Healthcare entrepreneur Matt Cottrell’s newest venture is 5 O’clock Records, an online platform that helps doctors’ offices streamline the work flow for fulfilling medical records requests from health insurance companies and lawyers.
“The problem is that every year, 100 million medical records change hands and each one of those ends up on doctors’ desks or a staff member’s desk somewhere,” Cottrell said. “This has been a distraction for doctor’s office or a long time.”
And he would know — the last company he founded, Champion Records, does the requesting for insurance companies and law firms.
5 O’clock Records also makes the process profitable for physicians’ offices by providing them with the market rates for certain medical records services, which they can charge to requesters online.
“Right now, charges are usually by check, and it’s usually a significantly smaller amount than what the requesters are willing to pay,” Cottrell said. “(Doctors’ offices) will charge $30 to $40 for a record when the requesters are willing to pay more than that for quick turnaround, because they can’t run their business without that information.”
Here’s how it works: When an insurance company is dealing with a claim and needs a medical record, a rep calls the appropriate doctor’s office, which tells him to log onto 5 O’clock Records, where he will submit the request information and upload a signed HIPAA release form. The doctor’s office gets an alert about the submitted request, checks the release form and quotes a price to the requester. Once the insurance company logs on and pays with a credit card, the doctor’s office releases the record. 5 O’clock Records makes its money from an additional charge to the requester.
Cottrell and 5 O’clock Records are currently participating in the Blueprint Health business acceleration program in New York City.
He said 14 customers are already using the system, and he hopes to complete a round of seed financing by the time he’s done with BluePrint later this spring, at which point he’ll be ready to hire sales and marketing staff. The platform has the potential to reach 400 to 500 doctors in its first year, he anticipates.
There are other online platforms designed for managing medical records requests already on the market, including Doc Request, MedRetrieve and RecordFlow, but these platforms are geared toward streamlining the process on the other end — for insurance professionals and attorneys.