D2C Upstarts In Healthcare: Disruption Or The Right Remedy?

Learning From the D2C Upstarts

Moderator Beatriz Mallory, SVP, managing director, SensisHealth

Mario Anglada, chief executive officer, Hoy Health LLC
Robert Birge, EVP, product and CMO, Blink Health
Samir Ghousheh, general manager of pharmacy,

Beatriz: We’re looking at new entrants at existing points of care coming at it from a different way. 

Mario: We have simple mission targeted to providing everybody everywhere accessible affordable primary health. Built on access and patient engagement. Buy medications for anyone. In patient engagement, platforms one as a provider support, two if you are uninsured, you get kit at home for diabetes.

Robert: App for getting lowest provides on prescription meds. Buy online, pick up at one of 33,000 participating pharmacies in U.S. Own tech platform, bypassing middlemen. Our customers tend to be high out of pocket costs, high copay.

Samir: Web properties. Goal is to educate consumers about FSAs and HSAs, many don’t know how to use them. Out sites help clarify that, put messagin out there to help consumers make decisions. You can learn about them and we have landing spots to buy products on the site. Sunscreen is covered.

Beatriz: Organization here aren’t “disrupters,” really looking at entrants. Different approach.

Samir: I don’t want to be disrupting healthcare. Find better ways to deliver it, yes. I see tech, lot of advancements in delivery to complement existing models. I don’t see an Uber of healthcare. Doctors using genetics to deliver better treatments. Ways to drive better outcomes. We’re a consumer facing company trying to simplify messaging around healthcare. Drive more preventive treatments. Making healthcare more consumer-centric. 

Robert: Very refreshing perspective, so much hype around tech companies. Uber has faced incumbent challenges wherever they’ve gone. Brought market forces to the industry. Lessons for anyone looking at healthcare and technology. We feel extremely strongly that disruption in the classic definition, we are unambiguously disrupting. Prescription drugs one part of economy that is consumer transaction. Ecommerce has disrupted major players. This category is remarkably opaque. Travel, brokerage, music where internet economy has come in, middlemen have disappeared. 

Mario: Our approach is incremental disruption. Price and transparency. We want to be sure we’re embedded into the incumbents to help them navigate the customer relationship. Working within system to understand, to help, let’s take it from a different angle. Use technology as an enabler. Having a one to one relationship with patient is impossible.

Beatriz: Are your target consumers a new generation of consumers or are they healthcare consumers with digital ability?

Robert: From behavior standpoint, yes. Trends pushing consumerization of healthcare. Innovation is all over. Countless number of companies trying to bring transparency. Kind of like water. When the internet economy makes its way in, it’s gonna find its way. It’s gonna cross demo and social graphic balances.

Mario: Let’s bring underserved consumers, deflect cost where it matters. Bringing in new type of consumer who didn’t have access to system. If you want to come buy medications from us, we’ll allow you. Creating a system that is parallel to traditional model.

Samir: From a new consumer perspective, you think patients. Now we say consumer, customer. People’s habits are changing, traditional ways of delivery is changing. People are shopping for options. Trying to find if it makes sense to use insurance to get MRI or look for different, cheaper option. 

Beatriz: Segmentation, people with high out of pockets, non or underinsured, can’t hit co-pay. How you affect segmentation for your properties?

Samir: We partner directly with TPAs, demonstrate benefit to employees. Work with employers to let them know how healthcare has changed. Let us help you help your employees with understanding how to plan for FSA, HSA space. Let us help them understand where they can spend those dollars and what they can spell them on. We’re serving a 20-something to high 50-something population. Work force in general, female ratio is growing. 60% of customers we serve are female. They’re the care takers. 

Mario: We start with idea that we build everything for a third grade education level. Focus on Hispanics is because of need but also opportunity. A lot of growth in next 25 years comes from Hispanic consumer. We do partnerships, a trade union, a hospital system, a retailer, a supermarket, people in community, church. Important to have the aha moment. 

Robert: Humans first. We want to lower prescription drug prices, philosophically contradictory to segmentation but we approach marketing fast iteration, A/B experiments, investment in measurement. Segmentation flows out of that. Blink Health Nation has fortune to have patients and providers spread word actively for us. Thousands send us videos to tell their stories about what having lower prices has done for their families and lives. Gives us great tailwinds from customer acquisition standpoint. 

Video from this session will be available here tomorrow.

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