A Video Conversation with John Palumbo, CEO of HealthRight - Part II


John Palumbo

Click here for Part I

Improving access to premium health care solutions for everyone

John Palumbo is the CEO of HealthRight. With offices in Philadelphia, Tampa, and San Francisco, HealthRight offers a membership program intended to improve patients’ access to health care, as well as provide significant savings on services such as imaging, on-demand doctor visits, lab tests, prescriptions, wellness programs, and more. John has held leadership positions in the health care field since 1986. Before joining HealthRight, he was a founding member of Healthworks Alliance, executive vice president and COO of AllScripts, president of I-trax, and senior vice president at AmerisourceBergen Corporation. He is also a senior fellow at the Jefferson School of Population Health and, in 2010, became a senior advisor of Bryant Park Capital, an investment banking firm based in New York and Philadelphia.

John Palumbo spoke with Reid Blynn, executive managing director of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, for this interview.

Can you walk us through an example case? How does a customer get from initially contacting HealthRight to the physician, to the lab test and diagnostic, and put all those pieces together? It seems like a complex system to navigate.

JOHN PALUMBO: Let’s say I think I have a sinus infection. If you’re not sure, today’s health care consumer is way more informed than we used to be ten years ago. We have websites, WebMD-type websites or Mayo Clinic or the Hopkins website—it doesn’t really matter. There’s a plethora of high-quality and highly credible medical information. You have a much more informed consumer. So, if I think I have a sinus infection, with more than 40% of those insured members being medically homeless without a primary care doctor, where do they go? Well, if they’re really not sure of what to do and if the symptoms continue to worsen and they’re not sure if it is a sinus infection or something worse, they could actually go to the emergency room. That’s a completely unnecessary expense. In our world, they would simply be able to pick up the phone and get 24/7 access to a nurse. The nurse would help identify the medical problem. Is it appropriate for a remote consult to occur? The patient has a choice of whether to do a video consult with one of our doctors or telephonic consult with our doctor. The nurse then does all the intake, schedules the call with the patient and the physician—it could be as soon as possible or it could be a future time. You can say, “I’m at work and I can’t really talk to the doctor until 5:30 tonight?” Even though you may have called during your lunch break, the nurse would then set up the call for 5:30 at night, and would then connect on a three-way conversation. Our nurse takes all the medical records—all the note-taking that’s required. The physician may or may not write medical orders, lab, imaging, or prescription services. At the end the physician would disengage. The nurse stays with our member and then helps the member identify “What’s your pharmacy of choice? Where are you? Are you traveling?”

Think about it: if you were on the road traveling, you’re now out of network—where do I go? I could be at a hotel. Who do I ask? I don’t know where the nearest pharmacy is. Our care platform has a list of all of the retail pharmacies. We’d be able to identify the closest one who’s open 24/7, and who’s not. If the physician says, “You know what? I really want you to get a chem panel. I want to get some blood work done,” we’d be able to identify where the nearest MET Lab testing center you could go to would be. If you’re a cash paying customer, you would be able to leverage our national pricing and hopefully be able to save some money. If you’re an insured patient, it would be routed electronically just like you would route any electronic prescription today or lab requisition—and in some rare cases based on the medical need, which would not be the case of sinusitis in most cases I don’t think. Our doctors can order MRIs, CTs and ultrasounds, and we have a network of over 3,000 imaging centers that they can use. All of that happens. When the results come back in within 48 hours, the nurse is going to call you back and help make sure you’re getting the type of coordinated care you need. Were you compliant with the physician’s orders? Are you adherent to the instructions? More importantly, do you need this information sent to your primary care physician if you have one? If you do, we will get that information over to your primary care physician.

As you can see, it’s very high-tech, high-touch. You’re doing all of this for whether it’s sponsored by an employer or whether you’re coming to us directly as a consumer. If you’re a consumer self-funding this or paying cash for this through a credit card vehicle, normal merchant processing, you’d basically be able to do this for not much more than the cost of the copay as it is right now. You’re getting a much greater convenience, much greater access, you don’t need to miss work. Some of our employers have taken studies and they range—every time one of their employees calls us, they’re saving somewhere between $200 and $1100 per call depending on what the time of days that have happened. That gives you a sense of how we interact across all of our different care providers and capabilities.

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Newmark Grubb Knight Frank (NGKF) is one of the world's leading commercial real estate advisory firms. Together with London-based partner Knight Frank and independently-owned offices, NGKF’s 12,800 professionals operate from more than 370 offices in established and emerging property markets on six continents.

With roots dating back to 1929, NGKF’s strong foundation makes it one of the most trusted names in commercial real estate. NGKF’s full-service platform comprises BGC’s real estate services segment, offering commercial real estate tenants, landlords, investors and developers a wide range of services including leasing; capital markets services, including investment sales, debt placement, appraisal, and valuation services; commercial mortgage brokerage services; as well as corporate advisory services, consulting, project and development management, and property and corporate facilities management services. For further information, visit www.ngkf.com.

NGKF is a part of BGC Partners, Inc., a leading global brokerage company servicing the financial and real estate markets. BGC’s common stock trades on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the ticker symbol (NASDAQ: BGCP). BGC also has an outstanding bond issuance of Senior Notes due June 15, 2042, which trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol (NYSE: BGCA). BGC Partners is led by Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Howard W. Lutnick. For more information, please visit www.bgcpartners.com.

Reid Blynn, Executive Managing Director at Newmark Grubb Knight Frank (NGKF), has been a leader in Philadelphia’s commercial real estate brokerage community for nearly 30 years. Reid has completed over 1000 transactions representing over eight million square feet.

Today Reid devotes his full attention to his corporate real estate and tenant representation services practice. He has represented many Philadelphia-based corporations for corporate headquarters requirements. By concentrating his practice in representing tenant and corporate clients, Reid is able to avoid potential conflicts with the region’s property owners, thus ensuring his clients receive the full benefit of his advocacy.

Reid has close ties to the venture capital community and has represented many growing venture backed companies in the health care, IT and life sciences sectors. Long term relationships have enabled him to work outside of Philadelphia as his clients grow outside of the region. Presently, multi-market corporate work is the fastest growing sector of Reid’s practice.

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