Melin Medical finds cure for patient billing
Their terminal speeds up payments, so doctors can spend more time on medicine
The 2017 Gazelle winner from Sogn & Fjordane was the startup Melin Medical.
Each year Norway’s largest business newspaper Dagens Næringsliv publishes the rankings of the country’s fastest-growing companies: the Gazelles. Gazelles are firms that over the last four years have experienced an annual average growth in revenue of at least 20 percent, have at least 10 employees, and were less than two years old at the beginning of the growth period.
With the slogan “we make payment and patient management solutions for the healthcare industry,” Melin has had a fantastic journey. It started nine years ago, when Dr. Jesper Melin arrived from Denmark and started to work as a general practitioner. Tired of bureaucracy, he decided to look closer at the different processes at the office during the day. He was irritated by all the time the practitioners used handling payments. He contacted a few computer people and as soon as the concept was ready, he approached Innovation Norway. He also received financial help from the local community and Skattefunn (tax incentives for development).
The startup had developed a new healthcare payment solution using a terminal in medical offices. It is based on communication with the patient journal used in the healthcare sector. The necessary information is sent to the terminal where the patient can choose to pay with credit card, cash, or bank giro. The doctor also receives a daily overview, including a split of revenue among the practitioners, the medical center, the community, or others, generated automatically.
The breakthrough for this Gazelle came after a presentation at a health conference in Trondheim in 2011, when suddenly orders for 150 terminals popped up.
Today, more than 75 percent of Norway’s general practitioners and emergency wards have installed the terminal. Melin Medical now has more than 10,000 customers within emergency wards, hospitals, and physical clinics. According to a presentation from the company, more than 1,500 person-labor years within the healthcare sector have been saved. The terminal is now being installed at health facilities across all the Nordic countries. More than 1,500 solutions from Melin Medical are installed across the Nordic Region’s healthcare facilities, handling more than 50,000 patients daily, and more than 11 million patients each year.
Patients can register when they arrive at the doctor’s office, receive a queue ticket, and pay for care at the self-service terminal. Further, the system connects with the top Electronic Health Records software in the Nordic countries and Melin becomes the financial manager, handling payments, transfer to proper accounts, updating EHR records, invoicing, debt collection, and queue management.
The testimonials are favorable. Practitioner Jon-Arne Ødegaard says, “Melin Medical has helped us make our work day more efficient. Their solution eliminates unnecessary tasks from people who are better suited to more important things such as patient care.”
It’s not just medical offices that see benefits, but accounting services. Helge Strømskag at Legeregnskap AS says: “We do the accounting for more than 1,000 physicians and medical centers in Norway. Melin Medical’s systems are useful tools for us in simplifying our bookkeeping processes. We get access to the necessary reports with regards to deductibles and other patient payments, and at the same time, we have full oversight of accounts receivables for our clients.”
The company was established in 2010 and is in Sandane in Sogn & Fjordane, with offices in Oslo and Denmark. Today they have 74 employees. Last year, revenue reached 170 million NOK and profits 78 million NOK.
Rasmus Falck is a strong innovation and entrepreneurship advocate. The author of “What do the best do better” and “The board of directors as a resource in SME,” he received his master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He currently lives in Oslo, Norway.
This article originally appeared in the September 21, 2018, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.