Healthcare is something we all need at some point, yet in many cases the cost of treatment seems prohibitively high, with rising deductibles and heavy premiums taking their toll on the finances of many American households.
Higher-than-ever deductibles mean only a tiny percentage of patients meet the limit before co-insurance actually begins - less than 11% for those with a $2,500 threshold - resulting in many insured patients essentially self-paying for the majority of treatments and procedures.
Furthermore, over 10% of patients have no insurance whatsoever, either paying cash or forgoing treatment altogether for fear of prohibitively high costs.
These factors have led to a growing and essential need for an easy, affordable and transparent healthcare services online marketplace - Welcome to MD Spark.
Healthcare providers face a variety of logistical and financial challenges in the current marketplace. Debts are on the rise due to unaffordable deductibles, while providers are forced to pay out yet more money in efforts to collect from patients.
With less than 50% collected from insured patients and under 10% from self-pay patients, doctors are finding it increasingly difficult to collect the compensation due for their work.
From a patient-care perspective there are also issues. Many potential customers opt to forgo care out of fear of unknown out-of-pocket expenses, a situation that also results in a large proportion of no-shows - a waste of both time and money for providers.
High deductibles, co-pays and rising premium costs have resulted in patients bearing much of the financial burden of their healthcare. The cost of private health insurance continues to rise, while plans purchased on exchanges are also facing price increases.
These issues impact on both the providers and the patients. Providers suffer financially as they chase up patients for payment (often unsuccessfully and at great expense) and absorb the cost of no-shows.
Meanwhile, patients struggle to cope with unexpected costs, rising premiums and increasingly high deductibles, requiring them - rather than their insurance companies - to cover a significant proportion of their healthcare costs.
Into this environment comes MD Spark. It connects doctors and patients, offering transparent pricing, no unexpected costs and a prepayment system to ensure patients are treated and providers are reimbursed.