New Marketplace
Clip
Innovation vs. Imitation: Staying Ahead of the Game (03:21)

How can health care innovators avoid falling prey to the curse of not actually being the one that reaps the value their innovation ultimately creates? How can they get customers to stay with them instead of moving to a new competitor?

“The way we win is by having a health system–grade product,” says American Well’s SVP of Corporate and Business Development, Jeffrey Kosowsky. American Well has had to turn down business because of competitors giving away their product for free, but free doesn’t necessarily mean the highest quality. “We work at that by making sure that we’re delivering something much better,” Kosowsky says. In health care, you can’t afford to give away a poor-quality product that breaks — an attitude that has won American Well back a lot of business.

It’s also critical to keep in mind the exponential growth that can occur when your innovation takes off, notes Kosowsky, and to make smart business decisions based on that possibility — including conserving your cash. “You can be the greatest innovator and not be around to reap the rewards at the end,” he says. “So it’s very critical to our strategy to make sure that we don’t only win today but that we save enough powder to really win at the end.”

“Our goal is to transform health care — that’s why we’re doing this,” adds Iora Health CEO Rushika Fernandopulle. “If we can get people to learn from us, imitate us, get inspired by us, that’s a great thing. We will have met our goal.” But, he adds, Iora Health is only 1% of a trillion-dollar market. “As long as we continue to evolve the model and do things better than other people, we will continue to have a market,” Fernandopulle says. “If we don’t, we ought not to have a market. It’s really that simple.”

From the NEJM Catalyst event New Risk, New Business Models held in Boston, October 6, 2016.

More From New Marketplace

My Favorite Slide: Surprising Mortality for Some Americans

Call to action: Survival statistics for a slice of middle-aged white people in the U.S. are uniquely troubling.

New Risk, New Business Models

Focusing on High-Cost Patients — The Key to Addressing High Costs?

A focus on high-cost patients may not only fail to contain health care spending, but it may also help to entrench the status quo.

New Risk, New Business Models

Improving Hospital Incentives with Better Cost Data

Hospitals’ existing cost data could be used to substantially increase the accuracy of the Medicare payment rates for inpatient hospital care.

New Risk, New Business Models

Success and Failure in the Insurance Exchanges

Efforts to reform or replace the ACA should proceed with the knowledge that highly publicized market exits are a poor and probably inaccurate signal of a failing market.

New Risk, New Business Models

Changing How We Pay for Primary Care

Primary care accounts for more than half of the United States’ office visits, but direct spending on primary care is only a tiny portion of our nation’s total health cost.

New Risk, New Business Models

Getting Real about Health Care Costs — A Broader Approach to Cost Stewardship in Medical Education

In the next era of cost-stewardship education, future and current physicians will have to be taught to reduce spending across the care continuum.

New Risk, New Business Models

Discord Between Ballad Health and the FTC

How a proposed merger of two large rural health systems has created opposition from federal regulators and economists, but supporters among local business groups.

New Risk, New Business Models

How Multi-Specialty Hubs Fill a Major Gap in the Care Continuum

Kaiser Permanente, Mid-Atlantic States identified a niche for patients seeking immediate care and found a way to reduce emergency department visits while improving patient satisfaction and quality.

New Risk, New Business Models

Medicare Payment for Behavioral Health Integration

Four new codes that went into effect at the start of 2017, to pay clinicians for BHI services they provide to Medicare beneficiaries, are a major step forward.

New Risk, New Business Models

Going Dutch: Using Social Capital in Health Care

There is no reason that the opportunities created by social capital cannot be realized in other countries.

Connect

A weekly email newsletter featuring the latest actionable ideas and practical innovations from NEJM Catalyst.

Learn More »

Topics

Success and Failure in the Insurance…

Efforts to reform or replace the ACA should proceed with the knowledge that highly publicized…

Patient Inducements — High Graft or…

Can health care be more like Uber and Lyft?

Bundled Payments

30 Articles

An Image of Medical Complexity

It’s no wonder the general public can’t decode the complexity of health care finance when…

Insights Council

Have a voice. Join other health care leaders effecting change, shaping tomorrow.

Apply Now