New online portal to help docs boost fee-for-service practices

By Molly Merrill
09:59 AM

A California company is launching an online portal in 2010 designed to link patients to doctors who set their own prices.

MediBid, based in Paso Robles, is aiming to provide an interactive marketplace that allows cash-paying patients to seek medical care from doctors, hospitals and facilities both locally and around the world.

"MediBid helps physicians to expand their fee-for-service practice through private contracting," said MediBid founder and CEO Ralph Weber. "By removing the middleman from medical care, MediBid makes it possible for the uninsured, the underinsured, Canadians on a waiting list, people using a high deductible healthcare plan with an HRA or HSA, and people seeking experimental procedures, elective surgery or a non-covered procedure to be able to afford the care they want and need."

The online portal will allow the physician, known as a "bidder," to respond to requests for care from the patient, or "seeker."

Company officials said prices will not be regulated and the portal will allow physicians to tailor bids on a case-by-case basis.

"The medical middleman has driven up costs for both patients and physicians without regard for quality of care," said Weber. "Medical bureaucracy interferes with the practice of medicine. This is bad for doctors and patients."