Healthcare technology company Accolade is getting back to basics with a service that helps patients with a fundamental healthcare need: picking a doctor.
Called Accolade Total Care, the new product was made possible by the acquisition of MD Insider, which operates a machine learning platform with access to data on millions of healthcare providers. It’s an extension of Accolade’s core offering, which helps employees navigate healthcare options.
“There’s one healthcare intervention that probably has the most significant impact on satisfaction and costs and outcome. And that’s the moment that you’re picking a doctor,” Accolade CEO Raj Singh said. “This is a complicated process and people want help.”
The company is marrying MD Insider’s data with a staff of nurses who help guide patients in picking a healthcare provider. That team also helps coordinate care for people with more than one provider, such as those managing chronic conditions.
The nurse service “takes a lot of the legwork and the challenges away from the consumer,” Singh said. While the technology and data provide the intelligence, it’s the nurses who make sense of it all.
The importance of having a knowledgable source handy when picking a provider recently became personal for Singh, who helped a relative through the process following a cancer diagnosis. “I’m an educated healthcare consumer, with access to this capability,” Singh said. “It was still very difficult to make an emotional decision.”
In the end, what drew Accolade to MD Insider was access to data on 13 billion insurance claims and modern systems. “It was hands down the best technology stack we saw in the space,” Singh said. The new service will be available next year.
Terms of the acquisition, Accolade’s second in its 12-year history, were not disclosed. Founded in 2012, MD Insider had raised $24 million from investors including Tim Ferriss and Bill Ackman. The Santa Monica, Calif.-based startup was valued at $36 million following a financing round in 2015, according to PitchBook. MD Insider will no longer offer services as an independent company, and the majority of its employees will remain in Santa Monica.
Singh took over at Accolade in 2015 alongside Mike Hilton, who is Accolade’s chief product officer. Hilton and Singh co-founded Concur, the expense management tech company that sold to SAP for $8.3 billion. The pair have since grown the Philadelphia company’s tech offerings and set up a second headquarters in Seattle.