- Bill Gurley, the legendary Silicon Valley venture capitalist, is betting big that healthcare is at a “tipping point.“
- Right now, most of healthcare isn’t geared toward consumers and making care more convenient, he told Business Insider.
- That’s about to change, Gurley said, as people get on the hook for more of their healthcare expenses while at the same time other industries do a better job of putting consumers first.
Bill Gurley, a general partner at Benchmark Capital who has made a name for himself backing companies like Uber, Snap, Twitter, and eBay, thinks change is coming to the healthcare industry.
In particular, Gurley anticipates consumers – that is, the patients who are actually receiving the care – are going to start expecting more out of the experience.
For example, instead of waiting a while for an appointment or struggling to find how much a particular procedure is going to cost, that wait could be almost no time and that price could be conveniently listed on a website. It’s why he’s investing in companies like Solv, a company that helps book same-day urgent-care appointments, and Stitch, a communications tool for doctors.
And there’s some evidence to suggest consumers might start being better healthcare shoppers. Patients are now a more active part of paying for their healthcare, thanks to the rise in high-deductible health plans, which leave people on the hook for thousands of dollars before their insurance starts pitching in.
“We’re at that tipping stage,” Gurley told Business Insider. “Because deductibles are going up and coinsurance is going up, you’re making more people shoppers.”
The shifting approaches of established healthcare companies – such as the MinuteClinics CVS hopes to build on with its acquisition of Aetna, to transform the drugstore chain into a “Genius Bar” – is a sign we’re on track to more convenient and consumer-friendly care. Online, for instance, you can see a price list for the services CVS provides at the clinics, which can help determine how much you may be on the hook for during a particular visit.
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