When I meet someone new, the conversation frequently includes the question, "What do you do for a living?" Many people shrug, provide a vague answer, and change the subject. Not me. My friends and colleagues know me as a generally enthusiastic person, and when it comes to my job as Chief Operating Officer at one of the best telemedicine companies, I am passionate when I talk about it. My answer to the question about what I do is probably more than my new acquaintance asked for, but usually the conversation launches into a broader discussion about how easy "fixing" healthcare would be if companies applied common sense principles to services and pricing.
As a healthcare professional and frequent consumer of healthcare for myself and my family, I am passionate about the fact that healthcare should be easily accessible, affordable—and if I can be so bold... logical. Every day, I come to work knowing that I will contribute to providing a priceless benefit to the employees and their families that have access to our service. The economist in me loves that we are taking costs out of a bloated system, and the entrepreneur in me loves generating a positive return on investment for our clients.
At First Stop Health, our mission is to transform our members’ experience with healthcare. We have applied a customer-focused service delivery model to make sure that our members are blown away by the service they receive when they call us. Here’s what happens:
- Access anytime: Each enrolled employee, and their family, receives convenient, high-quality healthcare through virtual consultations with licensed, US-based doctors, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. During a visit, our doctors diagnose and treat the patient, including providing a prescription if needed.
- Fast service: When an employee or family member calls us, they are connected with a live person who facilitates the doctor visit. The initial call will collect details of symptoms, confirm a few medical history questions, and then initiate the connection with one of our doctors. Generally speaking, once a patient completes the 5-minute intake call, they will receive a callback from a doctor in less than 5 minutes.
- No cost: There is never a cost for these consultations, and employees and their families can use the service on an unlimited basis each month.
It is fun to talk about how we are able to drive an average utilization rate of 50% this year, versus the telemedicine companies industry average of about 7%, because our innovative engagement strategy drives viral adoption by our members. We are more than service-oriented, we are service-driven. Our team works hard to make sure our members not only receive good service, but feel cared for when they interact with us. On top of it, we contractually guarantee that we will drive a positive ROI for our clients, by avoiding more in-person physician visits than our service costs.
Our industry is crowded with telemedicine companies that few people use. It is exciting to be the only player in our space that is actually delivering on the potential telemedicine has to make people’s lives better and save money in healthcare costs.
As a mother of three children, I’m sure you are not surprised to hear that I also use our service quite a bit. While telemedicine can’t give my son stitches, it has saved me a trip to the ER for a broken arm and cured many strep throats and ear infections. This service has been a lifesaver for me and my family, saving me time, money, and aggravation. I wonder if I answer questions about my work with a little too much enthusiasm-- but it’s hard to dampen my excitement.