Life Sciences Entrepreneurship & Price Transparency in Healthcare with Dr. Jeffrey Roh, Susie Kataoka, and Dr. Tony Little
Welcome to Ventures, a new show I’m launching this week that explores stories of entrepreneurship, market landscapes, problem spaces, and opportunities to create for-profit and nonprofit ventures to benefit human beings.
In this first episode, we discuss with Dr. Jeffrey Roh, Susie Kataoka, and Dr. Tony Little the importance of cost and price transparency in healthcare today, and the landscape/opportunity for starting new ventures in the life sciences:
2:45 - Jeff introduction, CEO of IntuitiveX
5:20 - Susie introduction, CEO of Transpara Health
6:50 - Tony intro, Optum, Lead Architect for Patient Experience
8:18 - Jeff personal journey, as an entrepreneur / surgeon, involved in multiple startups in the life sciences.
13:50 - Question: does Jeff see many surgeons spinning out and getting involved with companies, or is that relatively rare?
15:33 - Four pillars of input in life sciences ventures - Clinical, IP, Scientific, and Business.
16:35 - Did Jeff have to work with tech transfer in a university? (Jeff tells the story of protecting his own IP, but at the cost of not being able to leverage the resources of a large organization - there are advantages and disadvantages of each approach)
19:10 - Susie’s personal journey in life sciences and entrepreneurship, family history in medicine, overseas experiences, starting and selling a retail business, and starting Transpara Health.
27:00 - Tony’s personal journey through working at a health store, med school at Bastyr, then working in technology and software development to create better patient and provider experiences in the ER (and also building internal company tools), getting involved in Will’s startup in the late 2000s, advising startups (especially in the life sciences).
37:51 - Question about IntuitiveX: for entrepreneurs working to overcome barriers to building life sciences companies, how do I work with IntuitiveX? (IX now works with both founders and with larger companies, first consulting services and then can go deeper in partnership)
40:51 - Importance of medical cost transparency. How Susie and Transpara are incubating out of IntuitiveX and why now is an important time for Transpara to exist.
43:20 - Susie, talking about the vision/mission of Transpara health and how the company is responding to the present pandemic to bring price clarity to PPE and help organizations such as nursing home facilities operate smartly and effectively moving forward.
53:05 - Question, how did the medical community in the US get to the place where pricing is so cryptic and confusing? (Tony discusses the background and nuances here)
56:59 - Question, regarding the mandate from the White House for hospitals to publish both list prices and prices negotiated with payers, is this even feasible? Are hospitals going to comply? (Tony responded saying it comes down to interpretation and enforcement, and Susie said that most didn’t comply with the Jan 2020 order to post list prices, and it would be unlikely that many would comply with the negotiated prices for Jan 2021. Tony brought up questions around )
1:01:50 - Question, what advice would you give to founders aiming to spin up new products/services in the health science industry? (Tony answered first, Susie responded at
1:03:45, and Jeff responded at 1:05:24)