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Earnings Season Shows Continuing Evolution of Digital Healthcare Transformation

The digitization of health care continues.

And the progress can be tracked, in part, by the continued slew of earnings reports from the platforms and Big Tech firms making inroads in a market where, as estimated by the government, U.S. healthcare spending tops $4.3 trillion.

Beyond the vagaries of stock prices and sell-side firms’ analysts notes, the data shows that consumers are finding value in using their devices and laptops to gain insight and access to the care they need.

GoHealth, an online marketplace where the platform model uses machine learning algorithms and advanced technologies to match patients to plans, said in its latest results that, per commentary from CEO Vijay Kotte, the company helped over 161,000 Medicare consumers “assess their current coverage, review potential Medicare options, and enroll in a plan.” That tally, according to the call was up 31% year over year (YoY).

The CEO pointed to the Encompass platform, and its underpinning data science to streamline interactions between customers, plans and agents. Non-agency revenue has increased by over 161% YoY from $12.9 million in Q3 2022 to $33.5 million in Q3 2023. Management also noted on the call that GoHealth’s new Plan Fit checkup offering saw several thousand interactions.

Parsing Prescription Pricing Online

Separately, GoodRX said in its own results that monthly active customers for website and mobile app offering discounts on prescription drug prices stood at 6.1 million, up from 5.8 million a year ago. The company describes the monthly active customers in its materials a “the number of unique consumers who have used a GoodRx code to purchase a prescription medication in a given calendar month and have saved money compared to the list price of the medication.”

During the conference call with analysts, interim CEO Scott Wagner took note of the continued “hybrid retail pharmacy strategy,” that in part leverages retailer partnerships. In one example, the company launched a direct program with Walgreens on nearly 200 medications during the most recent quarter.

“The vast majority of GoodRx’s consumer base and transaction volume has come from people who already have third-party payer coverage,” he said.

CFO Karsten Voermann said on the call that adjusted revenue for the quarter increased 1% YoY to $190 million. Subscriptions revenue declined 12% YoY to $23.2 million due to a decrease in the number of subscription plans tied primarily to the Kroger Savings Club; management said on the call that its own GoodRx Gold subscription plans were up both YoY and quarter-over-quarter.

During Amazon’s earnings call late last month, CEO Andy Jassy offered qualitative updates on the tech behemoths push into the sector, stating that “our healthcare team is continuing to make healthcare easier for people to access. The Amazon Pharmacy customer experience has significantly evolved this year, and customers are responding to that both in their purchasing behavior and qualitative feedback. We built RxPass for customers to get unlimited supply of eligible medications for $5 per month.”

In PYMNTS Intelligence data reported earlier this year, and in collaboration with Lynx, the report “The Digital Platform Promise: What Baby Boomers and Seniors Want From Digital Healthcare Platforms,” a significant majority of consumers across all demographics — more than 80% — said they’d prefer using platforms to access pharmacy benefits, including discount cards, and a similar percentage said the same about using digital channels to access and compare information about health insurance plans and benefits.