Today, I’m thrilled to announce that Solv has completed Series B funding with Greylock Partners leading the round with follow on participation from Benchmark and Aspect Ventures. We are also welcoming Greylock’s James Slavet to join Benchmark’s Bill Gurley on our Board of Directors.
To make our partnership with James and Greylock Partners even better, Solv is also launching a very exciting new feature: Solv Pay. Now, consumers don’t have to wait months for their bill. Solv Pay gives consumers more visibility into their insurance coverage, and allows them to pay their part (ie “patient responsibility”) from their phones, while they are in the clinic or via text message notification.
As we’re celebrating these milestones and looking toward what the future holds, I’ve also taken time to reflect on this past year — and what a damn good year it has been. Here are my top three takeaways from these last twelve months at Solv.
- There is something working in healthcare today: convenient care
Solv just hit a pretty big milestone: 1,500,000 urgent care visits were booked through Solv over the last six months.
Why does this matter? Our data shows that 14% of consumers who booked those urgent care visits would have chosen the emergency room if they didn’t have access to convenient care. Solv has saved those consumers $36 million in the last year alone. Not only does this mean that consumers are benefiting, it also means that a massive burden is being shifted off of overworked emergency room physicians to focus on critical cases. While the ER is a great thing for emergencies, every 1% of unnecessary visits shifted to urgent care provide $1 billion in system savings.
But it’s not just about the ER. The reality is that when it comes to everyday healthcare needs, consumers want to get the care on their schedule and terms. Recently, along with the Urgent Care Association, Solv surveyed 1,386 Americans about their needs and attitudes when engaging with the U.S. healthcare system to understand more about their experiences. My favorite finding is that consumers are demanding a more convenient healthcare experience — so much so that 3 out of 4 consumers will not choose a doctor who can’t see them within one week. It’s my favorite stat because I firmly believe that when consumers demand things, industries react. It’s a key dynamic that’s been missing in much of healthcare, but with the rise of convenient care delivering 170 million visits per year, everyone is forced to take note.
This isn’t just rhetoric: consumers are leading the charge for convenience and control in healthcare by utilizing urgent care as the front door for their healthcare needs. At Solv, we see this in the numbers. We’ve now hit more 750,000 visits per month to Solv Health properties from consumers who are seeking same-day care. And we’ve just begun.
While these are big wins for Solv, they also point to a larger trend: consumers want to engage with their healthcare and, given the opportunity, they will. However, they’ll do so on their terms by seeking out transparent, convenient care, over and over again.
2. The healthcare industry is willing to change
There exists a trope when people from outside of healthcare (and actually, often from inside as well) are talking about the industry — the opinion is that healthcare, as a whole, is unwilling to change and slow to move.
While there’s certainly truth behind the idea that change happens less quickly than in other industries, it’s entirely untrue that there isn’t a willingness to shift to a more consumer-centric experience and approach.
Case in point, over the last year, we’ve worked with large health systems down to the long tail of urgent care centers across 20 states who are all obsessed with enabling more consumer transparency and convenience within their walls, and beyond them. It’s also impressive to meet with urgent care operators across the country — owners of large groups who are experts at shifting their operational and clinical workflows around the consumer. These people have become our partners, advisors, liaisons. Between the launch of Solv and now, I’ve learned that when it comes to solving this complex problem, it will be the combination of many forward thinking innovators that can help bring the right kind of change for consumers across the country!
This journey has left me optimistic but also with new perspective about why healthcare change feels slow. I’ve observed how many in healthcare approach their “consumer strategy” with a vision of A to Z overhaul, defined well in advance of knowing how the consumer will behave or what she wants. But to move an industry forward, especially one heavily weighted with processes, bureaucracies, and rigid cultural norms, there needs to be more iteration of ideas and less prescription of solutions. Change in the experience with healthcare can accelerate if and when the industry begins testing and implementing new features that lead them on the path to “Z”, not defining exactly what the final solution looks like in advance.
3. Consumers know what they want — and how to use it
When you give consumers tools to simplify their experience, it should be no shock that they know exactly what to do with them. When given the opportunity, consumers engage.
One example of this is that roughly 40% of consumers who book a visit online through Solv are saving rich profile and insurance info that allows them to understand they are covered and how much they’ll be spending out-of-pocket. Another is a datapoint from our recent Consumer Insights Survey that revealed that 70% of patients search for price information before their doctor’s visit.
This willingness to engage is compounded by a convenience orientation that consumers come to expect in all parts of our lives. In 2018, we have come to demand convenience even the most complex transactions such as selling a house or managing a stock portfolio.
At Solv, we’re seeing this in our numbers. No longer are patients okay with waiting as many as 24 days to see a doctor. Solv is putting patients in front of a provider who can treat their symptoms in as little as 15 minutes. The benefit this provides consumers is real. We’ve already given approximately 5.1 years back to consumers who typically spend 2 hours between booking an appointment and getting their issue resolved.
Consumers are telling us what they want and need. This is part of why I’m so excited for Solv Pay’s launch; it’s a very real response to a need that consumers have — one the most inconvenient parts of a healthcare experience is time and work required to understand and pay a medical bill.
The last year has been lined with learnings, challenges and celebrations. Throughout all of it, I have developed an increasing conviction that by helping consumers understand the answers to three simple questions — Where should I go for care? When should I be seen for this problem? How much will it cost? — we can help consumers get the convenient care they need — and deserve. Here’s to the next twelve months and beyond, with the awesome Solv team!