact us right now to schedule a personalized demo. We can get you entire system set up in a matter of weeks. Looking forward to helping you.


[1] Kelly Gooch, “Hospital CEO responds to patient billed $142 for chat with physician during physical,” Becker’s Hospital Review,” May 3, 2019,

[2] Gooch, “Hospital CEO,” Becker’s Hospital Review,”

[3] Gooch, “Hospital CEO,” Becker’s Hospital Review,”

[4] Emily Rappleye, “SSM Health is offering $25 virtual visits to all Wisconsin, Missouri residents,” Becker’s Hospital Review, May 6, 2019,

[5] Rappleye, “SSM Health,” Becker’s Hospital Review,


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