How does Parsley Health make money?

Steven Loeb · September 8, 2021 · Short URL:

The company charges members a $175 per month subscription, while also selling its own supplements

While there's been a lot of emphasis on the rise of virtual care during COVID, and for good reason, yet the most likely outcome after the pandemic finally ends is that there will be a hybrid approach to care. It won't be all done in-person like it was before, nor will be almost all be done remotely either; instead, patients will be able to see a doctor the way that works best for them, depending on the type of care that's needed.

A number of companies are already taking this approach, though even then there different ways to go about it: some companies may emphasize the in-person care, while offering virtual care as an additional option, while others companies may go the opposite way, going virtual first, with the option for in-person care if the person is in a market where it's available.

(Vator and UCSF Health Hub are teaming up for an event in November called "Primary Care and the New Medical QB," in which we will be talking to various stakeholders in the healthcare system, including providers, patients, and startups, about this change)

Parsley Health is taking the latter approach: it's a primary care service that provides virtual care to its members, who can have all of their visits online, from wherever they are, through video chat; the company currently has doctors available in all 50 states. At the same time, it also operates its own in-person clinics in New York City and Los Angeles; the company also previously had a location in San Francisco, but it was closed during the pandemic due to local protocols, and all of those patients shifted to online care.

The company's focus is on "whole-body" or holistic care, meaning a focus on preventative and wellness treatments.

A member's first visit is 60 minutes, during which Parsley will order many advanced blood tests; the doctor them spend another 60 minutes with members to design a health plan designed to improve their overall health and chronic conditions. Throughout the year, the company follow the pertinent blood values to ensure members are optimizing their health.

Patients are able to choose their doctor and health coach, both of whom they will have an on-going relationship with when they sign up, based on who is accredited in their state. Patients are allowed to change their doctor pairing on request, if schedules don't align, for example, but the model is focused on building those relationships, rather than offering one-off visits.

Some of the conditions currently covered by Parsley include digestive issues, such as IBS and Crohn’s disease; hormonal issues like adrenal dysfunction and polycystic ovarian syndrome; maternal support for problems such as infertility and prenatal preparation; thyroid conditions, including Hypothyroidism and Hyperthyroidism; autoimmune diseases, such as celiac disease and lupus; mental health disorders, like anxiety and depression; skin issues, including acne and eczema; and cardiometabolic/respiratory issues, such as type 2 diabetes and asthma. 

Parsley makes the majority of its money through a monthly subscription model, which costs $175 every month, or $1,850 for an annual subscription.

This gets the patient five in-depth medical or clinical visits a year, totaling 3 hours of patient-doctor time, as well as five annual health coach visits. They also get advanced diagnostic testing for hormones and genetics, which looks at things like inflammation, hormones, nutrient status, heart health, allergies, genetics, and more, unlike traditional primary care medicine. Patients also unlimited messaging and support, personalized nutrition and lifestyle plans, and perks with over 50 health and wellness brands.

The company also makes money by selling its own supplements; for example, vitamin D3 with K2 costs $30 a bottle, while a daily dose vitamin is $38, the company's probiotic is $64, and its protein powder is $71. Non-members are able to buy these products, but members get a 20% discount on Parsley Health supplements. 

Parsley currently isn't in-network with insurance plans, though patients are encouraged to use out-of-network benefits to pay for their membership; members with out-of-network coverage are typically reimbursed for 40 to 70% of the membership cost. The costs of the lab work and specialty tests that Parsley orders are not covered in the membership fee, though those are usually covered by insurance.

Founded in January 2016, the company has raised $100 million in venture capital funding, including a $26 million round in October 2019.

Investors include Nat Turner, FirstMark, David Gilboa, Neil Parikh, Trail Mix Ventures, The Chernin Group, Mark Hyman, Amplo, FJ Labs, Nexus Venture Partners, Gaingels, Liquid 2 Ventures, Edward Lando, White Star Capital, Kevin Moore, Alpha Edison, Galaxy Digital, Charge Ventures, TMV, Jenny Fielding, Alex Chung, Arkitekt Ventures, Wisdom VC, Tom Lee, Ivy Ross, Mark Hyman, Jay Galluzzo, and Kinnevik AB. 

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