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Originally published Monday, June 15, 2009 at 12:00 AM

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Seattle-based PriceDoc puts negotiation in health-care consultation

A weekly column profiling companies and personalities. This week:

What: PriceDoc, Seattle

Who: Glenn Safadago, 55, co-founder and chief marketing officer

Mission: Lower the cost of medical and dental procedures while allowing doctors and dentists to become more efficient and profitable.

Cash advantage: PriceDoc adds negotiation to health care, using an online model made popular in the travel and lodging industries. People not covered by insurance can make an offer on a procedure, as long as they pay cash. Doctors cut their paperwork and overhead.

Health link: Consumers select a procedure and search for pricing, location, provider profiles and credentials. Once they find a provider and a price, they simply click to reserve their terms and the provider is notified. A detailed consultation follows.

Location, location: PriceDoc is aggressively recruiting local doctors and dentists to participate in its business. The company is operating only in Seattle at present. It expects to start up in other locations over the next several months.

No guarantees: Unlike other sites, PriceDoc does not have a customer-rating system. Safadago said the company stays away from ratings "because there are too many variables." As for safety, he said, "We are going after the low-hanging fruit and making it easy to get popular procedures. We aren't going to help someone find a brain surgeon."

Employees: 13

Financials: The privately funded company expects revenue to come from monthly subscriptions ($30 to $100) and advertising. Safadago expects profitability in 2011.

Get well card: The company strives to broker doctor-patient relationships and not to to change the health-care system. "If the government takes into account what an entrepreneurial market force can do, we might find some answers," Safadago said.

— Charles Bermant

Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company

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