Can the Road to Equitable Health Care Insurers Bypass? – TechCrunch

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There are few Challenges more chaotic and strained than the US healthcare system, but a growing number of startups are looking for ways to use technology to address deficiencies in standards of care. We had three such companies this year sharing our virtual stage at TechCrunch Disrupt 2021, including President and Co-Founder of Cityblock Health Toyin Ajayi, CEO and Founder of Forward Adrian Aoun and Eren Bali of Carbon Health.

Let’s just say this conversation got heated – quick.

The main point of contention was defining what constitutes customer-centric healthcare and Aoun’s stance that no matter what else is involved in a company’s approach, working with insurers excludes a company from making consumer-centric claims.

“We keep saying that these companies are consumer-centric,” said Aoun, referring to the panelists. “But in many ways I think that one of the things you notice when you go to bed with the insurance companies that at the end of the day, be it carbon or city block, [if] you go to bed with the insurance companies, unfortunately your incentive is not basically to build a good consumer product. “

“Your incentives are actually not the right thing – they are not what the consumer needs,” he added. “So at the end of the day you are [referring to Eren and Carbon] Start a planning function. We are starting a heart health program that eliminates high blood pressure in 40% of our members. You are introducing a new billing method. I’m starting cancer prevention. “

Opposed to the binary Aoun was trying to establish, Ajayi explained why there isn’t really such a clear separation between working with insurers and a real and meaningful focus on patient outcomes.

“Adrian said you either get a reimbursement from the insurance company or you build a consumer- or patient-oriented company. And you know in brackets that only very wealthy people can afford it. What we found is that this is not binary; there is another avenue that is in partnership with insurers but takes the risk of overall utility costs and results. So we don’t bill for a community health worker who comes to your home, holds your hand, tells you you are important, and helps you understand what’s going on in your life. But we have an absolute incentive to do this and innovate in this area, because that way we can earn the right to offer people health care that makes them healthier. “


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