Facing the American healthcare system without help is a daunting prospect, that’s the problem that Better was born to solve.
And Better yet, the company is offering the TDWI/Health Tech Hatch community a FREE one month trial of Better’s Premium Service (details below). Now that is even Better!
This post is based on our radio interview with Better Founder and CEO Geoff Clapp on June 10, 2014 episode of The Doctor Weighs In on Radio. You can listen to it HERE
Geoff Clapp, a serial entrepreneur, spent more than twelve years disrupting the telemedicine market as Co-Founder of Health Hero Network. During his time as COO, he helped guide the company through the bursting “bubble” of Silicon Valley and build the organization into one of largest telehealth vendors in the world, with prestigious customers such as the Department of Veteran Affairs and McKesson. After selling Health Hero Network to Bosch, Geoff focused on helping other entrepreneurs. To that end, he serves as an advisor to Rock Health and dozens of other Health Tech Startups. Recently, Geoff co-founded Better together with Chamath Palihapitiya, Founder and Managing Partner of The Social+Capital Partnership, a venture capital fund based in Palo Alto, CA. Importantly, Better was formed in collaboration with the Mayo Clinic.
So, What is Better?
Geoff says that he learned from his experience working with the VA [way before its current problems] and observing the National Health Services (NHS) in the UK that people in those systems benefited greatly from their care coordination programs. Although people who receive their care in integrated delivery networks, like Kaiser Permanente, may not have as much difficulty getting what they need, those who get their care in the fragmented, siloed world that is the rest of healthcare, almost always need help navigating the system. In fact, Geoff found that “a lot of the reasons for non-compliance and frustration and lack of trust was that people didn’t have a trusted entry point into the healthcare system.”
Better was founded on the idea of developing a solution that would mirror the effective care coordination models and would also include access to the highly respected medical expertise of the Mayo Clinic. The core of Better’s solution is to give everyone access to a “technology enabled personal health assistant (PHA)” whose sole purpose is to figure out the best ways help people solve their problems, whatever they may be, including, but not limited to:
- Finding new health and wellness providers, including super-specialists when needed
- Navigating health insurance plans and billing
- Coordinating follow-up care
- Making appointments and staying on hold so that members can make better use of their time
Geoff says that Better’s PHAs are not “algorithms, they’re not buttons, they’re not software, … they’re people.” Although Better has great technology, it is focused on helping the PHAs be more effective – they are not simply pushing technology onto the patients and saying, “deal with it yourself.”
Who are These PHAs? What’s Their Span of Expertise?
Better looks for three main characteristics when hiring PHAs. They must be articulate, empathetic, and not speak in lingo. Once candidates demonstrate these qualities, then Better looks at their experience. Although the team is still small, there is a balance of people good at being on the phone with members, others who are experts in different domains, such as end-of-life, insurance billing, and even Emergency Preparedness. PHAs not only have expertise in different healthcare issues, but more importanty, they are able to translate complex information and offer solutions to members that are both actionable and appropriate for them.
Better’s Pricing & Business Model
For $50 a month, Better provides its services to an entire family. The best part about this, Geoff says, is that you, as the Better member, define “family” – whether it be young children or elderly parents, two or twenty people – they are all provided with the services Better has to offer. Better wants people to expect more from healthcare and wants people to have more of a consumer-like experience because, as Geoff states, “that’s what they deserve.” [Wow, what a concept!!]
Special Promo Announcement
Even after describing what a good deal Better offers it members, Geoff went on to make things, well, even better. He announced that Better is offering a one month Better Premium trial for all The Doctor Weighs In listeners and readers as well as the Health Tech Hatch community! This means a free trial period of the paid version of services which includes your own Personal Health Assistant and 24/7 access to Mayo Clinic nurses for one month! All you need to do is log on to www.getbetter.com/getstarted and type in the code TDWI or click here.
Again, you can click HERE to listen to @docweighsin interview Geoff on The Doctor Weighs In on Radio.
October 2015 Postscript: Better PHA shut its doors on 10/30/2015. You can read about it here.