Bill Gurley has invested in several successful tech startups, including Uber, OpenTable, Zillow, as well as also also GrubHub.
All of those companies attempted to give the consumer more control over processes that will were previously complicated or opaque, whether the idea was hailing a taxi as well as also also wondering why the idea didn’t stop, or trying to comparison shop for homes.
today, he sees similar opportunities in health care, where the business type will be seriously broken.
“What additional business do you go to where there are no receipts, then six weeks later you get a letter from the mail that will tells you the carrier thinks the provider overcharged you, then six weeks after you see a cost? that will will be insanity,” he told CNBC.
Solv, a Benchmark-backed startup that will helps people schedule appointments at urgent care centers, conducted a revealing survey of 1,386 people in conjunction with the Urgent Care Association of America.
the idea found that will 70 percent of people look for prices when they visit their doctor, yet only about a quarter get answers when they ask their doctors for information, as well as also also nearly half say they feel “stupid” for asking.
Unlike traditional doctor’s offices, retail clinics like One Medical — another Gurley investment –tend to advertise their prices for services.
“If you ask incumbents, they’ll tell you consumers don’t make decisions on cost. What’s bankrupt in that will argument will be the consumer doesn’t know they should,” Gurley said. “You have to have years of exposure to what’s happening at Walmart as well as also also CVS, as well as also also they can affect This particular. (Consumers) have been taught you don’t need to know as well as also also ask.”
His additional investments from the space include Stitch Health, a care coordination system, as well as also also Brighter, a digital health plan that will was acquired by health insurer Cigna in December.
Gurley admits the idea’s difficult to change the health-care industry. Unlike most businesses where there’s one center of gravity, he said, there are multiple pulling coming from many different directions. that will as well as also also an “amazingly complex spiderweb of incentives” stunts efforts to introduce completely new technologies as well as also also lower the cost of care.
Telemedicine, which virtually connects patients with doctors, has hit such barriers, Gurley says. The technology exists, yet the idea hasn’t been widely adopted because doctors don’t know how to charge as well as also also be reimbursed for the idea, he said.
“In any additional industry, if you had the capability to do something virtually as well as also also reduce costs, everyone might go do that will,” he said. “yet that will’s not happening here.”
Despite the seemingly bleak outlook, Gurley sees consumers wanting more transparency as well as also also more convenient, less expensive options. that will’s because, people are paying more of their health-care costs as health insurance co-pays as well as also also deductibles increase.
Plus there’s room to create better consumer experiences.
Pharmacies are a prime example, he said, as well as also also he thinks Amazon could do a lot to fix the idea.
“I think Amazon features a role to play in that will world if they want to do the idea, yet I don’t think they’re thinking about creating huge money because most of those prices are regulated as well as also also there’s not much margin there. yet the idea’s the consumer experience,” he said. “the idea’s like Prime Video, they throw the idea in as well as also also people will love (Amazon) more.”