Amaze empowers people to take charge of their own healthcare. What could make more sense? At the same time, what could be more challenging? The American healthcare system doesn’t approve. It is as though every time we try to exert our will, the system’s antibodies work to deny us the right to make informed decisions. We have insurance companies that dictate which doctors we can or cannot see, we have doctors that order tests and procedures without explanation, and we have medical billing offices that send us incoherent bills. Oh, and when we ask the price of something, the insurance companies and medical providers point the finger at each other, leaving us without answers. Amaze wants to put an end to the chaos by empowering every American with the knowledge, information, self-confidence, and support they need to become well-informed consumers of healthcare.
What the Research Says
Based on a large body of research into the subjects of patient empowerment and patient activation, we know that people with greater knowledge, skills, and self-confidence to manage their own medical care get better care while spending less money on it. That’s why Amaze has committed itself to providing every American with the education, information, and support they need to realize the full potential of modern medicine.
Taking charge of your own medical care does not mean becoming a doctor and it does not mean forgoing our medical system. It also does not mean paying cash for everything in lieu of having insurance. True empowerment means developing the knowledge, skills, and confidence to partner with your medical providers to make the very best decisions about medical care and its costs.
250 years of success in the United States can be attributed to a growing and capable consumer-based economy. Nearly 70% of the U.S. economy is driven by consumers, resulting in the greatest economic success story in the history of the world. Yet when it comes to healthcare, our ability to be the smart consumers that we are is very limited. Amaze is not quite ready to declare our current healthcare system incapable of healing itself, but we do believe that healing cannot happen without a much more empowered consumer force.
The story of Amaze begins with the experience of its founder, David Silverstein. In 2011, while reviewing some of his own medical bills, David realized something was truly amiss in American healthcare, but he couldn’t quite put his finger on it. So, rather than simply paying the often confusing and seemingly outrageous bills, he started disputing them. After some success forcing medical providers (mostly hospitals and hospital-affiliated physicians) to answer his questions and to walk away from their bills, David formed a non-profit called Broken Healthcare to help others do the same. Over the years, Broken Healthcare’s “Denial-of-Payment” system became a model of revolt, empowering many patients to stand up for themselves and fight back against predatory billing.
While we built Amaze with the American healthcare system in mind, and with an orientation geared toward employers, the truth is that every person on planet Earth ultimately needs to become empowered to manage their own medical care. Amaze originated in the U.S. because that’s where we live and it’s what we know, but we are already looking beyond the borders of the United States. Amaze does not believe that you need to work for a big company to receive good medical care. We’d like to be empowering high school students, college students, low-income and underserved communities, and people all over the world.
Medical science offers us the potential to live longer and better lives. That is something that every human being deserves. Our vision is to turn the management of medical care for ourselves and our families into a life skill and a human core competency that everyone can master.
The non-profit BrokenHealthcare.org was created by David Silverstein, Amaze’s founder, to advocate for patients facing predatory medical bills.
In 2016, Broken Healthcare went from advocating for patients in billing disputes to using their stories to advocate for policy change. By 2019, David had been invited to the White House, and escorted several patients to share their stories with the President and discuss solutions. For months, David worked with White House policy advisors and economists to make the case for true price transparency in healthcare. Shortly thereafter, new rules and regulations were announced and on June 24th of 2019 an Executive Order was signed requiring much greater price transparency from healthcare providers and insurance carriers. Formal rules were published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in late 2019. Those rules were quickly challenged by the healthcare industry with the charge being led by the American Hospital Association. In June of 2020, a Federal Court upheld the rules, which is likely to be appealed. Most recently, Republicans in the U.S. Senate have proposed converting the Executive Order into law to avoid further legal challenges to the President’s authority. As of right now, these new rules are set to take effect in January of 2020.
While advocating for change, David, and some of the terrific people he met along the way, decided that regardless of how things play out in Washington, another path to change was needed. So, they formed Amaze Health, a for-profit Public Benefit Company dedicated to empowering people to take charge of their own healthcare. The founders of Amaze spent several years conducting research and talking to patients, employers, medical professionals, scientists, technologists and other startups to develop its solution to the complexity of healthcare—or what we call “The Maze.”
The outcome of all the research and feedback is Amaze Health, the first and only company truly committed to empowering people. Instead of technology that purports to do everything for users, we utilize people and technology to partner with our customers. That is the true essence of patient empowerment.