Jack O’Brien speaks with Dr. Pat Carroll, chief medical officer at Hims & Hers, about the ongoing “retailization” of healthcare, including responding to evolving consumer expectations for the sector.
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From HLTH 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. It’s the MM+M Podcast.
I’m Jack O’Brien. I’m the digital editor at mmm coming to you live from lovely Las Vegas the health conference Day by very special guest. I’m Dr. Pat Carroll and the chief medical officer at hins and hers. Excellent. Well Pat, I really appreciate you making the time to speak with us. I spoke with one of your colleagues last year April from him and hers and we had a really interesting discussion about the fact that you know consumerization is really started taking impact on health care and other brands maybe not necessarily those in the consumer space But even Legacy Healthcare brands are taking a note I want to get into those. But before we get into that just what’s your experience at Ben like at the conference in terms of different boost conversations themes you’ve seen emerging.
Yeah to me. Their conference is a lot about networking and catching up with folks. You’ve worked with both currently and in the past and then my experience also been really positive. My first day here is on a panel looking at kind of retail health and dis.
Of models and cells on the panel with one of the chief medical officers from Amazon Kevin Bond Who’s chief medical officer of Walgreens myself and someone for Best Buy and we talked about kind of disruptive Healthcare models. And so it’s great to kind of compare notes to what we’re doing and I was just clearly different than even retail health.
I’m kind of curious on that too because I talked to a lot of Health Care leaders. And again those that maybe established in Blue Chip organizations that look at something disruptors. You mentioned Amazon there and say they’re coming for our industry. They’re coming for our way of life. But the other thing that I hear from leaders too is that some of it is welcome change the things that have been going on for decades that we need to understand the consumer better what we’re some of those conversations like in terms of how we can maybe flip the industry on its head in a better way for patients and consumers.
Yeah. Absolutely. So, you know, I came for a traditional Health Care background as a primary care physician for 28 years. And basically it was almost very paternalistic. You know, I see 30 patients per day, they’d come in my office. I’d prescribe something is to take your medication. See you back in three to six months with very little
Kind of interaction in the interim in retrospect that wasn’t really customer friendly, you know, we we put the hours down when we would see them unless they had an emergency, you know, we weren’t in contact with them. We didn’t really a full visibility whether they were adherent to medications or not. We didn’t even really ask them what they were trying to get out of the experience and and I think him and hers is really flipped that conversation. We know what our customers want. They like 24/7 access the great majority like asynchronous care where they can actually connect with a provider and if indicated get a medication sent to them and then have regular follow-up with a provider on their schedule as opposed to our schedule 24/7 365 days a year. So I think we’re in this new era we’re folks are actually you know providers are actually listening to customers about what they want and it is different than what I did is a traditional primary care physician
and it’s so interesting to hear that, you know, a lot of that was turned upside down by the covid-19 pandemic. Obviously there was such an interest in being able to
Deliver care in so many different ways than going to your doctor’s office. So going to the hospital for care. I’m curious about the stickiness of that going forward because a lot of people I think are looking at okay Telehealth is going to be here maybe not to the same extent we saw on the spring of 2020 but you know being able to deliver Care at home or have different products that are sent to you. That’s something that I don’t think is probably gonna go away and I know it’s a key business model for him to hurt.
So definitely the pandemic accelerated a lot of these changes which are slowly happening anyways, but coming out of the pandemic there are certain areas that are really being sustained in terms of Telehealth. Tell us Psychiatry telemental health is is really here to stay insignificant portion. And actually there’s studies that have recently come out that said the quality of the visit the the response patients get to a virtual teller site visit is the same if not better than brick and mortar. So what you see actually all the data shows, whereas some of the traditional ambulatory, you know diagnosis and care that occurred during the pandemic virtually much of that is going back.
I can to Brick and Mortar but mental health is staying really high level in a virtual environment over 60% And then I think we’re very unique too is that you know, we offer treatments and and counseling on Pacific areas that may not be addressed by a primary care provider. For example, things like sexual dysfunction. We’re getting into weight management. And then we’re also offering compounded personalized medications that the average primary care physician just doesn’t have access to that are really appeals to our consumer because they feel like we’re we’re actually designing experience medications really tailor towards them.
I’m kind of curious on the weight loss front too. I had a lot of conversations the executives over the past couple days. They talk about glp one drugs and obviously getting into that space in some sort of way where these
for your organization in terms of doing that. So, you know, we have plans as publicly report. It’s a launch this and January 2024. We hired a
Really high level National Authority and obesity management Dr. Craig premack. He is in a setup.
Weight management clinics in Arizona and he’s very experienced with all of the options even options without glp-1 and gips our initial offering is going to really focus on personalized medications that use current generics that have been shown to be effective for weight management in combinations that really focus in on kind of that phenotype of the patient comes in, you know, is this a patient with a lot of obesity issues that may in fact be insulin resistant they’ll probably benefit from a metformin type medication. It’s just a customer that has some mental health issues that may be affecting your weight management. Then we add in the appropriate on so we’ll use combinations of generic medication and be very affordable accessible offering without initially offering the glp wants.
I’m really interested kind of going back to the consumerization aspect for a second what Healthcare organizations really need to understand when it comes to Consumers I think for so long it was you went to
Your medical provider and you basically it was a one-way Street if you will and now it’s become and at least in the conversation I’ve had with other leaders more of a dialogue and kind of a dynamic conversation and I’m kind of curious just from your own experience. Maybe what other organizations are Brands can recognize from actually communicating with their consumers and having that sort of feedback rather than just saying here’s your prescription and
we’re done here, you know, as I said when I was in a primary care physician was a very paternalistic model.
and then I went on to oversee a large Medical Group and then, you know a chief medical officer at a large integrated delivery Network and even then
We weren’t really asking the customers to Consumers of what they need what their expectations were and how we were performing is Health Care delivery organizations, but I see that changing even for traditional Health Systems. They’re starting to get more focused on consumers, but where I actually really learned that this is essential as you know, my five years at Walgreens as chief medical officer that is a very consumer-focused organization and I would say hymns and hers even takes it to the next level. You know, we are constantly surveying our customers. Is this working for you? What isn’t working for you and trying to reduce the friction in terms of accessing care personalize their care in normalize, you know some of these Healthcare conditions and get them the care they need in the modalities that they look want. And how is that changed too in terms of
hims and hers like I remember a few years ago when I first, you know heard of your organization, but I’ve seen so much more advertising and marketing around that I imagine. That’s also helpful too where you have consumers coming to you and saying hey I saw your ad I’m interested in your product for
You know sexual Wellness for glp for weight loss or whatever. I imagine that’s helpful on your end too. Because the new people coming in the front door instead of having to seek them out.
Absolutely. So we’ve built a brand that people love and trust and it gives us permission to get into some other verticals like weight management just like we got into mental health because people trust us and they know we’re gonna deliver something that is value to them that is also affordable. So what we’ve built is really the structure in the brand recognition to be able to expand and part of that structure we built is really a robust quality program where we review encounters. We know we can document that providers are actually here into the guidelines that we’ve put in place that’s really important because our customers expect quality and this table Stakes for us.
Absolutely. Yeah. I’m curious outside of obviously hands and hers doing a lot of very interesting stuff and Healthcare space just walking around the convention floor. What caught your eye in terms of maybe Trends or different, you know, there were plenty of Booth thousands of people. You know, what,
Your eye when you’re out there
seems like AI is in this year. Whatever that means. I’m still trying to get my head around it.
A lot of applications like that. I think there’s also a fair amount of virtual mental health. You can see, you know, all the companies that are that are offering that today and then anything to get in terms of documentation and data transfer whether you know, that’s emrs or interoperability. So some of the theme stay the same but they’re soon to be hot topics this year. It seems to be AI
yeah it I can’t think of one conversation. I have this that’s conference that didn’t have generated AI or GPT or something that came to the floor. I really appreciate you making the time to talk to us on our audience. I want to ask you a question. I’ve asked all the other leaders I’ve had on the podcast which is you come to Vegas obviously here for the conference, but there’s so much more here. What is your favorite part of when you come to Las Vegas?
I love the weather here, you know food’s okay, but I’m not a huge foodie, but I just love getting out in the morning, you know 6 AM and
Still nice and cool and going for a run.
you know, I live in Massachusetts and we don’t get back to back beautiful days like this back there. It’s it’s easy rainy humid cloudy and maybe we get 30 days like this the whole summer is like it seems like every day here the weather’s great. So I love coming just for that now,
I I can’t beat it. I’m living in New York. So the summer this northeast has been rainy and Miserables. This is a welcome change. So actually that really appreciate you on the show. Thanks for having me Jack.