Goodroot CEO Mike Waterbury recently joined host Wesley Earp on The WEInvested Podcast to discuss Goodroot, medical debt, patient engagement, entrepreneurship and more. Below are some of the highlights of what Mike had to say.
Listen to the full episode on The WEInvested Podcast.
On Goodroot: “Is it venture capital? Is it a think tank? Is it an angel investor? It’s kind of all of that, but it’s really just a platform where people can bring healthcare ideas to life that fit into a strategic plan around reinventing healthcare one system at a time.”
On priorities: “So many people that are talented in this space work for companies that have objectives, and they do their jobs very well. But they’re not incented to change the status quo, because the status quo is working for so many big healthcare companies, whether they’re pharmaceutical companies or insurance companies, even hospitals to some extent. We don’t villainize anybody that is doing their job, and they have objectives to their shareholders and everything else. We constantly challenge the industry and ourselves and say, ‘If every decision you make, the patient isn’t first, or at least high on the list of your consideration, you should really rethink that decision.’”
On company missions: “I think we have the best one because if you can’t have affordable health care, and your health isn’t at a level that’s acceptable, or you’re not healthy, nothing else really matters.”
On medical debt: “People are avoiding care because of it. And these are generally people with insurance. That is such a significant failure point. If you have insurance and you’re afraid to use it because you’re afraid you’re going to get a bill that you don’t understand or that is more than you can imagine, and you think somebody else should be paying for it because you have insurance, that’s a pretty significant failure point.”
On engagement: “One of the biggest challenges is patient engagement. I try to hold both sides accountable. We’ll bring you better solutions that are easy to understand, but you need to engage and maybe change some things or at least spend the time to understand what you need as a patient, or even someone who’s buying employee benefits for their company, a CFO, a CEO. You get that renewal and you’re like, ‘Oh, it’s complicated, I’ll ask the broker. I can’t spend any more time on it.’ These are your employees and their families, and you want to make sure they’re getting value.”
On healthcare education: “We definitely need to get our healthcare literacy rate up in this country. A lot of that is just being willing to use your brainpower to think about it a little bit rather than immediately saying, ‘Too complicated. I don’t want to talk about it.’ Sometimes I joke that the acronyms don’t do us any favors. Because you hear all these acronyms, and it’s something about your brain where you’re like, clearly I don’t understand what those letters mean so I shouldn’t even ask the next question.”
On freeing and amplifying healthcare entrepreneurs: “One of the things that I found very challenging is I spent most of my time on other things other than the idea. My email, my website, my taxes, my legal structure, all these things that, honestly, if you worked in corporate America, someone else did for you. They definitely weren’t my strengths. … One of the things that we do here at Goodroot is we give you the support of all those things so that you can focus on your idea. Don’t worry about it. We have the best people in legal, HR, IT, finance, you don’t have to worry about any of it. Just worry about your idea.”