Idea: Public Support Conversations

Use Case: people should be able to have public “support” conversations with companies.

Product: a site that would allow individuals to have public conversations with service providers in order to ensure social accountability.

So from Comcast, to hospitals, to many others, there seems to be a pretty massive problem with accountability for large companies.  And this is starting to change – notice how much faster and more amenable companies are in public Twitter conversations.  This is good for companies, good for customers, so…

Healthcare is one of those systems where opaqueness is reinforced by bureaucrats and HIPPA.  As an example, I am dealing with St. David’s Medical Center in Austin whereby they failed to send me understandable bills, they failed to engage me as a patient around pricing, and they billed me an absolutely preposterous amount for what was a quick stop  for pretty bad vertigo where the physician effectively told me “Yeah, you’ll be fine – just wait it out.”, and then they had their business associate (the physician) refer me for collections.  So, not only did they fail to deliver proper care in administering The Epley maneuver (which doesn’t require medication, btw), although all it would have taken is a quick check on UpToDate (source – and that’s the free patient version).  Not only is the price as ridiculous as the bill obfuscated.  Not only did they fail to engage the patient to resolve the issue adequately.  But they evidently strong-arm patients into paying by referring them for collection and absolving themselves of responsibility to properly engage patients.  I have yet to get a readable bill.  Moreover, I don’t even know who to speak with who could offer me that information – (Jennifer Br******ld keeps referring me to the collection agency instead of addressing my concern…  btw service providers should probably be using ID numbers instead of real names to protect caregivers).  Everybody loses – the hospital does not provide adequate service, patients get screwed, etc. And all this when I am actually not only willing, but happy to pay a fair price for having been able to see a doctor!

So what’s the point of my proposed venture?  Well, to create transparency into how companies engage their customers.  It would effectively allow:

  • companies to monitor delivery of support
  • patients to hold companies accountable, because
  • lawyers will step in to file class-action lawsuits when there is a systemic problem

So everybody wins!  Except for poorly-run hospitals. But I don’t think anyone will miss those…

I’m thinking of seeding this project.  Anyone interested in working on this, leave a comment.

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Filed under Business Ideas, Health

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