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What are the growth opportunities for vertical-focused digital health startups such as Dorsata, Cityblock, and Firefly?

Brendan Keeler

Head of Product at Flexpa

It gets to what we were just talking about, but I don't think there's one path to success. And I think, certainly, expanding and acquiring other specialties and being a one-stop shop is an appealing endgame. It's just challenging from a technical perspective. I think smart, orthogonal acquisitions that complement the core offering are a more unique acquisition strategy and growth strategy. In terms of sales, I think payers are now inundated with all these virtual-first care providers coming in, saying, "I want to be on a benefit under your Aetna plans," and they don't know how to prioritize them. So, what's actually becoming increasingly attractive -- a friend named Chris Hogg wrote an article recently about it -- is actually just going back to getting it covered in traditional coverage. Rather than it being a unique benefit that the employer or the plan offers, you just say, "I'm going to go get coverage with different provider networks, and then it's just me hustling and getting in my ground game to get patients to come to my services."

It's more traditional. It allows you to be more marketing, to the customer or to the patient, and saying, "Come here, come here. I'm covered by your insurance," versus these really long, shitty sales cycles with payers that are, again, increasingly getting overloaded in a way that they hadn't been five years ago. Those are different go-to-market muscles. And if you think that you have a great sales team that can sell the big, slow enterprises, and you're up for that challenge, have at it. But otherwise, especially if you have consumer-oriented DNA in your founding team or your scaling team, then getting in coverage, getting your virtual-first care practice in coverage with different payer networks, and then just hustling to appeal to patients is maybe an easier equation.

Find this answer in Brendan Keeler, Senior PM at Zus Health, on building infrastructure for digital health
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