Hey Sherpaa is in Fast Company:
The goal of Sherpaa, explains co-founder Dr. Jay Parkinson, is to keep overhead health care costs down for companies and improve doctor-patient relationships at the same time. That may sound contradictory, but it’s not. “Companies are spending way too much on health insurance relative to people in the youngish age population,” says Parkinson. Consider: 75% of people spend less than $2,000 each year on health care, and 96% spend less than $10,000. And yet, health care is the second highest cost for companies, just after payroll.
“A company of 100 would go to an insurance broker, which would give them 20 to 30 plans in a spreadsheet, it’s confusing as hell, and they don’t have the expertise to make an educated judgment,” says Parkinson.
Sherpaa cuts out wasteful spending by going to companies, analyzing their health care, and securing them a plan that is more in line with how their employees use medical services. They generally recommend a deductible of at least $2,000, and then ask companies to give employees a $2,000 debit card for health care. Whatever they don’t use goes back into the company coffers. In the end, these companies can save $2,000 to $4,000 per employee, even with the debit card.
Companies working with Sherpaa also pay a monthly fee for the startup to manage employee health. This is where Sherpaa gets really interesting: Instead of just going to a primary care doctor (or even an emergency room) when they need medical attention, members can email or call one of Sherpaa’s primary care doctors (or “guides,” as the startup calls them), who are on-call 24/7. The doctors get paid a monthly salary for their extra time.
“When you go to a company and explain to them what’s going on, within a few minutes, it’s a no-brainer for them to do it,” says Parkinson. “It just highlights how much waste there is in the health care system. That’s their business model: confusion.”