Rolling Out a Retail Healthcare Concept

by RaeAnne Marsh

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SingleCare, an online retail marketplace for healthcare services, officially launched last month in the Arizona market following a beta rollout in April 2015.

Using SingleCare’s website, patients can search for healthcare providers by specialty or location, comparing prices, booking appointments and tracking their healthcare spending. SingleCare pre-negotiates prices that are up to 50 percent less than the provider’s standard list price, and, because SingleCare isn’t insurance, there are no premiums or subscription fees — members pay only for services received at the appointment. Plus, since users set up their payment information through a simple sign-up process, payments are made directly to providers without any confusing billing or paperwork.

The official launch also marks SingleCare’s rollout of its nationwide pharmacy and telehealth services, which allow members to receive dramatically discounted, pre-negotiated rates on prescription drugs and anytime access to a variety of medical professionals.

Since entering the market, SingleCare has created a simplified, transparent, retail environment that currently serves more than 9,000 Arizona residents who might otherwise miss out on basic care because of affordability issues or gaps in healthcare coverage. One attraction of the Arizona market, shares EVP of Business Development Darcey Schoenebeck, is, “getting into Arizona to do business did not pose any regulatory hurdles for us.” Licensing requirements vary from state to state, she explains, and the fact that Arizona did not require any licensing made it easy to come here. “We wanted to get into the market with our product, go through proof of concept and have the bugs worked out before investing the time and money into the licensing process across the country, which we are doing now.”

Another factor was the chance to gain experience in what SingleCare viewed as Arizona’s interesting and important dynamics: a comparatively high uninsured rate and a diverse population with a high percentage of part-time and seasonal workforce due to the prevalence of the restaurant, hospitality and gaming companies in the state.

Describing SingleCare as a great option for people who are not eligible for health benefits through their employer due to their part-time status, Schoenebeck says, “We’ve been really pleased with our membership growth in Arizona, more of which is now coming through employers as the broker market sees the value in what we are doing.”

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