From Business Record innovationIOWA: Predictive Health Partners seeks to slash health care prices

Predictive Health Partners, with founder Jim Lewis, is the only local startup represented in the Global Insurance Accelerator’s 10-member cohort for 2019. It’s also one of only three Iowa startups that have participated among 36 since the GIA’s first cohort in 2015.

Based now in West Des Moines, Lewis, a serial entrepreneur, thinks of Predictive Health Partners as 35 years in the making before the startup launched in early 2018.

“I’ve interviewed, comfortably, I could say, 350 individuals one-on-one ranging from CEOs to brokers, insurance companies, third-party administrators … [to] moms and dads, finding out how the buying [of health plans] is done and what is going wrong,” Lewis said.

He decided that entities are viewing employees the wrong way when it comes to providing health insurance — and that retooling the system to treat employees like customers would bring down many of the costs plaguing health care.

Predictive Health Partners has two faces to one product: a smartphone app, purchased by companies and offered to their employees for free; and artificial intelligence-powered predictive analytics for the company, which anonymously identifies the higher-health-risk employees who may account for up to half of a company’s total health costs.

The HIPPA-compliant platform can target employees who have high health care costs with preventive appointment reminders and other services to help the employees control their own health care costs – passing the savings on to both employees and employers, Lewis said.

“It gives us a way to identify costs and try to predict and prevent them from happening,” Lewis said. “The predictive analytics of claims data identifies individuals who have prevention opportunities — they haven’t had their annual exam for maybe their eyes … and it also allows us to identify gaps in care.”

“These are individuals who are struggling with managing their diseases and forget they have certain things that they should be doing. We’ll remind them, and we’ll make it very convenient for them.”

The app is a one-stop product for employees to manage their company benefit plans, including disability insurance, retirement savings and health savings accounts; access doctors through telehealth appointments; compare prices for medications at different pharmacies or services at different facilities; locate and schedule appointments with providers; and submit health care bills for review to Predictive Health Partners staff, who will identify expensive errors in the billing for employees.

Three companies are currently using the app, and more than 50 percent of those employees have downloaded and use the app, Lewis said. “Each one of those three [companies] have already gotten more than their money back in the first 90 days,” Lewis said.

High-deductible health plans are “a growing trend” for employers, Lewis said.

“[Companies are] shifting this cost increase to the employees. We’re trying to keep the premiums as low as we can, so we end up putting out almost an inferior product, because you have such a high annual deductible, and you don’t have savings for this,” Lewis said.

While those high-deductible plans grow, the errors in health care billing are adding up, contributing to the problem. A Consumer Reports survey of 1,000 insured adults found that more than one-third of respondents reported paying bills they weren’t sure they owed. Twenty percent of that group reported paying more than $1,000.

“When the bill comes from the insurance company, and the insurance company says ‘We’ll review that bill for you,’ most people don’t believe or trust the insurance company is really going to be on their side,” Lewis said. “So therefore, a lot of people don’t do anything about it.”

Through the Predictive Health Partners app, users take a picture of medical bills and send it to through the app, which uses artificial intelligence and human oversight to review. Once errors are identified, users are notified and asked if they want Predictive Health Partners’ assistance resolving errors with health care providers.

On top of his work during the GIA accelerator, Lewis is seeking to hire account managers and sales managers for Predictive Health Partners. By early 2020, he expects to have grown from two to a dozen full-time employees.

“We’re at the stage of looking for the right strategic investors … companies who have a vested interest in our success,” Lewis said. “They bring so much more than just the investment. They get you ready for that next round that comes down the road.

“I’m getting so much encouragement right now, that I know I’m on the right path.”

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Predictive Health Partners Receives Funding From the Iowa Economic Development Authority

Predictive Health Partners was awarded funding from the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) Board last month. The company received a $25,000 Proof of Commercial Relevance (POCR) loan for IP development and evaluation, proof of concept, market planning and hiring key personnel.

“We could not be more honored to be awarded this funding,” said Predictive Health Partners Founder and CEO Jim Lewis. “We’re incredibly grateful for IEDA’s support of innovative businesses like ours and are excited to expand on our hard work.”

With IEDA’s support, PHP will be able to continue helping employees be better consumers and managers of their health. At a time where 63% of Americans cannot afford an unexpected medical bill, proactive healthcare could be more important than ever.

“These funds will have a profound impact on Predictive Health – and our ability to save money and change lives,” Lewis said.

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Predictive Health Partners Joins Global Insurance Accelerator’s 2019 Insurtech Cohort

Predictive Health Partners is taking part in Global Insurance Accelerator’s (GIA) InsurTech program. PHP is one of 10 startups making up the 2019
cohort in Des Moines. This year’s GIA cohort teams are developing and delivering new products and business models for buying insurance, cyber risk protection, underwriting automation, advisor services, digital transformation, claims resolution, pension planning and employee benefit management.

2019 Global Insurance Accelerator Members 

“We are honored to be selected for GIA’s program and excited to build on the groundwork we’ve already laid,” said Predictive Health Partners Founder and CEO Jim Lewis. “This program will enable PHP to surround ourselves with some of the best minds in the industry who are helping us more quickly strategize, refine and deploy new ideas and technologies.”

The GIA’s 100-day program consists of 1:1 meetings with insurance professionals, site visits to insurer offices, networking events, discussions with InsurTech founders, education sessions, investor introductions, and much more.

“I feel like I’m in a reality TV show called Incubator,” Lewis described the experience. “It’s like a combination of The Incredible Race and Shark Tank, where all of these highly talented entrepreneurs live and work together while getting our businesses ready for what it takes for explosive growth. It’s a great experience if you’ve got the DNA for it.”

“It has been an incredible journey,” said Brian Hemesath, managing director of the GIA, in an announcement of the cohort. “Mentorship educates and empowers individual employees and ensures insurance companies are fully-equipped for pilots and partnerships which will take advantage of the new ideas each cohort brings to the table.”

The program will conclude with final presentations at the Global Insurance Symposium on April 24 in Des Moines.

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The Importance of Independence

On July 4, 1776, a group of 56 brave men became treasonous rebels — at least, in the eyes of their ruler — to fight for something we so frequently take for granted: freedom. You might understand why Americans celebrate Independence Day, but you might not know the impact this stand for freedom had on the rest of the world. That July 4th didn’t just inspire our Founding Fathers to fight for our new nation, it inspired people around the world to take their own stand for their freedom — changing the course of human history. Since then, freedom has become what we all aspire to obtain in nearly every aspect of our lives.

Freedom means many things to many different people. For some, it’s freedom from fear or persecution. For others, it’s freedom to be yourself, to speak your mind or to love who you love. For the majority of people, freedom can be described as the ability to pursue your own happiness and make your own decisions.

Among the most desired freedoms in America? Financial independence. It’s no wonder many feel like it is unattainable in today’s world. According to a recent study, 63% of Americans are unable to pay for an unexpected $500 medical bill. Freedom from financial burdens or dependence on others quickly becomes the most amazing tool you can give your employees to change their life.

Here at Predictive Health, we think there is nothing more inspirational than freedom. When you empower someone to make their own decisions and give them the tools they need to be informed and healthy, amazing things can happen. People feel inspired to take a stand for their health; to declare independence from passivity and reactivity.

No matter what it means to you, there is one thing we can all agree on: amazing things happen when people get a taste of freedom. We invite you to join us and reflect on the incredible gift of freedom our Founding Fathers gave us. More importantly, join us as we ask ourselves: what impact can we make by giving the gift of freedom to others?

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Remembering the Meaning of Memorial Day

Memorial Day can mean many different things to Americans. For some, it’s a day of fun with the family, enjoying a picnic or grilling out. It’s the day children flock to their local swimming pools. For many, the last Monday in May is the unofficial start of summer; the day they can finally break out their white wardrobe. It seems that we may have forgotten what inspired the holiday in the first place. For others, however, the true meaning of the holiday is all too personal.

Every year, the friends and families of hundreds of thousands of fallen soldiers use this day to remember these heroes. These Gold Star families spend their holidays at the cemetery, honoring the memory of their loved ones who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. It is not a simple, relaxing day filled with barbecue. Instead, Memorial Day is a solemn, somber and heavy holiday.

However, Gold Star families have found support and a sense of community in each other. It’s a family no one plans to join or wants to be a member of, but the Gold Star community is truly inspirational. Members band together to lift one another up, make sense of their loss and navigate the lengthy and painful grieving process. Each Memorial Day, cemeteries will be filled with Gold Star families remembering their loved ones, supporting one another and healing together.

Gold Star family members in a circle holding hands
On Memorial Day 2014, a spontaneous prayer circle formed as families visited Section 60, where many of the soldiers who died in Iraq and Afghanistan are buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

Community wellbeing can mean many things, but generally refers to living well, both as a community as a whole and as an individual within it. When community wellbeing is high, all members benefit. While it is more obviously socially and emotionally beneficial, community wellbeing has been found to have significant impacts on all aspects of wellbeing, even one’s physical health.

Having a sense of community pride, joy and belonging is incredibly important to humans, becoming invaluable after suffering tragedies or in times of hardship. This is why the community Gold Star families have built is not only meaningful, but crucial to their wellbeing. Predictive Health Partners applauds this community, the sacrifices they have made for our freedom and their dedication to caring for one another.

This Memorial Day, Predictive Health remembers the men and women who have died in service to our country, as well as the families who they left behind. Join us in a moment of reflection on their sacrifices this Memorial Day with the video below. We also invite you to join us in donating to the Fallen and Wounded Soldiers Fund, which uses 97% of its donations to help the families of severely wounded or fallen soldiers with living expenses and provide other forms of assistance. Donate here to support these heroes and their families.

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Iowa Company Uses Artificial Intelligence to Help Employees Save on Healthcare Costs

Iowa Spring Manufacturing of Adel, Iowa and its subsidiary, Southern Atlantic Spring of North Carolina, are launching an innovative initiative to help employees save on their healthcare costs. With the help of Predictive Health Partners of West Des Moines, they are providing employees with a virtual healthcare concierge on their smartphones to help them be better consumers of health insurance and better managers of their health.

“Helping our employees and their families save significant money is the right thing to do, especially if a lot of those costs are avoidable,” said Iowa Spring Manufacturing CEO Tim Bianco. “If it helps take a big financial burden off their family’s shoulders, then we all win in the process.”

The solution includes an easy-to-use smartphone app that integrates all of an employee’s health insurance information and benefits including dental, vision, and health savings accounts in one convenient place. It even shows employees and their spouses the amount of their annual deductible paid and health savings balances within two days of a claim.

“We wanted to provide our employees with a very convenient way for them to keep more of their money in their pockets while making sure they get the healthcare they need,” said Bianco. “Let’s face it, it’s not simple for most people to navigate their health insurance and benefits. We think it’s critical to empower our employees with a tool on their mobile phones – it’s where and how they live most of their lives today.”

The app provides 24/7 free telemedicine, helps find the best healthcare providers and facilities for the employee, schedules appointments according to preferences, and finds significant savings on prescriptions and even reviews confusing medical bills.

“The app is free to employees and there’s really nothing else like it in healthcare,” said Predictive Health Partners Founder and CEO Jim Lewis. “It’s like having a virtual health concierge team that is always looking to help you live a healthier life and save time and money.”

Results for other clients have been impressive. Based on a 2017 study of 30,000 users, 85% of insured employees including spouses download and use the app and 96% are satisfied resulting in an average annual savings of over $378. For a company in Kansas with 1,500 employees, the same solution had 246 provider recommendations, hundreds of telemedicine consultations and reviewed 723 prescriptions, all resulting in more than $115,000 in measurable savings in just the first six weeks of implementation.

“We’re always looking for new ways to save money and be more efficient and our healthcare expenses are a major cost center,” said Bianco. “It seems like a logical step for artificial intelligence and mobile apps to help in this area the way they are helping in every other major cost center like manufacturing, distribution and customer satisfaction. The fact that it is now so affordable and simple to implement is a breakthrough we were willing to invest in for our mutual benefit.”

Tim Bianco, Iowa Spring Manufacturing CEO




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2017: The Year of Revival

It’s no secret that 2017 will leave many with mixed emotions. It was a year with both great tragedy and great triumph, and Predictive Health Partners can personally attest to experiencing both. However, 2017 will always have a special place in our hearts.

This was the year where it all began — a crazy idea to combine artificial intelligence and mobile engagement to solve a big health problem. An incredible amount of hard work, faith and determination led to the creation of a breakthrough in employee healthcare that we are excited to share with the world in the next few weeks. We think you’ll like it too.

But before we embark on 2018, please join us in a brief look back on the insight we discovered about ourselves and how it inspired positive change in the world.


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The Gift of Hope

Steve Hartman of CBS News’ On the Road is a masterful story-teller. He has a way of capturing the essence of the stories of the people he meets and turning their unique backgrounds into something we all can relate to. This feature on a family affected by recent hurricanes in Texas is no different. Hartman does a wonderful job of highlighting the joy of helping and inspiring others during this holiday season. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

On behalf of all of us here at Predictive Health, we’d like to extend our best wishes to you and your families for a joyful holiday season.

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Predictive Health Wins University of Iowa Venture School Award

Since September, the Predictive Health Partners team has been working tirelessly to develop, test and fine-tune our intellectual property and business model. Predictive Health was one of the 18 statewide organizations selected to learn from top entrepreneurial minds through the University of Iowa Venture School. At the end of the course, our team was given the opportunity to present a business pitch to a panel of judges and compete for awards and prize money. After advancing to the final round of the competition, Predictive Health was presented with the Judges Choice award, winning $500.

The University of Iowa Venture School is a 6-week program that emphasizes real-world entrepreneurship and innovation based on leading edge curriculum taught by serial entrepreneurs. The program requires startups to develop and rigorously test business hypotheses. Predictive Health Partners, alongside other teams undergoing the process, “got out of the building” to listen to prospective customers, partners, and competitors, rather than relying on instincts and secondhand market research.

“We have found invaluable insight into the employee risk management market by not only asking the right questions, but asking them to the right people,” said Predictive Health Partners Founder & CEO Jim Lewis. “We have learned so much about the ‘pains’ employers are experiencing and how Predictive Health Partners can turn them into ‘gains.’ The Venture School curriculum has taught us what it takes to truly make a difference in the industry and change lives for the better.”

The Venture School not only accelerates the startup process, but is based on proven strategies for launching and sustaining a new business. New companies that have undergone this process have been found to have an increased rate of success – an astounding 20% higher chance of success than average.

The Predictive Health team will always be grateful to the University of Iowa Venture School for the instructors’ and mentors’ wisdom, as well as the strategies we have gained through this incredibly challenging but extremely rewarding process. Through 2,800 miles of travel and attending three national conferences, we interviewed 88 thought leaders and prospective customers. This research allowed us to validate and streamline our business model, contract with strategic partners and add to our team essential strategic advisors.

Although the process was rigorous and forced us to reevaluate our business model and goal multiple times, Predictive Health Partners experienced an incredible amount of growth and benefit through the Venture School. We are more confident than ever in our product and ability to positively impact the healthcare landscape.

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Creating a Healthier Workplace for a Healthier Bottom Line

Any wise employer knows that improving employee wellbeing is one of the most effective ways lower healthcare costs. However, far too many underestimate their role in employee health. As employees spend an estimated 35% of their waking hours working, employers have a key opportunity to take an active role in increasing employee health in the workplace. By creating the opportunities for and encouraging employees to engage in healthier behaviors during the workday, employers can see a significant difference in the health, happiness and productivity of employees. Here are some simple ways you can create a healthier workplace and a healthier bottom line.

Offer healthy options

Whether your workplace has vending machines or a fully-stocked fridge, ensuring that employees can maintain a healthy and balanced diet is crucial to both employee wellbeing and productivity. Start by swapping out some of the junk food offered for healthier alternatives, such as fruits or nuts. Choose healthier options when having food catered for meetings or events. If you’re willing to take it even further, start a workplace garden look into hosting an on-site farmer’s market by partnering with local growers and producers. Don’t be intimidated, though; even the smallest snack could make a huge difference.

Encourage employee exercise

One of the most common reasons cited for a lack of exercise is convenience. Employers can overcome inconvenience with this trendy tactic: bring the gym to work. Encourage employees to exercise throughout the workday; from their commute to making the most out of their breaks. Additionally, dedicating a space in the office to fitness is on the rise, growing in popularity among employees and giving you a competitive edge among your competitors. In fact, according to the 2012 Principal Financial Well-Being Index: American Workers study, on-site fitness facilities were perceived as the top perk among employees.

Minimize workplace stress

Stress is a normal part of everyday life. At its best, stress can be a driver to meet important deadlines and invest maximum effort to achieve success. At its worst, stress can erode self-esteem and cause serious health conditions; from depression and anxiety to cardiovascular disease and immune system suppression, unchecked stress has potential to ravage both physical and mental health. Employment is a major source of stress for many Americans, with one out of every four workers reporting that it is the primary cause of stress in their lives. Encourage your employees to take steps to reduce workplace stress or offer stress reducing amenities. This can range from stress-relieving tea in the break room to offering break-time yoga in the workplace. Even the smallest of steps can lower tension and increase productivity.

A workplace is at its best when employee morale is high and everyone is satisfied with their working conditions. It is in everyone’s best interest to contribute time and effort to create healthier working conditions and encourage workers to take advantage of healthy resources. By reducing stress and placing an emphasis on healthy, employers can create a healthier workplace, workforce and bottom line.

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