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April 17, 2023 2023 Tech Companies to Watch

Goodroot’s portfolio companies aim to disrupt costly healthcare system

PHOTO | GOODROOT With Sola, smaller employers and their employees have access to services like telemedicine.

Some 200 years ago, Elisha Root joined the Collins Co., one of the nation’s leading manufacturers of axes.

He studied the practices at the Collinsville plant and came up with a better way. His disruptive technology — die casting — would change the face of manufacturing forever.

By mid-century, he moved to Hartford and turned his attention to mass-producing the Colt revolver. But that’s a story for another day.

Today, the headquarters of the Collins Co. is the home office of Goodroot Inc., which is seeking to channel the spirit of Root in disrupting the healthcare industry.

Michael Waterbury

CEO Michael Waterbury is a veteran of the managed care industry and his goal is “to reinvent health care one system at a time.”

It’s a big job, he acknowledges. And the stakes are huge. Goodroot claims it already has saved its clients more than a billion dollars.

“The current system is designed to make a lot of money,” Waterbury said. “We know where the problems are; we know how to fix them.”

The challenge is changing the incentive system so that the industry will embrace change.

Waterbury said Goodroot may need to launch 20 to 30 targeted services and/or companies before it reaches that goal. And being located in the Hartford area provides access to the talent Goodroot will need as it grows, he said.

So far, Goodroot has rolled out eight companies — six targeting the rub points between healthcare factions and two working directly with consumers:

AlignRx — A pharmacy benefits consulting company that partners with health plans, brokers, third-party administrators and employer groups. It provides pharmacy benefits procurement and audit services as well as self-funded plan consulting.

Breez — An online financial assistance service. Working with hospitals, it streamlines assistance programs. Working directly with patients, Breez pre-qualifies individuals for reduced cost or free care at nonprofit hospitals and searches out assistance programs.

CoeoRx — A pharmacy benefit navigator that serves small and midsize businesses using pre-negotiated contracts and international suppliers.

Emry — A medical and pharmacy cost navigation service that works directly with employees to find the most cost-efficient care. Tools include discounted provider pricing, pre-treatment care selection and post-treatment bill reduction and resolution services.

Nuwae — It works with pharmaceutical companies, payers and patients toward a goal of having a single price for a drug. Its tools include rebate management, direct contracting and formulary management.

Penstock — Offers payment integrity and reimbursement services.

RemedyOne — It analyzes a firm’s existing pharmacy benefits program, looking for ways to capture more in drug rebates.

Sola — A medical and pharmacy benefits program that works with employers on a self-funding design, third-party administration, stop-loss coverage, medical and pharmacy benefits and telehealth.

The approach is gaining traction. While Goodroot declined to disclose revenue figures, its workforce has doubled to about 90 employees since 2020, Waterbury said.

Real Leaders, a membership community with global reach, has named Goodroot to its list of top impact companies for both 2023 and 2022.

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