Goodroot CEO Michael Waterbury recently joined host Dr. Rich Greenhill on the Improve Healthcare podcast to discuss the history and mission of Goodroot, why the American healthcare system is broken and the steps we have to take to fix it. Below are some of the highlights of what Mike had to say.
Listen to the full episode on the Improve Healthcare podcast.
On fixing the problem: “A lot of what goes on with drug pricing is business-to-business relationships. There’s a lot of middlemen, as the world would refer to it. And if you understand that, you can sort of fix it by redesigning and bringing solutions to customers or patients that otherwise wouldn’t have access to those. But then ultimately, if you’re really going to change anything, you really need to add technology. We’re a little behind in the healthcare world as it relates to technology.”
On medical debt: “We need to study the failure point. Let’s go and get the data that we have and understand what’s causing this debt, track it, understand it, bring the parties together and start talking about it. That’s going to be the roadmap.”
On being the 10th man: “One of the things that was exciting to me was when I had a hospital executive here in the Northeast say to me, you’re the 10th man of healthcare. The 10th man in the Israeli army, his only job is to tear down the system and figure out how to make it better, the plan. And that’s what you are.”
On hospital financial assistance programs: “Financial assistance policies need to be streamlined. If you’ve ever gone onto a website, you tried to find it, you tried to answer all the questions, you tried to give them all the documents necessary … a lot of it’s not intentional, it’s just complicated processes and hospitals are busy — obviously they’ve been busy the last two years saving our butts. … We’ve created a systematic algorithm online, digital, where people can pre-apply, answer their questions, upload their documents; we’ve created an outsourced solution where we can take the whole process off the hospitals’ plate and make it work better.”
More on hospital financial assistance programs: “What we’re seeing is that hospitals and payers’ relationships are really frayed, and they have these contracts that have become irrational. You have rates that don’t make any sense. You could be in one plan versus the other and pay totally different amounts. And we’re paying more of the bill through our deductible. So I love to see hospitals create a system similar to what happens for generic drugs, where there’s easy-to-understand cash pricing, maybe based on income levels that people could access, so that when they have to pay for the care, they could pay for the care. I think the challenge is, hospitals feel that if they gave those rates out to the individual, it’s not too long before Mr. Insurance Company is like, ‘Why don’t I get to pay that?’”
More on medical debt: “Systematic challenges are now being put in the patient’s lap. I think also, a lot of the mistrust in the relationship between the physician and the hospital communities and the payers has led to a lot of them not participating. And so, when you’re not participating, you get the surprise bill. This regulation around surprise billing is good. I’m happy that we’re putting some things in place that challenge us to do things more effectively and be more transparent.”