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How Marley Medical plans to set itself apart from other virtual primary care companies


After working at Propeller Health for six years, Chris Hogg and colleagues David Hubanks and Joe Slavinsky are setting out to create a new virtual primary care company. Called Marley Medical, the startup recently raised $9 million in seed funding led by Andreessen Horowitz’s Julie Yoo and CRV’s Kristin Baker Spohn.

As new services have made it easier than ever to launch a telehealth business, digital health startups have multiplied. But Hogg still believes his company can set itself apart by taking a slightly different approach.

For example, instead of following the prolific model of selling solutions to employers that rely heavily on health coaches, Marley Medical plans to engage with patients first, building a more traditional care team of doctors, nurses and pharmacists, Hogg wrote in an email. Although the comapny will be marketing to patients directly, it still plans to bill insurance as an in-network provider, rather than taking a cash-pay only approach, as other startups have done.

“We expect over time to move away from fee-for-service billing to more risk-based contracts with payers, but still as a traditional in-network provider,” he wrote.

Marley Medical will focus on helping people manage common chronic conditions, with the ability to chat with their care team anytime, and schedule video visits. It also plans to send devices, lab kits, and medications to people’s homes.

Rather than building a broad solution, like Teladoc or Carbon Health, Hogg wrote that the company will focus on specific patient populations with chronic disease. His goal, essentially, is to make it easier for people to manage their health, and create a place that people will want to turn to first for their care.

Both Yoo and Spohn also noted another advantage for Marley Medical: its founders’ experience.

“I have had the opportunity to work closely with this team in the past and am thrilled to partner with them again on Marley,” Spohn wrote in a news release. “This is definitely one of the best teams in healthcare.”

Photo credit: elenabs, Getty Images

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