Jay Parkinson sees, much like most of America, healthcare as inconvenient. He sought to drastically change the dynamic by opening up an online practice that combined telemedicine with home-visits. But that didn’t have quite enough of an impact for Jay, so he’s thinking bigger.
A recent interview in the Wall-Street Journal Blog reveals Jay’s plans for the role of the internet in medicine. His goal is to have a service that, provided a monthly fee, will offer unlimited online interaction and set-price doctor-patient visits. Patients with insurance will have to pay cash up front for their visits, but the franchise-approved doctors will file claims and reimburse as much as they can. The portal for this service will have a facebook-like functionality.
Here is a snippet from the interview:
WSJ Health Blog: What sort of stuff is in the works?
jayparkinsonmd: Think Facebook, very effective data visualizations to view your patient’s medical information, iGoogle-like or Apple Dashboard-like browser “widgets” to customize your interface based on function, interface, and workflow.
WSJ Health Blog: So to be clear, Hello Health is Jay Parkinson 2.0? A medical practice that’s technologically enabled but that also has some of the more customary trappings, like an office?
jayparkinsonmd: Hello Health is a neighborhood-based, Internet-enabled practice that sees you in person and communicates with you over the Internet. Patients become members for a Netflix-priced monthly fee and then pay fee for service. In-person visits, whether house call or in-office, will range from $75 to $150 cash. We will submit your claim to your insurance for you so you can be reimbursed but you pay cash up front.
It’s interesting to note that half of my 300 patients have insurance. Only two have filed for reimbursement — it’s the rebate concept. How many people send in those $50 rebates? It’s quite low because it’s just so painful to deal with the rebates just as it’s painful to deal with insurance companies. I offer low-cost, convenient, valuable visits and people simply pay cash.
WSJ Health Blog: Will Hello Health be a franchise arrangement then?
jayparkinsonmd: Yes, it will. Very much like Chik-fil-A. When Chik-fil-A opens a new restaurant, they announce their intentions and receive hundreds of applications for manager/operator.
They have a strict process to choose the very best one. They get so many applications because they guarantee something like a base salary of $30,000. However, they profit-share with them 50/50 and the manager can then make up to $300,000 a year. We’ll do the same with our doctors.
First, we’ll interview those doctors we think will embody the brand (and keep in mind, it’s going to be Dr. Smith, powered by Hello Health). Docs don’t have to become a brand. They retain their identity of course. Second, we’ll profit-share with them in both the monthly subscription fees and the episodic fees. Essentially docs have to only come up with a few thousand dollars as a “down payment” to become Hello Health doctors, but after this, they get VW and Virgin Airlines level marketing and the advertising to announce their services. In the end, they end up making over double the traditional PCP salary. It’s a win/win for docs, patients, and us.