When people are diagnosed with cancer, some panic and wallow in fear; others pray; while many prepare themselves physically and emotionally for the battle ahead. Some will start doing the things they’ve always wanted to do but never did, like travel to some exotic land.
But not Banu Ozden. When she heard that she had breast cancer, she started a business.
While many will think that starting a business when one has been diagnosed with cancer is not the best time, especially if the cancer has metastasized to the bone, but Banu knew she had to do this venture.
Banu, then 35 years old, was diagnosed with Stage III breast cancer in 2001. During her treatment, she became frustrated navigating the medical billing process as she received overcharges and errors in her bills. She couldn’t make sense of the medical codes and statements, which did not accurately reflect what she needed to pay.
A former director of research of computing systems at Bell Labs, she realized that she is not the only one confused and frustrated with the medical billing process. That led to the idea for a business that will help ordinary medical consumers make sense of their bills by automating the billing process and weeding out billing errors.
Computer expert Banu, who has multiple patents under her belt, then started just such a service, Web-based SmartMedicalConsumer http://www.SmartMedicalConsumer.com.
The free online service offers its users automatic error detection, alerting them as to how many potential errors it has detected and where they can be found. It’s free to consumers but she’s planning to generate revenues by selling ads on the site and selling her proprietary software to companies.
Banu is a rare breed of a woman, and we wish her well.