Call Kurtis: Unlocking the Secrets of Medical Costs Before Procedures

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS13) — Viewers often ask why they don’t know the cost of a medical procedure up front. David Vivero of San Francisco startup Amino.com is taking the guesswork out of it.

“It’s changing the rules of the game for everyone,” he said.

He spent two years convincing companies to hand over 9 billion medical insurance claims for 225 million Americans. The information does not have any identifying information but does unlock the secrets of what 951,000 doctors and medical facilities charge.

“It’s a whole series of codes. You see them on your bill,” Vivero said. “They don’t make a whole lot of sense.”

His team translates the codes of the constantly updating data into easy-to-understand information you can search for free through Amino.com.

You enter the medical procedure, your age, sex, insurance plan, and city. It then shows you all of your options and costs in your area.

“In Sacramento, there are big differences,” he said.

He says sometimes the price for the same medical procedure varies by tens of thousands of dollars.

“We can save people some of the most expensive decisions of their lives,” he said. “They can make decisions on information they didn’t have before.”

It also breaks down which doctors have the most experience in the procedure.

“We’re unlocking the secrets of healthcare transparency, as well as cost and quality of healthcare for free.” he said.

He says there are no advertisers and no one influences the search results. His company does sell services to employers to customize your personal search with your insurance plan and deductibles. He says companies like it because it can drive down their health costs.

“We’re excited to see what happens. There’s never been this level of transparency in healthcare,” he said.

Vivero said there are no advertisers and no one influences the search results. So how does he make his money? Employers can buy the service for their workers. Your insurance information and deductibles are already in the system, making it even easier for you to see your options. Vivero says companies like it because it drives down their health costs.

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