Imagine no waiting room at the doctor’s office. Scratch that. Now picture no doctor’s office at all. In this practice, you make appointments via text, video chat or email, and sometimes your doctor makes house calls. Oh, and you deal directly with the insurance company, because there’s no staff for that. Meet Dr. Jay Parkinson. After completing his residency at Johns Hopkins University, the pediatrician was unsure of what he wanted to do with his life. So he founded Hello Health, a newfangled practice in Brooklyn that promises to streamline the process of health care. Is it working?
“Evidence says that about 50 percent of all doctor visits are unnecessary. But they only get paid to bring you into the office, so that’s what they do. So, if you don’t have that incentive, that means 50 percent of problems can be taken care of without physically seeing you, but augmented with good communication,” says Parkinson. He describes the genesis of his idea, and his thoughts on how we can reform the U.S. health care system. What about developing a Facebook for health care? “How much would it cost to Facebook if it were designed to power medicine to sign up all 11 million healthcare workers in America? It surely wouldn’t cost $20 billion.”