It all started in 2007. After working for years in preventative medicine and pediatrics, the then-31-year-old Parkinson had just finished a residency at Johns Hopkins Center for Innovation in Quality Patient Care.
“I got to see the back end of health care, why it is the way it is and why it costs what it costs,” he says. “I saw how broken everything is.”
He watched doctors treat up to 40 patients a day and have at least four staff members each to handle the nitty-gritty paperwork.
“It’s around 70 percent overhead,” he says. “It wasn’t like this decades ago. Doctors served their neighborhoods, took cash, and didn’t charge a lot because there was so little overhead. So I designed a process that went back to this model, looking at it from the patient’s perspective, and just injected a little technology."
With $1,500, he set up a house-call-only practice in his Brooklyn, New York, neighborhood, serving only two zip codes. He created a website through Apple’s iWeb that featured his resume, and posted his schedule on a Google Calendar. He also opened a PayPal account for payments, and used Formstack to create forms for gathering patient medical histories and to create specific questionnaires for particular ailments.
Whereas most practices deal with significant costs in office management, Parkinson’s start-up costs went to getting his license and buying tools, such as an otoscope and doctor’s bag.