Mario Anglada, HoyHealth CEO, joins Yahoo Finance Live to discuss tackling health equity.
- Welcome back. Our health reporter, Anjalee Khemlani, is here with a conversation with Mario Anglada, CEO of HoyHealth. They'll be chatting about health disparities in minority communities, telehealth, and more. Hi, Anjalee.
ANJALEE KHEMLANI: Hey, Kristin. Thanks so much for that. And welcome, Mario, to the show. A lot to talk about, health equity really being a key topic right now, as the Biden Administration puts a focus on it, but also what we saw as the fallout from the pandemic. And I know that your company has been intimately involved with the response there.
Let's start first by talking about the journey, initially starting off as really a way for individuals of the Latin American community, Hispanic community, to buy drugs for family members in other countries, but now expanded to a lot more, including the remote monitoring devices, which are so huge. So walk me through that and what it's been like, in terms of interest, throughout the pandemic.
MARIO ANGLADA: So thank you for the time this afternoon, first of all. And you're absolutely right. We started our company with a focus on being able to assist underserved medical communities, anywhere they might live. But the starting point was, I have family members across the border in Mexico, Central America. What happens with communities that have that type of relationship is that they send remittances overseas, and they take care of family members with economic support coming from the US.
So we started our journey there. You could buy medications on our site. We will deliver within two hours in Central American capitals and within 24 hours in any location in the countries we operate. So we started there. And then we saw quickly that as the pandemic started constraining movement, one of the things that we had already developed but hadn't launched yet was our telemedicine and remote patient monitoring ecosystem.
As the pandemic starts, telemedicine becomes that much more important. And we started, and we were able to come to an agreement and a partnership with Verizon Wireless, to start pushing this out to their members as a benefit specifically to Verizon customers, with what HoyHealth brings to the table.
Our clients on the health care side, on the other side, started seeing the need for remote patient monitoring, and luckily for us, we have an interconnected system that provides all three things. So during the pandemic, what we were able to do is quickly shift and deploy devices into the homes, including, let's say, a cell phone, glucometers, pulse oximeters, a whole host of about 14 different devices, that would assist our client base with their monitoring of the patients in a really supportive environment, where the patient gets our team, deploys our solutions into the clinic and to the home. And from that point on, we are the eyes and ears of the health care professional in the community. All our clients who started down that journey have expanded quite dramatically.
ANJALEE KHEMLANI: Absolutely. So let's talk about that. Because I know that it hasn't been an easy road, when you talk about getting that backing. What did you see was the reaction to something that was clearly answering the call for health equity, for focusing on minorities especially, during the pandemic? I know that you were looking at the market then. What did you see?
MARIO ANGLADA: What we saw was a lot of opportunity to engage with the communities. But it was a fragmented engagement. And the challenge is, if you're underserved, you don't need one of those things. You probably need all three of those. So it took us a while to get in front of partners that had the understanding that if you provide all three, the patient, the family, the nuclear group is supported. And then that leads to a better health outcome for the patient, a better engagement for the health care provider. And ultimately, it's a societal benefit because, remember, underserved medical communities in the US is over 138 million people. So we're talking about 36% of the population has the challenges that we just described.
ANJALEE KHEMLANI: Does it feel like the financial part of it, it has gotten easier as you've gone along? And is it because-- and is any of it because of the pandemic, or are you still running into people who don't quite understand what you're doing and how it contributes to health equity?
MARIO ANGLADA: Historically, yes. Now, no. The pandemic has caused a couple of things to be accelerated. Conversion cycles or discussions, hey, we're really interested in what you're doing, but we're going to put it on the back burner. And we're going to start in about 24 months. Now our-- is it ready, and how fast can we test it? In health care, everything is pilot. So you have to pilot, prove it, and then scale it. So historically, you're absolutely right.
In the short term, what we're seeing is because of engagement like the FCC grants towards remote patient monitoring, a lot of our clients don't have the financial burden placed on them. And that was as a function of the administration supporting that engagement into rural health and remote patient monitoring. Now what we're seeing is a very accelerated path to adoption.
And luckily for us, if we can work with communities of color and focus on very vulnerable populations, in language and in culture, then the next adjacent question, that many of our clients ask, who can you do this for? Our answer is, typically if we can engage with you in two languages, we could do it in three or four. And we're starting to expand our offering away from the initial focus of the Latino. And for that reason, we're accelerating our business as we speak.
ANJALEE KHEMLANI: Well, and really quickly, part of that, it also has to do with insurance, right? We've seen that boost of reimbursement for telehealth services and other things. And so are you seeing that insurers are also interested now, or are you still relying on a cash-based system?
MARIO ANGLADA: No, we support our consumers anywhere they need it. So if you have insurance, we're going to work with your insurance carrier. If you're cash pay, we're going to make sure that you have a solution out of your pocket that you can afford. And we're always going to work with our patients.
Over the pandemic, what we saw-- and we were lucky already to have our first national contract with an HMO-- is that the payer system has seen that this is the future. And now they're incentivizing pilots and projects to prove the case. And when they see the results, the results speak for themselves. And I can tell you this because in our discussions with one of our largest partners, Mayo Clinic, they're giving us signals that say, hey, this is here to stay. And we think that this is the cusp of a very fast moving wave into the home. And we're working with Mayo and others to make this a reality.
So historically, we had challenges. Now we see that there is a strong tailwind for the particular success that we've shown in very vulnerable communities. And if you can do it there, then it can work for everybody else.
ANJALEE KHEMLANI: Absolutely. Well, we'll definitely keep watching as this all pans out. CEO of HoyHealth, Mario Anglada, thank you so much for joining us today. Kristin, back to you.
- All right. Thanks so much, Anjalee, for bringing us that conversation.