Posted: March 01, 2012
Tech startup: CarePilot Inc.By Eric Peterson
INITIAL LIGHT BULB After a decade working in health-care IT, Scot Woolley saw an emerging opportunity based on two factors: employers pushing more of the responsibility for coverage to employees, and the lack of online tools empowering health-care consumers.
"In health care, there’s not a great amount of transparency that exists in the airline industry or even banking," Woolley says. "There are just a lot more IT tools available to consumers in other industries.
"There hasn’t been an incentive for health-care providers to be competitive, and consumers haven’t paid attention to it because somebody else was doing it for them," he adds. "Now people are having to start paying attention to it. Pain points create opportunities — I just don’t think there’s been enough pain in the marketplace."
CarePilot launched its beta site last spring and officially launched in November. The company currently has 11 full-time employees; Woolley serves as its CEO.
IN A NUTSHELL CarePilot is "a technological tool that will help both businesses and patients save money," Woolley says. "The idea is to allow a patient to get all of the information they need within one or two clicks of a mouse. A patient says, ‘I need an MRI’ or ‘I need a root canal,’ and the engine pulls up the inventory on the calendar." One more click gets you scheduling and pricing options.
The patient can then shop and compare to avoid any billing surprises down the road. "The time to negotiate is not when you’re laying in the chair in the dentist’s office," Woolley says.
Employing a "freemium" model with revenue generated via a percentage of every transaction, CarePilot.com has already attracted more than 600 providers, 100 referrers, and 500 customers in Colorado. By late 2012, Woolley plans to expand into other markets, with Dallas-Fort Worth at the top of the list.
"I think it’s a great concept," says Dr. Brandon Krainik of Spine Re-New, a spinal rehabilitation and chiropractic clinic in Highlands Ranch. "I just post times when I have cancellations and times that are less busy. We’re out here fishing, and it’s best to have multiple poles in the water."
THE MARKET Health-care IT is a broad and growing market, encompassing everything from electronic medical records to scheduling systems. Market-research firm RNCOS estimated health-care IT spending at $40 billion in the U.S. in 2011. CarePilot can compete in several submarkets such as scheduling and billing systems.
FINANCING CarePilot closed on $3 million in investments last September and is currently in the process of negotiating another round of financing.
where Englewood | FOUNDED 2010 | web www.carepilot.com
"Everybody is talking about what I call macro-dollars: the top-down spending. What everybody’s been ignoring is nobody’s trying to take dollars out of the system. Our play is: The deductible is here and here to stay, and we’re going to compete and try to take dollars out of the system."
– CarePilot CEO and founder Scot Woolley on health-care reform legislation
Denver-based writer Eric Peterson is the author of Frommer's Colorado, Frommer's Montana & Wyoming, Frommer's Yellowstone & Grand Teton National Parks and the Ramble series of guidebooks, featuring first-person travelogues covering everything from atomic landmarks in New Mexico to celebrity gone wrong in Hollywood. Peterson has also recently written about backpacking in Yosemite, cross-country skiing in Yellowstone and downhill skiing in Colorado for such publications as Denver's Westword and The New York Daily News. He can be reached at Eptcb126@msn.com