by Privcap
March 2, 2016

For Healthcare Savings, a Push to Cut Out the Middleman

With commonsense data gathering, Sherpaa hopes to revolutionize consumer healthcare.

What if you could easily avoid an unnecessary visit to your primary care physician and skip to seeing the specialist you needed all along?

Dr. Jay Parkinson, Sherpaa

Dr. Jay Parkinson, founder the online startup called Sherpaa, is working hard to make that a reality.

Parkinson says Sherpaa, founded in 2012 with a headquarters in New York City, is a platform that mixes electronic medical records, customer relationship management, and customer help desk.  Its staff of doctors works with roughly 150 businesses in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Chicago. Its model is right from the PE operating playbook—wringing value from a broken system through operational efficiencies.

The premise of the Sherpaa service is simple: Before visiting his or her primary care doctor, a patient contacts Sherpaa. The patient answers a questionnaire in a secure online system, and a doctor reviews the information and communicates with the patient on the platform. The patient can then be referred to an appropriate provider for an in-person visit, or in many cases the Sherpaa doctor can diagnose and treat the patient virtually and avoid a costly visit altogether.

“We will take a history, we’ll figure things out, and we’ll see if we can diagnose and treat it,” Parkinson says. “If we can, great. If not, we intelligently refer them.”

Parkinson’s group found that nearly three-quarters of ailments do not require office visits.

Sherpaa’s corporate clients pay the company a monthly per-user fee for the service, so the online consultations aren’t billed to insurance. The idea is that by reducing the number of in-person doctor visits, the ultimate savings in insurance premiums will more than offset the cost of Sherpaa.

Parkinson says that some of Sherpaa’s self-insured clients have seen a 50 percent decrease in raw number of claims.

“You can think of us as almost like a smart filter,” says Parkinson. “It is a complete redesign of how and why people go to the doctor.”

With commonsense data gathering, Sherpaa hopes to revolutionize consumer healthcare.

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