It’s not everyday that you see an idea morph from conception to viable business as fast as Great Health Options. From it’s humble beginnings as the “there oughta be a way…” idea of founder Brant Wojack, to the first-place finish at the recent Honolulu Startup Weekend competition, Great Health Options has been on the fast track to startup success. In the few weeks following Startup Weekend, Great Health Options has been mentioned in Nonstop Honolulu and The Star-Advertiser, and featured in Pacific Business News and on KIPO’s Bytemarks Cafe. If that wasn’t enough, they also took the stage as an “up and coming” startup at the 2011 Hawaii Venture Capital Summit—just days after winning Startup Weekend!
So what is this team really up to? Great Health Options is envisioned as a web-based service allowing consumers to search and browse pricing for a variety of healthcare providers, from dentists to chiropractors, physicians to alternative healing practitioners. It’s designed to help those who have no insurance or high deductibles better budget for health care, and for those who wish to undergo a procedure that’s not covered by their insurance, or choose to bypass their insurance provider’s prying eyes.
I don’t think that I’d raise any eyebrows by saying that this country’s healthcare system is an expensive, bureaucratic mess. One of the primary reasons for the “expensive” part, other than the dozens of middlemen grabbing at your wallet throughout the process, is the lack of pricing transparency. Think about it: when was the last time you even knew the price of a health care procedure? Sure, everyone knows their co-pay, but do you really even consider (or care about) the price for something routine, like a dental exam or a check-up? If you had to pay the entire bill yourself, I’m sure you would.
A service like Great Health Options could be the beginning of transparency in healthcare, especially for services not covered by your insurance provider. If you knew that, for a specific out-of-pocket procedure, your regular dentist charged $1,800 and the dentist down the block charged only $1,000, you’d probably switch dentists. But you can’t just hop on a website an see a Yelp-like $$$$ rating beside a physician’s name.
There oughta be a way…
Here’s the 808 on Great Health Options:
- 808STARTUP: “Great Health Options is a website for consumers and providers. It offers out-of-pocket pricing information provided by consumers, as well as, physicians, dentists, optometrists, chiropractors, naturopathic physicians, and other types of healthcare providers for common procedures in their own practice.”
- STARTERS: Brant Wojack, CEO and founder, plus co-founders Ronda Day, Evan Nagle, William Heath, and Courtney Chung
- LOCATION: Waialua, Honolulu
- BUSINESS MODEL: Freemium, referral affiliate commission, advertising
- COMPETITION: PriceDoc, HealthGrades, ZocDoc (apparently, Great Health Options is the only competitor with an operational space bar…)
- BACKING: Bootstrapping the beta, but currently seeking seed funding of $175,000
- CONTACT: Email or Twitter