Hint Introduces Hint AI at Annual Summit

Direct primary care seemed more alive than ever at last week’s Hint Summit, which brought together physicians looking to escape the fee-for-service “hamster wheel” and companies building the tools to make that possible.

That of course includes Hint Health, who introduced its new Hint AI solution to help DPC physicians focus on their patients by automatically generating visit notes.

For a quick refresher on direct primary care, it’s a membership model where providers offer a fixed monthly rate for their services, eliminating the need for payor involvement as well as the mountain of administrative work that comes along with it. 

  • DPC also allows physicians to work for their patients instead of the system, resulting in shorter waits for appointments and more time for each visit (45min vs. 18min for FFS).
  • Despite its advantages, DPC still represents less than 1% of US primary care, in large part due to the hurdles of standing up a practice without the usual foundation of payor revenue. That’s where Hint comes in.

Hint’s All-in-One platform automates membership management and billing, while also serving as an EHR, communications solution, and now an AI assistant. Basically DPC-in-a-box.

  • Every feature within the platform is designed to bring DPC physicians closer to their patients, which Hint AI accomplishes by automatically transcribing visit notes and generating summaries that can be directly embedded into the patient record.
  • Unlike similar tools used by the wider healthcare system, Hint AI is tailored to the unique complexities of direct care, ensuring that anyone practicing under the DPC umbrella has access to the same technology without having to make compromises for their use case. 

The Takeaway

AI built for traditional healthcare will center around the problems of traditional healthcare, and the clashing aims of payors and providers will undoubtedly create plenty of new tools that reinforce these systems instead of fixing the underlying issues. Direct primary care physicians work outside of this status quo, only adopting tech like Hint AI that makes a tangible impact on patient care, and making DPC a great place to keep an eye out for the innovations actually moving the needle on care delivery.

Hint Health Raises $45M for Direct Primary Care

Direct primary care startup Hint Health closed $45M in Series B funding to support its ambitious mission of giving providers a way to get off the fee-for-service “hamster wheel” through an end-to-end platform for opening membership-based direct care practices.

Direct primary care (DPC) is a membership model where patients are charged a monthly rate (usually between $50 and $75) in exchange for a predetermined list of services from their primary care physician, aligning incentives similarly to value-based structures but without any third party payor involvement.

  • DPC allows physicians to work for patients as opposed to the healthcare system, which results in shorter waits for appointments and more time spent in each visit (45min avg, compared to 18min for FFS models).
  • According to Hint’s in-depth overview of the market, DPC membership has increased 241% since 2017, but has yet to break into the mainstream. The 300k patients enrolled across 1.6k DPC practices still represent less than 1% of total US primary care.
  • Critics argue that DPC could worsen physician shortages because doctors see fewer patients under the model, but considering how frequently we cover stories related to burnout and early retirements, lower volumes might not be as bad as it sounds. 

Hint is leading the charge of driving DPC adoption with its HintOS platform that reduces the administrative burden of opening a direct care practice by automating enrollment, membership management, and billing.

  • HintOS supports the direct-to-employer contracting frequently used by DPC practices by managing eligibility and other aspects of the relationship that typically rely on a FFS infrastructure.
  • Hint also operates a national DPC network called Hint Connect that connects providers to potential employer partners, and the new funding will be used to expand this network while continuing to build out HintOS.

The Takeaway

Getting physicians to abandon the payor revenue that’s traditionally served as the foundation of their business sounds like a tough pitch, but Hint’s DPC operating system probably makes the conversation a lot more interesting. Until recently, there hasn’t been a turnkey solution to enable the creation of a DPC practice, and if Hint can use its new funding to become that solution, it will make the model a viable path for plenty of other physicians looking to cut out the payor middleman and spend more time working with patients.

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