Several hundred people gathered at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess this weekend. While it was a celebration, an official launch of a company over four years in the making, there was no dancing in the aisles. These were serious people committed to addressing a crisis in Arizona and nationwide. Those gathered at the HealthNation event on September 30-October 1 are dedicated to the cause of helping everyone gain access to quality health care
The statistics related to US health care are tragic and worsening. Though the US spends 17% of its GDP on health costs, it ranks 49th in the world in life expectancy. At the current rate, health care costs are expected to rise 50% in the next five years. Despite the Obama healthcare, and 40 million being added to a burdened system, over 23 million Americans will still not be insured. Since the recession, more people are delaying medical treatment. Medical crises are a major cause of bankruptcies.
Jim Prendergast and Scott Sanford, who were, themselves, victims of the economic collapse in Arizona, founded HealthNation in Scottsdale. HealthNation is a why-didn’t-someone-think-of-this-before concept. The service provides members access to traditional or naturopathic doctors by phone or email anytime. Advances in technology (e.g., cellphones), changes in policies (e.g., doctors can prescribe by phone in 49 states), and need (e.g., shortages of general practitioners, high costs of emergency room care, delays in being seen by doctors, etc) have made HealthNation relevant and timely.
HealthNation is the first company providing phone/email access to a nationwide network of doctors, discounted prescription drugs, online wellness programs, and a patient advocacy service. It is estimated about 70 percent of emergency room visits are unnecessary. OMB reported that $700 billion dollars are being wasted. HealthNation’s success can have a major impact on the US economy, as well as the personal impact on individuals’ lives. Kent Hall testified about his being alive today only because of a HealthNation phone consultation persuading him to seek immediate hospital attention.
There was a lot of discussion of “whys” during the conference. Yes, many of the advocates are seeking increased income, freedom from a daily grind, and the other benefits of their marketing efforts. But HealthNation will not result in unsold bottles, gathering dust in garages; instead, many unemployed, working poor, students, families, and others getting the deserved chance to enjoy healthier, happier lives.