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Ribbon Health provides an API layer so healthcare enterprises can have the most accurate data
Steven Loeb and Bambi Francisco Roizen speak with Nate Maslak, co-founder and CEO of Ribbon Health, a health data platform that provides healthcare enterprises with an API layer for accurate data on doctors, insurance plans, and costs & quality of care.
Ribbon Health provides its customers, which currently include Oak Street Health and Well, with an API layer that can be integrated into any healthcare organization’s workflow and UX. That API layer then continuously improves the accuracy of the platform’s data.
The company has raised $53.8 million in venture funding, including a $43.5 million round in November.
Our overall goal with these podcasts is to understand how technology is radically changing healthcare: the way we screen, treat and measure progress and outcomes. How we’re empowering the consumer. Whether we’re creating productivity that drives economic costs down? And how tech advancements change the role of the doctor.
Highlights from the interview:
- The idea for Ribbon Health grew from Maslak’s time as McKinsey. While his friends working at technology companies could figure out to target an ad using advanced predictive analytics, the same could not be done in the healthcare industry to help people pay for treatment. Maslak realized that the industry needed the same analytics that other industries were deploying.
- The first iteration of Ribbon was a care navigation company, which included a symptom checker, a condition content cost estimator, and the ability to show patients urgent centers that they could go to instead of an ER. The information on the app was often incorrect, though, including phone numbers and addresses. That's when the founders realized how important the data problem was and so the company turned into what Ribbon Health is now.
- The data is siloed, inaccurate, incomplete, and it's hard to get, which makes it often useless. Ribbon Health pulls in over 1,000 different data sources at any given time, including from scraped the open web and partnerships, it buys data, and it gets it from government data sources. Wherever there's information on a doctor, Ribbon Health wants that in its system.
- The company works with enterprise clients rather than being a consumer-facing tool because that was the easier way to get its data in front of as many patients as possible. Those companies were lacking accurate and comprehensive information and a way to transact on that. Ribbon allows those solutions to guide care, while Ribbon is the tech enablement layer behind them.
- Ribbon provides cost of care data, which is figured out by looking at historical costs and historical claims, along with other information, such as the patient's deductible and their insurance plan design. It also partners with other solutions that maybe have access to different pieces of information, including slightly different analytics. The idea is to provide the information in the most relevant context.
- The company is able to reduce the time a patient spends trying to find care from about 40 minutes to two minutes with its customers. They have also seen increased patient satisfaction scores. So far, the company isn't able to determine if it's driving better health outcomes, but that is something it will be diving into in the future.
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Also, Advsr; a boutique M&A advisory firm. They wrote the book on startup M&A called "Magic Box Paradigm: A framework for startup acquisitions." Go to Amazon.com to get your copy. Also thanks to Stratpoint, an outsourced engineering firm and Scrubbed, an online bookkeeping firm. If you need affordable and quality engineering and bookkeeping, check them out. We highly recommend them!
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