Do you ever get the feeling that you’re over-paying for health insurance, or medical services in general?
You’re not alone, according to Janet Freeman-Kraynak. As president of Hatboro-based Sterling Medical Financial Services, Freeman-Kraynak sees instances daily where people are over-charged for their benefits, or double-billed for procedures or co-pays.
“It doesn’t matter how educated you are,” she said. “(People) have to start being an advocate for themselves.”
That’s where her business comes in. She and Sterling CEO Kevin Ryan are looking to expand their “bread and butter” of medical billing services for health care providers to include consulting services for the public.
“It could be somebody who says ‘my company just offered three different insurance plans … What’s the best for my lifestyle?’ “ Freeman-Kraynak said.
In one instance, a client was staring down a denial for reimbursement of a $10,000 health care bill. Freeman-Kraynak was able to have the insurance company reimburse $4,000.
Getting the medical know-how
Freeman-Kraynak, a 1981 Hatboro-Horsham High School graduate and long-time Horsham resident, has been in the medical billing field for 30 years.
“I tripped into it,” she said.
A Montgomery County Community College graduate who studied liberal arts and said her “first love” was writing, Freeman-Kraynak said a Conshohocken company hired her right out of college to manage billing for clients and oversee customer service departments.
“I just loved it,” she said of “problem solving” and “being a detective.”
While working at her last company, Phoenix Cardiovascular, Ryan was her boss. The two developed a good working relationship and after the company was sold and their jobs were shed, the two colleagues decided to start a business together.
“I always worked for every employer I had like it was my own business,” Freeman-Kraynak said.
Her work ethic and medical billing know-how, combined with Ryan’s expertise as a CPA, chief financial officer and controller was a “good fit” for Sterling Medical Financial Services, which they started in 2006 from Freeman-Kraynak’s Horsham home.
By 2007, the business partners had moved into a 900-square-foot space within Hatboro Manor at 122 N. York Road. In 2012, Freeman-Kraynak and Ryan moved into a 1,500-square-foot space in the same business complex.
“We’ve come a ways,” said Ryan, of Doylestown, adding that the company is “cash positive” and not in debt. “We’re growing six-figure revenues.”
As health care continues to evolve, companies scale back insurance plans and the so-called “Obamacare” comes into play, Freeman-Kraynak said she sees an ever-increasing need for an advocate, or intermediary to help navigate the oftentimes confusing insurance and health care world.
“I think it’s just going to get more and more complicated,” she said. “We’re sort of the necessary evil in the medical world.”
Besides helping to determine the best coverage, Ryan said he and Freeman-Kraynak can help to negotiate bills.
“They’re willing to cut deals,” he said of health care providers. “A patient is a little apprehensive to ask for a deal. That’s where an intermediary can help.”
To learn more
For more information on Sterling Medical Financial Services, click here to visit the company’s Web site.