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Health Gorilla Marketplace expands in effort to demystify ACO and IPA options

by Gus Iversen, Editor in Chief | October 29, 2014
Health Gorilla, a digital health marketplace, has significantly increased the scope of its business. Version 2.0. adds tens of thousands of vendors, seven new vendor categories, and increased support for accountable care organizations (ACOs) and independent practice associations (IPAs) to its registry. The system was initially designed to connect clinicians with diagnostic laboratories and radiology centers, but will now also include doctors, nursing facilities, physical therapy, sleep centers, home health, urgent care centers and surgical centers.

The company, which already connects doctors and clinicians with over 9,000 diagnostic labs and 35,000 radiological centers, intends to simplify workflows for placing orders and improve communications between physicians and vendors. The HIPAA compliant platform is also available for use on a mobile app.

DOTmed News spoke to Health Gorilla's founder and CEO, Steve Yaskin, about the new release. "Typically a doctor places between 20-25 orders per day depending on their specialty," said Yaskin. Primary care doctors place orders throughout the whole ecosystem while specialists order through a narrower scope of vendors, and Yaskin hopes to establish Health Gorilla as a single platform where all of these options are presented side by side alongside relevant diagnostic information for whichever physician is treating the patient.

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The platform addresses interoperability issues that have been central to the modern health care conversation. "The same patient could go to multiple providers to draw blood, have X-rays, do MRI, and go through physical therapy," said Yaskin, "and because of segmentation in the market it can be hard to manage and get results back."

By enabling diagnostic information exchange between providers and their affiliated ACOs and IPAs, Yaskin hopes better vendor choices can be made with consideration to proximity, price, and the deductible the patient will wind up paying. "A few years ago physicians didn't care that much but now this is one of the biggest problems &endash; what is the right vendor for this test, this insurance, this patient?," said Yaskin.

Health Gorilla Marketplace 2.0 evaluates potential vendors based on turnaround time, availability, feedback rating, insurance, IPA and ACO plan preferred vendors, and the physician makes an informed decision. "It's all electronic," said Yaskin, "Order goes to vendor, comes back electronically."

Yaskin compared the expanding model of Gorilla Health to that of Amazon.com, which started out retailing books and became an online marketplace for virtually everything. While there is increasing demand in health care for a unified and interoperable patient database, whether or not Health Gorilla can achieve that level of success remains to be seen.

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