I talk a lot about the need for education and have commented frequently on how are consumers going to understand how to use “Quicken Health” if they don’t understand how to use a personal health record?  Intuit confirms this now with their own study.  This is not rocket science research, just ask any consultant who works with physician practices and helps consumers right on the front line.  I think this is a big clue here with technology, pay attention to what those say who are on the front line and have “hands experience”, also something I say quite a bit in order to distinguish value with information versus those who simply repeat what they hear, in other words what I call “Magpie Healthcare”. 


I announced insurance companies making their software available, but how many have a clue on how to use it?   The reality here is that I walk into practices that don’t even know what a personal health record is, and that includes staff and doctors that have no clue.  With each announcement last year, I made the very same prediction with a lack of education and knowledge on how to use the software tools.

Again when you are out there interacting with the real world in healthcare and not just looking at computer screens, this is not hard to realize or predict at all.  Maybe I could have saved them some money on the cost of the study here (grin), but there’s other data included as well as far as those who can’t afford to pay their bills too and nobody in that category is going to show any interest with software either to manage dollars that they don’t have.  BD 

UnitedHealthcare To Offer Quicken Health Expense Tracker to 700,000 Employer Health Plan Enrollees

Cigna to Offer Quicken Health Expense Tracker, United HealthCare in Beta – Easily Identify Balance Billings?

Allscripts Partnering With Quicken Health Bill Pay to Integrate for Timely Patient Payments

This is interesting that Intuit put out their findings as how do you have a market for software if people don’t get it and see any value, and I’ll add the same here for Personal Health Records as this all flows together.  If you don’t participate at some level with technology this is all going to fly over your head in a hurry as insurers are shifting this area of responsibility to patients so they can attempt to understand the complicated “algorithms” they provide for claim coverage, procedures and potential denials, one big confusing haze today as it changes all the time and with leaders that don’t quite get it either as most of them don’t participate and subscribe to the philosophy of “it’s for those guys over there.  BD

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Apr 27, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Nearly 40 percent of Americans currently do not understand their medical bills or explanation of benefits statements well enough to know what services they are paying for, why they owe that amount, and if that amount is correct.

These and other results from the Intuit's 2010 Financial Healthcare Check-Up were released by the Quicken Health Group, a division of Intuit Inc. The study of 1,000 consumers nationwide uncovered Americans' attitudes and behaviors surrounding their healthcare needs and medical expenses.

"This study brings to light what we've seen in the thousands of hours of in-home visits over the last few years as we developed our healthcare solutions. People are confused, struggling and looking for help as they try to cope with mounting costs and increasing financial responsibility," said Peter Karpas, president and division general manager of Intuit's Quicken Health Group. "There is a growing demand for online healthcare tools that give consumers greater control over their personal health and wellness services, better communication and interaction with their providers, and the confidence that they have the information they need to make better financial decisions."

Intuit Financial Healthcare Check-Up Shows Americans Confused About Medical Statements - MarketWatch


  1. Hi Barbara,
    I work for Intuit and you’re right about one thing. This study confirmed what we saw in our hundreds of in home visits with consumers and thousands of hours of “hands on” research – people are confused and struggling to understand their medical bills – so it was not new news to us either. But it clearly outlined the problems we are trying to solve. Actually, the problem you stated perfectly in your article.

    The Quicken Health Group is focused on making the financial side of healthcare easier for patients and the people who serve them. Patients dealing with, as you wrote, “the shifting of responsibility” and the fact that they cannot “understand the complicated algorithms that are provided for claim coverage, procedures and potential denials, one big confusing haze.”

    Our products help people understand what to pay by showing the math behind the amount due in simple calculations. We show them why they owe the amount by translating the medical jargon (or complicated and hazy algorithms) into plain English. A big PAY NOW button makes it easy for folks to pay their bill electronically. It really doesn’t get any easier than that.

    You have repeatedly questioned publicly that Quicken Health is hard to use. I’ll invite you, as I have done before, to actually see a demo of Quicken Health Expense Tracker and experience it for yourself before you communicate to your readers that you need some sort of medical degree to use it. That’s like saying you need to be a tax attorney to use TurboTax (another product created by Intuit). In the latter case, twenty million happy consumers would disagree with you.

    As I have also said before, Quicken Health is not a PHR and you don’t have to know anything about PHRs to use it and get great value from it.

    You mention consultants. Since Quicken Health Expense Tracker is FREE and available to 27 million members of CIGNA, UnitedHealthcare and Medical Mutual of Ohio right now, imagine all the money people could save by not paying high priced consultants for the same help and information!

    12,500 new users are signing up to use Quicken Health Expense Tracker every month, and our support center reports that not only are people finding it very easy to use, it is changing the way they manage their healthcare finances for the better. The “market” we are serving is large and the value they are receiving from our product is very real and we couldn’t be more excited.

    You’re actually right about one other thing. I wish we could make healthcare cheaper, or help more people afford their medical bills. That’s a job for those in Washington. What we can do is use our expertise that created Quicken and QuickBooks and TurboTax to help people get more control over their healthcare finances so they don’t overpaying doctor or pay penalties because of late payments, or because they let a bill go to a collection agency because they just didn’t understand it or know what to next.

    Happy to talk further. Please let me know when you are ready to see for yourself how easy the product is to use.

    Chris Repetto
    Communications Director, Quicken Health Group


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