PORTSMOUTH — A Portsmouth business owner is hoping to drive down the price of outpatient medical procedures with his cost comparison tool.
Mark Galvin is president and CEO of MMS Analytics, the creator of MyMedicalShopper. He came up with the concept five years ago while he was at the helm of Whaleback Systems at Pease International Tradeport.
Galvin, who helped launch RAScom and Cedar Point Communications, calls himself a serial entrepreneur and said he began to get frustrated with the lack of transparency in costs for health care, both as an employer and consumer.
“What I found was, every time I started a company, as computers and servers were getting cheaper, the health benefits were getting more expensive — rapidly,” Galvin said.
When Galvin’s doctor told him he needed to go for a nuclear stress test, he shopped around and noticed a $5,400 savings if he chose a facility in Derry over one of the hospitals in Manchester. After Galvin told his doctor it was going to cost him at least $1,400 out of pocket to have the test performed, his doctor said he did not need to go ahead with the test because it was being ordered simply to set a target heart rate.
“This is the power of having the information available to you and your primary care physician,” Galvin said.
From there, Galvin set out to create a cost comparison tool for typical outpatient procedures. He used public information reported by medical facilities throughout the state to create MyMedicalShopper, which launched in New Hampshire in March 2015. Galvin was part of a group that started the New England Innovation Center in 2013, which helped 15 seed-stage companies get started, including MyMedicalShopper.
Recently, the tool became available nationwide.
MyMedicalShopper is purchased by employers for employees’ use. The data engine leverages more than 3.4 billion medical claims annually to power its platform.
Officials at the company say their analysis has determined the average U.S. employer can save at least 41 percent on their annual health care costs per year when employees have this information at their fingertips and choose to compare prices for procedures.
“It’s been hard because the industry does not want this information to be known. They consider it proprietary,” Galvin said.
Robert Cummings is CEO and founder of American Benefits Group in Northampton, Mass. The national benefits service and solution provider recently partnered with MyMedicalShopper to help employer clients and employees control health care spending.
Cummings said ABG provides flexible spending accounts, health savings accounts, health reimbursement arrangements and commuter benefits for 1,500 employers. He said as more and more employers move to high-deductible health plans, employees want to maximize how far their money goes, and a tool like MyMedicalShopper benefits both parties.
“We think it’s a very dynamic, cutting edge and disruptive solution,” Cummings said.
MyMedicalShopper’s employer dashboard provides chief executives, financial officers and human resources leaders direct visibility into their group’s claims experience and how much money they are saving.
Employees can use a MyMedicalShopper app from their cellphone and use their health insurance plan to compare prices for outpatient procedures before making a medical appointment or visiting a lab.
If employers purchase MyMedicalMetrics, they receive an analytics package that shows exactly how their employees are inadvertently driving up their own costs and overall claims for the group.
“The model is to incentivize the consumer to be engaged in how they’re making a decision on spending,” Cummings said.
Galvin said MMS expanded into other New England states in October 2017 and went national in September of last year.
The company has 14 full-time employees and two-part time contractors working in Portsmouth, and is hiring data analysts and engineers.
According to National Health Expenditure Accounts, U.S. health care spending grew 3.9 percent in 2017, reaching $3.5 trillion, or $10,739 per person.
Health spending accounted for 17.9 percent of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product in 2017, according to cms.gov.