It's apparently coming in mid-2007: a new ultra-easy medical expense tracking program from Intuit, Inc., makers of TurboTax, QuickBooks, and other successful finances-for-dummies software. It will be an improvement on their first-gen offering, Medical Expense Manager. I, for one, can hardly wait -- because even though my husband and I pay a professional to do our taxes, we can't afford such luxury for the confusing influx of medical bills and insurance "explanation of benefits" papers cluttering our snail mail box since my diagnosis.
And even though I've noted here before that I'm both bad with numbers and somewhat adverse to the idea of introducing new tracking software into my life, this one looks promising. 'Cause the guy who dreamed it up did so out of personal necessity. The Aug. 14 issue of BusinessWeek features Dan Robinson's story: a young engineering manager at Intuit here in Silicon Valley whose baby son was born with an extremely rare genetic disease. Besides bracing themselves through open heart surgery and other operations while their son remained in the hospital for 60 days, Robinson and his wife got slapped with medical bills over $1.2 million -- spread over dozens and dozens of intelligible invoices and statements. Help!
Fast forward a few years, and Robinson's idea for a product that would do for managing medical paperwork what TurboTax has done for filing taxes is in production. What makes the new program sound particularly appealing is how Robinson presents it:
"Healthcare is messed up," he says. "There ought to be lots of ways to make it easier, and people will pay for that help." And when asked to describe in 18 words or less what precise unmet need his new software would satisfy, he keeps it simple: "When I get a piece of (medical-related) paper in the mail, I will know what to do with it."
Now that's what I call a value proposition.