Atana's Mission

Our mission is to support the financial well being of patients at every step in their care journey. We believe that healthcare costs are one of the most important issues facing America today: if we are successful in achieving our mission, we will greatly improve the quality of life and care for patients, increase the efficiency of our workforce, accelerate innovation and entrepreneurship, and empower disenfranchised communities.

Healthcare is unaffordable

Healthcare is quickly becoming an unattainable luxury for many Americans. A snapshot of our healthcare system illustrates this point:

  • In 2018, $3.65 trillion was spent on healthcare, almost 20% of the GDP of the country. This number is expected to grow to $5 trillion by 2023. [1]
  • Since 2008, workers’ earnings have increased 26% whereas general annual deductibles have increased 212%. [2]
  • 61% of Americans do not have enough savings to cover a $1000 unexpected medical bill. [3]
  • A third of Americans have a hard time paying their medical bills, and 73% of them have spent less on food and other necessities to pay for healthcare. [4]

Even more troubling than the sheer price of medical care is the fact that patients won’t know how much their care will cost until they get the bill. Both the price and quality of care are extremely variable depending on the facility and procedure, and there are countless stories of Americans discovering that their final bill is much higher than what they expected.

One hospital discovered it was charging more than $50,000 for a knee-replacement surgery that only costs between $7,300 and $10,550.

A procedure that comes out to be three times more than the expected price is enough to exhaust or even ruin most bank accounts. If that procedure is done at a low quality provider and creates further complications, the patient can easily become bankrupt. In fact, almost 70% of citizens who filed for bankruptcy cited medical bills as a key contributing factor. [5]

The healthcare industry profits off of the perceived lack of options and alternatives for patients, motivating powerful market players to maintain a shroud of uncertainty. This continued lack of transparency has led to the normalization of wildly fluctuating prices, hidden costs, and low quality care.

What is Atana doing about this?

Amongst the hardest hit are self-employed Americans. Self-employment, freelancing, the gig economy, are all terms that have been used to refer to the same fundamental reality: the restructuring of the US labor force.

Unfortunately, for the past 50 years the American healthcare system has been geared towards employment based insurance. Full-time employees end up paying for a small proportion of the cost of their care, with their employers’ health insurance plan covering the rest. Health benefits has become one of the most important aspects of employee compensation, but no such standard exists yet for the self-employed.

Atana seeks to establish this standard by building products that accomplish three main objectives:

  1. Patient Engagement: Healthcare is complicated, and we want to make sure that patients are equipped with the knowledge they need without being overwhelmed. We will use modern design practices to deliver relevant and actionable information to patients in an intuitive interface.
  2. Process Automation: Patients don’t have the bandwidth to find the optimal plan during open enrollment, shop around for different providers, monitor their medical bills, and find discounts for care. We believe that technology will allow Atana to provide patients with the tools to easily handle all facets of healthcare, without spending hours on hold and in the waiting room.
  3. Price Transparency: We believe that a consumer driven approach to healthcare is impossible without enabling patients to compare the quality and price of each of their care options. Our products will provide increasingly accurate and data-driven information to guide healthcare consumers in their decision making.

Atana is committed to ensuring the well being of patients, especially when they are the most vulnerable. We will be launching our public beta to allow patients from specific states to search and compare the cost and quality of their procedures across different hospitals. Patients will be given accurate knowledge of their options, and will finally have choice like other consumers. If you would like to learn more about Atana and stay updated on our release, visit ​https://atana.io and join our biweekly newsletter.

The opacity of healthcare is a generation defining challenge, and we look forward to helping create a world where everyone can afford a doctor’s visit.

Sources

  1. http://fortune.com/2019/02/21/us-health-care-costs-2/
  2. https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2018/10/08/503575.htm
  3. https://www.bankrate.com/banking/savings/financial-security-0118/
  4. https://www.kff.org/health-costs/poll-finding/data-note-americans-challenges-with-health-care-costs/
  5. https://www.cnbc.com/2019/02/11/this-is-the-real-reason-most-americans-file-for-bankruptcy.html