Shortly after acquiring telemedicine company HeyDoctor, GoodRx, a digital cost transparency tool for medication, announced it is launching its own virtual care platform dubbed GoodRx Care, powered by HeyDoctor.
The company is positioning the new platform as a primary care tool that will allow patients to see a board-certified clinician on the cheap — stating that “most visits” are about $20. Its services will also include lab testing, prescription refills and treatment for acute medical conditions. The platform will be linked to GoodRx’s cost transparency tool, allowing patients to see the cheapest place to get their medications after the visit.
In the release, the company stressed that the service is open to patients with or without insurance.
“We think GoodRx Care answers a real need in the American healthcare marketplace. It takes, on average, more than 20 days to see a doctor in the US, and there is a shortage of primary care physicians (one that’s expected to get even worse in the next decade),” the company wrote in a blog post announcing the platform. “At the same time, more Americans are facing rising healthcare costs due to insurmountable deductibles, a lack of sufficient insurance coverage, and fewer options for accessible care.”
In addition to the launch of the new platform, this is the first time that GoodRx has publicly announced the acquisition of HeyDoctor, a California-based company that has been around since 2017. It appears that much of this new platform will be building on the original HeyDoctor service.
WHY IT MATTERS
It’s no secret the digital health space is seeing a glut of startups. But it is also seeing a great deal of consolidation. M&A has historically been one of the most popular exits for digital health companies. However, this year has seen a dip in deals. As of July, Rock Health reported 43 M&As, which is less than typical according to the report. If this trend continues, this year will be on track to have 25% fewer acquisitions than last year, according to the report.
The news is also a look at what the coming together of services like GoodRx and HeyDoctor will mean. GoodRx is positioning the new platform as a means to provide care to patients who don’t have insurance or can’t afford premiums. Currently, 8% of Americans are without insurance, according to Kaiser Health News.
THE LARGER TREND
GoodRx has been in the digital space for nearly a decade, opening in 2011. So far GoodRx has primarily stayed in the prescription drug space. That isn’t to say it hasn’t been looking for new ways to present its tools — in 2017 the company launched an Alexa app for finding the cheapest medication prices.
This also isn’t the first M&A for GoodRx. In 2017, the company merged with San Francisco-based Iodine, which offers a similar tool for quality assessment and information on medications.