For Cooperative Health Management Federation, also known as "CHMF" and "1CoopHealth," being the first and still the only cooperative HMO in the Philippines, finding inspiration in innovative models that prioritize transparency, affordability, and member empowerment in the ever-evolving landscape of healthcare comes naturally.

Two such models that have caught the attention of cooperatives are CrowdHealth and CostPlusDrugs. These disruptors are reshaping how healthcare is accessed and delivered, offering valuable lessons that cooperatives can learn from.

Let's look into the key takeaways that cooperatives can gather from the successes of CrowdHealth and CostPlusDrugs, and how these lessons can be applied to enhance the cooperative healthcare experience.

How CrowdHealth works

CrowdHealth is a healthcare crowdfunding platform that helps people pay for their medical bills. It works by connecting members who have had unexpected medical expenses with a community of people who are willing to help.

Here's how it works:

  1. Members pay a monthly membership fee of $50. This fee covers the cost of the CrowdHealth platform and the services that it provides, such as:
    • Access to cash-pay tools, such as a digital prescription card and a negotiated discount program for medical procedures.
    • A Care Advocacy team that can help members navigate the healthcare system and file insurance claims.
    • A crowdfunding platform that members can use to request help paying for their medical bills.
  2. When a member has a medical event that costs more than $500, they can create a crowdfunding campaign on the CrowdHealth platform.
  3. The member's community of supporters can then donate money to help them pay for their medical bills.
  4. CrowdHealth charges a processing fee of 2.9% + $0.30 for each donation made to a crowdfunding campaign.
  5. If the member's crowdfunding campaign is successful, they will receive the money that was donated to them to pay for their medical bills.

CrowdHealth's business model is based on the following:

  • Membership fees: CrowdHealth generates revenue from the monthly membership fees that members pay.
  • Processing fees: CrowdHealth charges a processing fee of 2.9% + $0.30 for each donation made to a crowdfunding campaign.
  • Advertising: CrowdHealth sells advertising space on its website and mobile app.

CrowdHealth is a relatively new company, but it has been growing rapidly. In 2022, it helped members raise over $100 million to pay for their medical bills. CrowdHealth is on track to help members raise even more money in 2023.

CrowdHealth is a promising new alternative to traditional health insurance. It offers a number of advantages, including:

  • Lower costs: CrowdHealth members pay a fraction of the cost of traditional health insurance premiums.
  • More flexibility: CrowdHealth members have more control over their healthcare spending. They can choose to use cash-pay providers, which can often be much cheaper than in-network providers.
  • Community support: CrowdHealth members have access to a community of people who are willing to help them pay for their medical bills. This can be a valuable resource for people who are facing unexpected medical expenses.
CrowdHealth - Healthcare Crowdfunding
Tired of health insurance policies that are confusing and expensive? Join CrowdHealth and finally break free from the insurance system. CrowdHealth is not health insurance. It’s an innovative model to use and pay for health care without insurance middlemen and government influence.

How Cost Plus Drugs works

Cost Plus Drugs is a company founded by Mark Cuban and radiologist Alexander Oshmyansky that sells prescription drugs at cost, plus a 15% markup. The company works by negotiating directly with drug manufacturers to get the lowest possible prices. Cost Plus Drugs then passes those savings on to its customers.

Here's how Cost Plus Drugs works in more detail:

  1. Cost Plus Drugs negotiates directly with drug manufacturers to get the lowest possible prices.
  2. Cost Plus Drugs then adds a 15% markup to the cost of the drugs. This markup covers the cost of running the business, such as salaries, rent, and shipping.
  3. Cost Plus Drugs sells the drugs to customers at the cost plus markup price.

Cost Plus Drugs' business model is based on the following:

  • Negotiating directly with drug manufacturers: Cost Plus Drugs negotiates directly with drug manufacturers to get the lowest possible prices. This is the most important part of Cost Plus Drugs' business model, as it allows the company to offer its customers such low prices.
  • Passing savings on to customers: Cost Plus Drugs passes the savings from its negotiated prices on to its customers. This is what makes Cost Plus Drugs such a good deal for consumers.
  • No hidden fees: Cost Plus Drugs has no hidden fees. Customers know exactly what they are paying for when they purchase drugs from Cost Plus Drugs.
  • Free shipping: Cost Plus Drugs offers free shipping on all orders over $35. This is a great perk for customers, as it can save them a lot of money on shipping costs.
  • 100% satisfaction guarantee: Cost Plus Drugs offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee. This means that customers can return any drugs that they are not satisfied with for a full refund.

Cost Plus Drugs is a relatively new company, but it has been growing rapidly. In its first year of operation, Cost Plus Drugs saved its customers over $100 million on prescription drugs. Cost Plus Drugs is on track to save its customers even more money in the years to come.

Cost Plus Drugs is a great option for consumers who are looking for affordable prescription drugs. The company offers low prices, no hidden fees, and free shipping. Cost Plus Drugs also offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee, so customers can be sure that they are getting a good deal.

Homepage of Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drugs
Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug homepage. Provides safe, affordable medicine or medication with transparent low prices.

Lessons from CrowdHealth: Harnessing Collective Power for Affordable Care

Lesson 1: Community-Centric Approach:
CrowdHealth exemplifies the strength of collective collaboration. Cooperatives can adopt a similar community-centric mindset, focusing on member needs and preferences to provide tailored healthcare solutions. By engaging members in decision-making processes, cooperatives can build a sense of ownership and a healthcare solution that truly addresses their concerns.

Lesson 2: Transparency and Trust:
CrowdHealth places transparency at the forefront of its model, ensuring that members understand how their contributions are used. Cooperatives can similarly emphasize transparency in cost structures, ensuring that members are informed about where their contributions are directed and how they impact their coverage. This approach enhances trust and accountability.

Lesson 3: Data-Driven Insights:
CrowdHealth leverages data to make informed decisions about coverage options and benefits. Cooperatives can adopt data analytics to understand member demographics, preferences, and healthcare needs. This data-driven approach allows cooperatives to tailor offerings to suit members' evolving requirements.

Lessons from CostPlusDrugs: Revolutionizing Healthcare Economics

Lesson 1: Transparent Pricing:
CostPlusDrugs shines a spotlight on transparent drug pricing, eliminating hidden fees and complexities. Cooperatives can adopt transparent pricing models for healthcare services, allowing members to make informed decisions about their healthcare choices without the fear of unexpected expenses.

Lesson 2: Empowerment Through Information:
CostPlusDrugs empowers patients by providing information on drug costs and alternatives. Similarly, cooperatives can empower members with knowledge about available healthcare services, preventive measures, and wellness programs, fostering a proactive approach to health management.

Lesson 3: Simplifying Processes:
CostPlusDrugs simplifies the process of obtaining prescription medication, removing intermediaries and complexities. Cooperatives can streamline administrative procedures and access to healthcare services, reducing bureaucracy and enhancing the overall member experience.

Embracing Innovation for Cooperative Wellness

CrowdHealth and CostPlusDrugs offer cooperative healthcare models that stand as testaments to the power of innovation. By imbibing the lessons from these disruptors, cooperatives can elevate their healthcare offerings and member engagement to new heights. Embracing community-centric approaches, transparency, data-driven insights, and streamlined processes, cooperatives can create healthcare solutions that resonate with their members' needs and aspirations.

As cooperatives look toward the future, CrowdHealth and CostPlusDrugs serve as beacons of change, guiding the way toward a more accessible, affordable, and empowered healthcare landscape for all members. By learning from these pioneers, cooperatives can inspire transformation, ensuring that their commitment to member well-being remains at the heart of their cooperative ethos.

Bonus: Dr. Gupta AI

Dr. Gupta AI was founded by Martin Shkreli, a former pharmaceutical executive who was convicted of securities fraud in 2017. Shkreli was released from prison in May 2022 and founded Dr. Gupta AI shortly thereafter.

Dr. Gupta AI is an AI-powered chatbot that provides personalized health information and suggestions to its users. The chatbot is trained on a massive dataset of medical research and clinical trials. It can answer questions about a wide range of health topics, including symptoms, diagnoses, treatments, and medications.

Shkreli has said that he founded Dr. Gupta AI with the goal of making healthcare more affordable and accessible. He believes that AI can play a major role in reducing the cost of healthcare by providing patients with the information they need to make informed decisions about their care.

Dr. Gupta: AI Physician Chatbot
Dr. Gupta can provide personalized health information and suggestions.

However, Dr. Gupta AI has been met with criticism from some medical experts who worry that it could be used to give patients inaccurate or misleading information. Shkreli has responded to these criticisms by saying that Dr. Gupta AI is only a tool and that patients should always consult with a doctor before making any medical decisions.

It remains to be seen whether Dr. Gupta AI will be successful in its mission to make healthcare more affordable and accessible. However, it is clear that Shkreli is passionate about the project and that he believes that AI has the potential to revolutionize the healthcare industry.

I wonder what our doctors at 1CoopHealth think about this.

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