/ Features

Imagine All The People, Living Healthy-ee-ee-ee-ee-ee

We exist to change health care. We exist because people’s health is at risk. We get people the healthcare they deserve.

Preventable medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the US. As it turns out, there are some great hospitals, and some not great hospitals, ie hospitals that leave surgical sponges in their patients, or whatever. The problem is that you and me, the medical industry outsiders, have no way of knowing which hospitals probably won’t kill us and which hospitals very well might. To make matters even more terrifying (I bet you didn’t think that was possible), there appears to be an inverse correlation between advertising and quality of care.

But before you decide to perform all future medical procedures on yourself and start googling “how to remove spleen,” let me first introduce you to Imagine Health. Imagine Health gathers and analyzes data to determine which hospitals, clinics, and doctors provide the best quality of care. With that network of quality providers, Imagine Health can offer self-insured employers a premium solution, and, as Imagine Health president Chris Cigarran explains, “Employees will have access to the best hospitals and physicians and no access to the poor performers.”

It’s a radical shift from the historic health care model. The traditional health insurer is a broad panel product that gives patients access to any doctor at any hospital, including those doctors and hospitals likely to make a preventable medical error. With Imagine Health, patients have access to only the best providers and pay less than they would with a broad panel product. By contracting with the best providers, Imagine Health can offer self-insured employers a discount of 15–20%. “For the people that want a high-quality low-cost option, we are the perfect solution,” Cigarran says.

Imagine Health also provides employers a relationship with providers and removes the middle-man carrier. “We’re the anti-carrier,” Cigarran says. “Employers don’t need another health plan. What they need is a new solution. We connect employers with their local healthy systems to create real and meaningful change in the market.”

Imagine Health began in 2008 when founder Allison Robbins recognized the huge opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives. “Nobody was representing the employers,” Cigarran says. So Robins decided to do just that, and in the past eighteen months with funding from two private equity firms and an executive team from all over the country, Imagine Health has springboarded their solution nationally. Employers in Utah, Wyoming, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Boise and Albuquerque can offer their employees access to the Imagine Health network, and the company is building in other markets.

At first the challenge was getting employers to believe the Imagine Health solution could really work. However Imagine Health soon found allies in progressive employers frustrated with their current insurance model. As those early adopters took a risk with an innovative solution, it became clear that Imagine Health really could, and did, work.

“We exist to change health care. We exist because people’s health is at risk,” Cigarran says. “We get people the healthcare they deserve.” So put down that scalpel. Contact Imagine Health instead.

Published 5/3/2016