Health tech company Hint Health aims to create an “end-to-end platform” for direct primary care providers after acquiring AeroDPC, the companies announced Tuesday.
San Francisco-based Hint Health is a billing platform for direct primary care (DPC) providers. Its HintOS product handles member enrollment, employer plan administration, billing, invoicing, payments and other services. Patients who use Hint Health are able to circumvent payers and reach physicians directly by paying a monthly membership. AeroDPC, based in Denver, Colorado, is a software company and electronic medical record (EMR) for direct primary care clinics.
Hint will release a new product in 2023 that will include membership management, billing, EMR, business management, patient communications and other services. It takes clinical tools from AeroDPC and billing and membership tools from Hint, said Zak Holdsworth, co-founder and CEO of Hint.
“We’ll be bringing a combined product to market in 2023 that basically integrates the best of both systems into a single product,” Holdsworth said in an interview. “The goal is to create an affordable, all-in-one solution that makes it really easy for clinics that want to start in direct primary care to get up and running off the ground.”
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but it was a cash and equity deal, Holdsworth said.
AeroDPC will be an independent subsidiary of Hint and will provide services to its existing clients. Dr. Brad Brown, co-founder and chief medical officer of AeroDPC, will now serve as medical director for Hint. Brown is a direct primary care physician himself.
“One of the things that’s really exciting about this acquisition is that Dr. Brad is actually a practicing DPC physician,” Holdsworth said. “He brings insights that sometimes are hard for a software company to gain in the silo. So the fact that he’s actually seeing patients in his clinic and feels the pain of the real world in terms of actually running a business, that’s invaluable to a software company.”
Brown said part of why AeroDPC entered into the deal is because of a shared mission with Hint in helping physicians provide direct primary care.
“It’s mission-aligned, vision-aligned,” Brown said in an interview. “We’re both trying to change American healthcare. We’re trying to make it easy for doctors to be with their patients.”
For Hint, the company was always planning on expanding its products. Ultimately, Hint decided the best way to do this was through an acquisition, Holdsworth said.
“We were really in the process of trying to understand, is this something we build or do we buy?” Holdsworth stated. “When we met the AeroDPC team, they already built a great product.”
Direct primary care is a growing industry, with patient membership skyrocketing by 241% in the U.S. from 2017 to 2021, according to a recent report by Hint Health. The acquisition aims to support continued growth in the area, Holdsworth said.
“DPC is a growing movement, but there still aren’t enough doctors in DPC to serve the United States population,” Holdsworth said. “I believe the only way to open long-term scale in this movement is to enable new clinics that are getting started to really easily and effectively get off the ground. So if this helps us achieve that, then mission accomplished from my perspective.”
This is the second acquisition for Hint. In 2021, the company acquired Equal Health, a direct primary care network and benefits provider. Looking ahead, Hint is considering additional acquisitions, Holdsworth said.
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