Share FairCare:  
About Us

Fairness to Those who Matter Most — Doctors & Patients

Healthcare, as it is currently practiced, has a great deal of unfairness. Is it fair to be born with a higher risk for cancer? Is it fair to attend medical school and residency for eleven years only to have an insurance company tell you how to practice medicine? Is it fair that people paying for their own care pay 2-5 times more than insurance companies do for the same services? Well, we can't do much about the first one yet, but we can help a little with the second two. FairCareMD™ is a brand new online marketplace that is helping healthcare professionals take back control of their practice and is improving access to care for everyone.

How FairCareMD™ Helps Patients

FairCareMD™ is an open marketplace where healthcare providers such as Physicians and Dentists can offer their services at reasonable prices to people paying for care out of their own pocket. Whether you are uninsured, self-insured, have a high deductible, HSA insurance policy, or are just trying to get a service your insurance does not pay for, we can help you find the doctor you need at a price that is fair. FairCareMD™ is bringing fair pricing to healthcare for everyone. Sign up today to be part of the revolution in how people get and pay for care!

Concerned about privacy? So are we, which is why we have a new approach to online privacy. Set up your own Private Personal Profile and see how much we value your privacy. We think you'll be pleased.

How FairCareMD™ Helps Doctors and Other Health Professionals

If you are tired of the low reimbursement rates you receive from insurance companies and the hoops you need to jump through to get paid and are already charging fair prices to patients…FairCareMD™ has a solution for you. By listing your services on FairCareMD™ you get a new source of patients happy to pay reasonable prices for care. Sign up for a free trial today!

Have questions? Contact Us. We're here to help.

The First Done Deal

In 2008, after Alex Fair was laid off, he called his kids' dentist to schedule a check-up. Knowing he had to watch his budget, he asked for a break on the usual $250 fee per child. The dentist flat out refused so he decided to change providers.

So he called, and he called, and then he called some more, trying to find a dentist who would charge a fair price for great service. He found enormous variability in dental rates and services. Some would offer free consultations but charge higher rates later. Others were low cost, but had terrible reviews about them online. Alex actually had dental insurance at the time, but could not find a good pediatric dentist with the plan. He almost gave up after an insensitive office manager made him feel like a jerk for even asking for a price. Finally, while picking his daughter up from a play date, he started talking to her friend's father who, as it turned out, was a dentist. They talked, got to know each other a little, and the first DoneDeal was struck. The kids love their new dentist and they have not had a cavity since!

With a desire to start a company that would make a positive change, the idea behind FairCareMD™ was born. The mission of FairCareMD™ is to create a thriving marketplace for medical and dental services where people can easily shop for and compare quality, convenience, customer service and price. We hope you find what you are looking for. If not, tell us what you need and we will find it for you. Thank you for visiting FairCareMD™ and your interest in our mission.

Have questions? Contact Us. We're here to help.

The Problem with Healthcare in America

People who walk into a doctor's office are charged 2-5 times more than big insurance companies are charged for the same exact services.

Most Doctor's Offices are forced to accept low fees and slow payments from giant insurance companies. The result is that doctors need to see too many patients in order to stay in business. In reality, excessively low fees translate into spending less time per patient and reducing the quality of care.

While we believe insurance is a good thing generally, our health is too important to trust to companies focused on anything other than our health. In particular, some insurance companies have been too successful at reducing costs and have negotiated the care out of healthcare. When a doctor has to see 40 patients in a day and hire two more people to deal with the insurance company, she can't possibly spend enough time with each patient. In the end, the doctors stop accepting those plans and it is getting harder to find the best doctors that take your insurance. In fact, more than 60% of all doctors are reducing their participation with insurance companies. An unfortunate side effect of this process is that doctors need to keep their standard rates high to avoid further reductions from insurance plans. When you call a physician's office as a patient and ask for a direct or cash price, you are generally quoted the highest price in the system. This is the source of many of the problems in healthcare today.

So what can People and Doctors do about it and how can the internet help?

Well, for starters we have created a marketplace where people and doctors can get to know each other in a professional and private network. Once you select the doctor or patient you want, you can select or send an offer to them to give care or get care. These are Direct Pay prices, to be paid directly to the doctor at the time of service. Doctors and Patients can even design their own care plans! Let's be honest, if Wikipedia and other great web sites have taught us anything it is that we have nowhere near as much creativity as the millions of internet users. What FairCareMD™ can do is make available a free and easy way to interact with providers of medical, dental and other health related services and let you figure out how to get the care you need at a fair price.

Sound fair? We think so, but please let us know your thoughts. We would love to hear from you.

*Note: Not all insurance companies behave like this. Some are great companies that treat doctors and patients well. The problem is they compete with others that don't, so generally they are not the biggest ones. Look at the Explanation of Benefits pages your insurance company sends you. You can tell how fair your insurance company is by how fast and how much they pay your doctor. If they pay less than 1/3 of the billed amount, generally they are not treating your doctor well. If you call and wait on the phone for 5-10 minutes or they seem to always lose claims, you can tell what you have. We do approve of some types of insurance such as high deductible insurance in case of emergency, Healthcare Savings Accounts also make sense to us. Ultimately, the choice is yours and we do not advise not having any insurance. Be careful and make sure you read the fine print. We recommend you do your own contracting with providers here for basic, deductible, and uncovered services. You will save money and get better doctors who have the time to spend with you.

FairCareMD.com — Online Contracting for Care

FairCareMD™ lets Patients and Doctors contract for specific services offered or requested at a mutually agreed upon price.

FairCareMD™ is free for Patients. Patients can find or request the care they need at a price that is fair. After a deal is made, the DoneDeal acts as a contract for services with your Doctor.

On FairCareMD™, Doctors and medical facilities list their services, select from the requests that are made, and acquire new patients willing to pay a fair price for their services. Our platform simplifies and automates this process, reducing the cost of delivering care too.

By aiding the connection of people willing to pay cash for their care to health and dental professionals willing to give great care for fair fees, FairCareMD™ increases transparency, accountability, and access to care for all.

Please Note:
FairCareMD™ is not an Insurance company.
FairCareMD™ does not offer medical advice.
FairCareMD™ does accept advertising but it is clearly marked on the right side of web site pages.

By Researchers, For Researchers

Among our core values is the desire to improve the care and practice of medicine for all. While FairCareMD™ is doing much for the practice of medicine, the actual treatment people get is based upon the efforts of medical researchers around the world. These are the unsung heroes of medicine and we would like to support them any way we can. To this end, we pledge 10% of all profit to funding medical research to advance the knowledge of medicine.

Since 10% of nothing is nothing we decided that, in addition, we will also give all active clinical researchers free access to FairCareMD™'s patent pending system. That's right, clinical researchers may use FairCareMD™ for free! Just submit any paper you have been an author on within the past year and we will set up your free access membership!

This is our way of saying thanks for your efforts to save lives.

The People Behind FairCareMD™

FairCareMD™ was started by a group of social entrepreneurs seeking to make a positive impact on society through the creation of great businesses that solve real world problems.

Alex B. Fair
Founder and President

Alex Fair is a scientist turned entrepreneur who has successfully started and run several companies that, among other things, have helped change the way healthcare is delivered and paid for. An early start-up he created was an expert system that helped doctors get paid by reluctant insurance companies. He also served as CIO and Product Development leader at one of the largest Physician Practice Management companies in the U.S., developing medical practice management systems and aiding in negotiating reimbursement for over 300 medical offices and hospital departments. It was during this process that he realized the inherent unfairness in the health care payment system from the Physician's perspective. Doctors were not being paid fairly and the problem seemed to be getting worse every year.

Finally, after being laid off like millions of other Americans, he tried to get a fair price for dental work for his kids. After numerous phone calls and some online searching, he found that it was not easy. Knowing how poorly insurance companies generally pay doctors didn't help matters - it only showed him how unfair the system was from a patient’s perspective. Paying directly for care he was being charged five times as much as his old insurance plan would have paid for the same exact service!

After a little research he discovered that the real problem is that there are legitimate legal and liability concern that make sharing a fair price challenging for doctors who also take insurance or Medicare patients. So he hired a team of lawyers to figure out the best approach to solve the problem. They determined that the problem had a simple solution which could be automated. Simply let the provider list their usual fee to the public and then make a special price for each patient. A process automation expert by trade, Alex quickly wrote the patent and built a team drawn from friends he had known for decades. He asked them to become his partners in this disruptive venture and they agreed! As a result FairCareMD is an employee-owned, grassroots solution built for and by the people who it matters to most – doctors and patients!. We opened up the program to our new hires as well and now everybody participates in the success of what has quickly become a nationwide movement. We welcome you to join us if you are inspired as well!

In June of 2010, they launched the FairCareMD™ Beta. It is an online automated direct Physician - Patient relationship building system that allows providers and patients to work out fees that are fair to both quickly and efficiently. We hope you like it. You can read Alex’s blog here or send him your thoughts on the subject here.

...and yes, that is his real name.

Howard Luks, MD
Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Luks graduated from New York Medical College in 1991.   He completed his Orthopedic Surgery training at the Hospital for Joint Diseases in NYC as a Sports Medicine Fellow and he currently serves as the Chief of Sports Medicine and Arthroscopy at Westchester Medical Center and New York Medical College.  

Dr. Luks is a nationally recognized expert when it comes to the intersection of health care and social media.  His interviews on the subject include ABC World News Tonight, The American Medical Association, and The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.  Dr. Luks also serves as a strategic advisor and Chief Medical Officer to a number of start ups in the health care space. 

Dr Luks has served as an advisor to numerous start-ups focused on improving patient-physician communications, shared decision making processes and bridging the educational divide that exists between patients and their health care providers.  

Dr. Luks' interests have come full circle with his addition to the staff at FairCareMD as the Chief Medical Officer.  His key role is to represent the perspective of the health care providers in the rapidly growing FairCareMD.network.  All of us at FairCareMD share the same goal of simplifying the unnecessarily complex, and frequently inaccessible health care system by enabling patients and physicians to work out fees for health care services in a fair, transparent and secure manner.

Jacek Zagorski
Healthcare Data Integration Guru, Data Architect, Founding Associate

FairCareMD™ is all about open source integration in a Web 3.0 format. This means that we do not want to replace existing great solutions such as WebMD, Healthcare Blue Book, or Vitals.com, we want to integrate, giving people the best of everything all in one place. We also are opening up our data interface so our partners can access up to the moment data on out-of-pocket medical costs to improve analysis for everyone (don't worry, we strip all personal data first). In order to do this we needed to recruit a healthcare online data integration expert who has done it all. Jacek Zagorski has been with us since this site was just a concept in Alex's head and adds tremendous value to our company. As the developer of JEngine, the industry's first Open Source interface engine, Jacek understands the field with a depth that is impressive and is enabling our explosive growth. If you are interested in integrating with us or accessing our data, please email him. We are open!

Mike Pence
Technical Leader, Founding Associate

Mike Pence has been writing computer programs since that day in 1979 when an especially engaged teacher wheeled a TRS-80 into the school library. He has spent several years working as an IT consultant for Fortune 500 companies, but ultimately found a greater satisfaction in working with a variety start-ups that aim to both turn a profit, and make the world a better place. He worked with music publishing service, TuneCore, to bring great independent music to iTunes. He was the project manager who kickstarted Kickstarter, a crowd-funding community for creative projects of all types, and he is working with FairCareMD to bring healthcare providers together with people who need their attention help.

Matt Cowley
Senior Developer, Founding Associate

Matt has been a developer for many years. He has done work for non-profits, community radio stations, start-ups, research labs, and large companies, using a variety of languages and tools. He is excited to be a part of the FairCare project, bringing affordable health care to everyone.

Jeremy Senn, MS
Senior Developer, Founding Associate

Jeremy Senn not only brings great programming skills and passion to drive change in healthcare, but with a Masters in Public Health and deep industry experience, his insights make our user interface work for patients and providers alike. Jeremy has worked on numerous projects in healthcare including the jEngine open source healthcare interface and Fnatiqus, an online application for audiologists.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Fair Price for Care?

We don't determine what is fair, you do. In our opinion, a fair price is not too high and not too low. Fair to both doctor and patient. We believe insurance reimbursement rates are often unfair to physicians and standard fees at many offices are unfair to patients paying cash.  FairCareMD™ seeks to remedy these dual problems by allowing doctors and patients to work out fair prices for care offerings in an automated fashion.

For Example: an Ophthalmologist we know is paid between $17.00 and $85.00 by insurance companies for an eye exam. The eye doctor only charges $95.00 for the same exam for self-pays.  We consider this to be a fair price compared to the $225.00 others charge for the same exam. People should be able to easily find a fair price -- which is not the same as a cheap price. Doctors should be able to be paid enough so they can spend the proper amount of time with each patient and still keep the lights on. Did you know the average medical office employs four to five people for every doctor and two of these employees are generally dedicated to billing and collection? That is a great deal of overhead costs. By increasing the number of people who pay directly through FairCareMD™, a medical office can assign more people to help care for patients and less trying to get insurers to pay for services rendered.

And then there is the difference in quality of service, treatment success rates, experience and reputation and what that does to pricing. You would pay more for a safer car so why wouldn't you pay more for a better doctor? Our main focus here is to create a great fair price matching system. As well, we are also allowing doctors to link out to information they want people to see about them. As we build relationships with other data providers, we will offer their information on FairCareMD™ as well. Our intent is to allow you to track provider quality indictors and find everything about the doctor all in one place. If your doctor is the best, why shouldn't she or he be paid more? Doctors on Park Avenue who are considered the best in their field may charge $500 for an exam.  We think that is a fair price too.

Bottom line — fair is what you and your patients think is fair. Doctors who take amazing care of their patients will develop a following and reputation on FairCareMD™ which will help grow their practice. We provide the system which automates and facilitates making deals for services for self-pays the provider has complete control of pricing, service offerings, profile, and even, to some extent, reputation.

FairCareMD™ is not for everyone. Doctors who continue to reduce the amount of time they have per patient will not do well here, because they can't possibly take great care of people and they will get bad reviews which will lead to less FairCareMD™ patients.

Is FairCareMD™ available everywhere?

While this system will work anywhere in the world, we are focusing on the New York Metropolitan area first. Any doctor can sign up and we encourage all of them to get their services in the system. If you are running a cash-based medical practice or know a great doctor, please contact us and we will be happy to help you get started.

How do you make money?

Medical providers pay a small monthly fee to be members of our site. Members can pay an additional nominal fee to sponsor a listing and get listed at the top of the list. Sponsored listings are shown in blue.

FAQs for Patients

What is FairCareMD™?

FairCareMD™ is a marketplace. Health care providers (doctors, dentists, hospitals, nurse practitioners, acupuncturists, you name it) list their services at what they consider a fair price and patients come here and find them. If you don't find a service you want, you can make a request and send it out to any listed provider. We don't give medical advice. We don't tell you the latest way to treat your medical problems. FairCareMD™ is just a marketplace.

Does this system give medical advice?

No, FairCareMD™ does NOT provide medical advice. If you want medical advice we recommend seeing a doctor. Find one here!

So why does your name end in MD?

We chose "MD" mostly for branding purposes — it helps people quickly understand what we are about and we didn't want to have FairCareMD™, FairCareDDS, FairCareDPM,... diluting the brand identity. The fact is all of these varieties are actually medical doctors of one sort or another, so the name fits and everyone knows what it means. There are also non-doctors listed, so please review the provider type and credentials carefully.

I see some people listing services that aren't doctors at all. What's that all about?

As healthcare services are practiced in more innovative and creative ways that deliver great service but save you money, you will find them here. Pregnancy, HIV, and blood sugar testing kits cost less than a doctor's visit by far. If a nurse practitioner or a minute clinic can give you a flu shot or run a strep test faster, cheaper and better than waiting for a doctor, then it is all good. Is it the same as time with your regular doctor? We don't know, it depends on what you need and that is something YOU should decide.

Can other people see what kind of care I am getting?

Absolutely not! Our health information is not something most of us want to share, which is why we DISCOURAGE people from using their actual names as log-ins and have an icon image gallery. Yes, you can post a picture but that is your choice. Even if you do post a picture, you can easily change it or anonymize yourself when you post a comment about an offering. FairCareMD™ gives fair warning on this matter and bears no responsibility for the information you choose to make available to the community.

What about security breaches?

Every internet company is subject to such attacks. All we can say is we have never had a breach yet and we make every effort to prevent one. We take security very very seriously.

Can I trust you? Will you sell of my personal data?

The answers are yes and no respectively. Yes, you can trust us. No, we will not sell your data unless you specifically tell us it is okay. In this respect, we do what you tell us to do. For example, in your profile if you say that you do not have a Cardiologist but would like one, we will help you. When a cardiologist is available in your area, we will send her offerings to you when she creates one. The bottom line is we treat you how we want to be treated. As you develop your personal network of great doctors who charge fair prices you can update your profile and reduce the email we send you (we hate spam too!)

Provider FAQs

Will you increase my new patients?

That's our goal! We can't guarantee that yet, but you get a free month and can cancel at any time. Similar services such as 1-800 Dentist and LocateADoc.com do make such guarantees but they cost 10-80 times more than we do.

For your reference, here are the current monthly fees for listing with each service:
1-800-Dentist — $2,000, 12-month contract required
CitySearch — Variable, but assume over $250 per week
Google — Variable, but assume over $400 per week
Yodle — minimum $750 per month
FairCareMD™ — $25 - $30 and you can cancel at any time

How does the system work?

You list your prices and we bring patients looking for your services. When patient requests match your offerings, they are shown your offering. If they choose your offering and agree to your price then both parties are emailed the deal and contact details for each other. When the patient arrives they can refer to the "DoneDeal ID" or you can look it up on your FairCareMD™ DoneDeal Dashboard™ to verify the service offering details.

What if they request a lower price?

Each customer is allowed to make a price request based on each of your offers only ONCE. They can change the offer details or the offer price, request a copy of the records, require electronic medical record submission, or pretty much whatever comes to their minds. If they only change the price and it fits within the price range you say is acceptable then the deal is done (called a DoneDeal) and you go to scheduling. If the price is lower than your acceptable range or they change other criteria then you can respond one of three ways with the click of a button: Yes, No, or Counter. If the price is lower than your "Rejection Price" the requestor will get an automatic but polite response saying that you are not interested. It still shows up in your DoneDeal Dashboard™ so you can always still counter to fill an empty slot in your schedule. It is your choice, you are in complete control.

How do I set prices?

You can set three prices for every one of your offers:

List Price — Everyone sees this, it is your published price.

Lowest Acceptable Price — any request that comes in above this price will be automatically accepted. No one ever sees this price. Patients get one chance to request a price. Further requests are not allowed.

Rejection Price — Requests higher than this price will be sent to your email address on file and will be listed in your Done Deal Dashboard awaiting your response. Requests lower than this price will be rejected politely, but automatically.

What's a "Rejection Price"?

Simply put, it is the lowest price you would ever consider for a service. Offers above this number you will have a chance to respond to. Offers received below this price, an automated polite rejection email is sent to the patient. For example: if your office visit fee is generally $200.00 for new self-pays but you would take anyone willing to pay more than $150 then set your Rejection Price at $100. When a patient comes in and requests a similar offer for $104, your office manager and/or you will receive an email asking for a response. If you don't want to accept lower requests simple set your Rejection Price at the same level as your lowest acceptable price limit. It is completely up to you and you can change these criteria any time you like.

This sounds like a lot of work for just a few patients. Is it?

Keep in mind that these are cash customers so all the work is upfront, not after service is rendered. You collect payment at the time of visit. We can also process payments through the FairCareMD™ site. We have also created an intuitive and fast Deal Dashboard for you and your staff to see how you are doing. Believe us, it is easier than dealing with insurance companies!

What about patients with Insurance?

FairCareMD™ is for people paying out of pocket for services. They may have insurance but they are paying you directly if they come to you through FairCareMD™ and do a deal. If you have to bill insurance companies then it defeats the purpose and the deal is OFF. On the other hand, we do encourage you to provide patients with completed HCFA 1500s or other documentation so that they can submit for payment to their insurance. That is just good business. Be sure to state you will do this in your offer!

I don't want my prices listed, can I still use FairCare?

Yes, but you won't get as many new patients. Remember, you set the price as high or low as you want. You can also do limited time offers or set other criteria such as "This Week Only" or "New Patients Only",... You are in complete control.

If I don't like the site can I get off it?

Absolutely. It only takes a moment. You can also be an "Invitation Only" member where you can look for interested patients but they can't see you or your prices unless you choose to invite them to your FairCareMD™ offering pages.

Can I load my whole fee schedule?

Absolutely.

What if I am charging too little and insurance companies cut my rates as a result?

The excuses insurance companies use to lower your rates or deny payment grow more creative every day. From purposely hiring incompetent claims administrators, to denying the medical necessity of an MRI for patients with severe trauma. The fact that any excuse not to pay doctors becomes a way to make more money is a big flaw in the healthcare payment system. This is why taking the middle man out is a good thing. The strategy we suggest for you in setting your FairCareMD™ fees, is set them well above your average insurance "negotiated" fee or set limited time or patient type criteria on any low price offer. Be careful of the rule that Medicare applies. The Medicare rules state that in order to be a participating Medicare provider you can not "regularly charge" fees in excess of their fee schedule. Our lawyers tell us that means as long as you make it clear these are special rates then it is not an issue. We suggest you check with your lawyer or billing manager if you are concerned. Remember, your list prices are the only ones that are public. No one but you and your new patient gain access to your final agreed upon pricing.

What if someone offers the same service for less?

It is a marketplace. As in any market, you need to sell yourself. Our EasyOffer Creator™ makes it easy and levels the playing field but you still need to tell prospective patients why your services are the best. Cheap is not the same as inexpensive. Most people will gladly pay more for a better doctor.

But I already have a website and am listed on other services, why do I need your site?

There is no other site that does what we do. Most other sites are just directories, little more than a phone book listing. Sites such as ZocDoc, Facebook, and now FairCareMD™ do more than just give you a listing, we help you interact and engage directly with prospective patients. Our patent pending system isn't just about developing service offerings and negotiating prices, it helps you build relationships with new customers paying out of pocket. We do this by giving you a communications system that protects your time and respects your privacy. Your FairCareMD™ profile also ties together all your other online efforts in one place. No other site other than your own would allow ten links out to other sites of your choice. You can link to reviews, your personal site, your state license information, awards you have received, papers you have written, charities you support, clinical trials you want people to know about, great patient success stories, your Facebook fan page, your Twitter account, you LinkedIn profile, and the list goes on. We do this because we think your prospective new patients should be able to learn as much about you in one place as possible. Other websites don't let you do this because they are afraid their Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Page Rank will suffer. They may be right about that, but we are putting functionality first and trying to make something awesome. We are counting on the fact that when people find awesome, SEO will follow. We also think when people are selecting a brain surgeon to save their life, they might want to learn more about them first.

How much time does it take to set up?

A typical practice can be set up in 15 minutes or less. When a patient requests your services you will receive a notification with details and a link in your email inbox. Be sure you set your spam filters to allow "faircaremd.com" email addresses through.

What do I need to get started?

Just your fee schedule and your knowledge of your practice. You may also fax your information in to our data entry service who will set you up for free. Your fax should include a current CV, the names of all the web sites you want to be linked to, and a fee schedule listing the three prices you would like to set for each service. You need to log in to approve and edit all of your information before we post it, but we will get you going in the right direction.

Why is it so inexpensive?

We know other services charge up to 80 times more than we do for similar services. We did the math and concluded we don't need that kind of pricing structure. At about a dollar a day FairCareMD™ is by far the least expensive, as well as the best, new way to get more patients.

Is this Legal?

Yes, our attorney says so. Please check with yours as well.