We are true believers in the consumerization of healthcare. That’s why my partners and I decided to start HealthCare.com. That’s why we’ve been able to bring in a world-class set of investors (who together led the largest internet companies).
One of those investors, Jeffery Boyd, published an op-ed in the USA TODAY called “Healthcare Consumers Power Growing“.
Give it a read. Boyd argues how the internet will be the great enabler within healthcare, as it was in other verticals. Granted, the disruption in verticals such as travel (which Mr. Boyd knows first-hand in building the world’s largest online travel business), personal finance and autos started early in the Internet revolution.
In consumer healthcare, there’s no doubt that innovation and disruption from online business models have lagged. On the consumer side, the number of unicorn start-ups (the companies who have reached a $1 billion valuation, which used to be rare but increasingly less-so) are few. The few examples of online healthcare companies include ZocDoc, which brings an OpenTable-like online booking capability to see doctors, and Oscar, which is building a new health insurance carrier from the ground up. (Note: OpenTable is part of the Priceline Group, part of an acquisition in 2014.)
The op-ed points to one of the biggest drivers of change:
“These changes [from the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)] are adding fuel to a rising consumerism in health care, as more consumers are forced to directly purchase health insurance and pay out-of-pocket a larger share of their health care costs.”
Boyd further argues that the entrepreneurial opportunity has never been large, saying “The complexity of our health care system and increasing regulation presents a substantial challenge, and opportunity, for industry business leaders and entrepreneurs.”
Along the same theme, Deloitte put out a piece in summer 2015 in QZ.com called “Three shifts transforming the healthcare landscape” that hit at changes summarized as:
- More power to the consumer
- More options for the consumer
- New players in the ecosystem
At HealthCare.com, we’re focused on providing search and comparison for healthcare consumers, and leveraging our expertise in individual health insurance as the first major challenge. It’s big, our team has deep experience, and we’ve built a growing business around it. Our heads are down, focused on building a company and the viable business that will allow us to sustain our mission. But every once in a while, it’s nice to open our eyes to the opportunities that we know will arise.
If we execute the we way we know we need to, we’ll be able to tackle more areas within healthcare. Indeed, the consumer healthcare landscape is large. There are lots of problems that can be solved with search and comparison, and lots of business opportunities that will arise from it. We’re excited to be a part of this story. And thankful to have Jeff Boyd on our side.
PS. Here’s a short reading list that outline what Jeff was able to accomplish at Priceline:
- The Most Remarkable Comeback Story in Internet History in Business Insider
- 7 Things Priceline’s Jeffery Boyd Changed about the Business of Travel in Skift
- Feature in QZ.com calling Priceline “the one big internet comeback attempt that actually worked“