In the early days of the pandemic, Entrée Health’s leaders engaged in long discussions about the challenges the agency could potentially face. Happily, few of those scenarios played out as predicted.

“COVID-19 made us prepare for the worst, and it never came,” recalls chief creative officer Nina Manasan Greenberg. “We were lucky to experience instead the best of our people and our clients. There’s nothing horrifying to report.”

“Nothing horrifying” considerably undersells the firm’s 2020. Entrée grew revenue 26%, to $44 million from $35 million in 2019. Staff size increased, from 145 to 180 at the end of the year.

Entrée Health

CEO Andrew Gottfried is proud of the top-line growth, but especially that 75% of it came from clients already on the Entrée roster. “That’s a testament to our client base, which is both stable and highly diversified. It allows for accelerated growth in different areas,” he says.

Additions to the client rolls include assignments from Bristol Myers Squibb (on psoriasis drug deucravacitinib), Boehringer Ingelheim (as payer AOR for Jardiance and Pradaxa), Pfizer (on transthyretin amyloid cardiomyopathy drug Vyndamax) and Akebia Therapeutics (on iron deficiency anemia drug Auryxia). Entrée also picked up work from Kite Pharma, ViiV Healthcare and Genentech.

At the same time, Entrée added several new weapons to its creative and tactical armament. For instance, the firm’s Experience Engine pulls together disparate data sources on the payer side, “which is something nobody else is doing,” Greenberg says.

While both Gottfried and Greenberg report that COVID-19 did not seriously disrupt the agency’s ability to go about its business, Greenberg is paying attention to the pandemic’s longer-term potential implications for healthcare.

“COVID-19 has altered the way the FDA is making approvals and also how CMS is reimbursing,” she explains. “For example, we are seeing recently retired oncologists who would not want to go into an office again get trained in tele-oncology, which lets them take some of the burden off offices. CMS has been reimbursing for those visits, but we are tracking what will happen there.”

On a different front, Greenberg viewed the industry’s DE&I and health-equity reawakenings with both interest and hope. “Last year was an amazing and horrifying but also wonderful moment in terms of race in the U.S.,” she explains. “The reason I say ‘amazing’ is that, as a woman who is Asian and Jewish, we have always been told not to talk about race at work. But last year, from the very top of [parent company] Omnicom, we had people saying, ‘No, it’s not a matter of politics. It’s a matter of right and wrong.’” 

As for what comes next, Gottfried reports that 2021 started as strongly for Entrée as 2020 ended. In April, Omnicom Health announced the acquisition of Archbow Consulting, which will be housed under the broader Entrée Health network. “It’s an incredible and complementary fit to the value and access offering we already have here,” Gottfried adds.

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The idea I wish I had…

#BlackHealthNow, by TBWA\ WorldHealth. This campaign doesn’t just reflect what’s happening; it has changed the conversation. And it has moved us all. — Nina Greenberg