How New York Startup Sherpaa is Championing the Future of Healthcare

How New York Startup Sherpaa is Championing the Future of Healthcare

How New York Startup Sherpaa is Championing the Future of Healthcare 1280 720 33Voices

Think back to the last time you went to the doctors office, or worse the ER. 

How long were you sitting in the loud, crowded waiting room before having your condition diagnosed?

Imagine if you could reach out to a doctor and have your medical questions answered via phone. Even better, the interaction would be covered by your insurance provider. 

That’s where Sherpaa comes in; A new approach to healthcare powered by doctors and insurance guides who are ready to respond your inquiries 24-7. 

Here’s how it works. 

You experience a health issue – an upset stomach or a burn – which you share with doctors through Sherpaa’s mobile or desktop app.

You’re guaranteed a response in under two hours (it’s often within minutes) and 70% of issues are solved through your first communication. 

It’s really the idea that when you have a problem, 24-7, you have somebody to reach out to that’s going to handle that problem to its end conclusion.

Cheryl Swirnow, Sherpaa's Co-founder and CEO on the team's mission

Sherpaa’s doctors work exclusively for the New York startup to provide undivided attention to patients. When necessary, they can prescribe medications and send them to your local pharmacy. 

If you’re experiencing a more serious health condition, Sherpaa schedules an appointment with a specialist for you to see that day. 

One of Co-founder Dr. Jay Parkinson’s favorite stories is about a patient who contacted Sherpaa with unusual stomach pains. Within minutes of speaking with a Sherpaa doctor, he was connected to a surgeon in the West Village who confirmed the diagnosis of appendicitis. The patient was sent to the hospital, had his appendix removed and was back home in a span of six hours. 

“We coordinated a really great experience for him and it was a fraction of the cost of going to the ER. Everybody won in that situation, and it felt really good,” Jay explained. 

Sherpaa also employs in-house insurance guides to answer your questions about coverage. The team’s assistance has decreased the time their partner companies spend on human resources by 30%. 

For companies using Sherpaa, 60% of their team utilizes the service three to four times a year; Compared to single digit usage for other telehealth providers. Sherpaa has a 92 % user satisfaction rate. 

Despite being tremendously valuable for patients, Sherpaa is equally beneficial for its partners. 

Since launching in 2012, the startup’s partnered with forward thinking companies like Etsy, Tumblr, and General Assembly.

In 2014, companies who used Sherpaa saw an average 6.5 % decrease in their premiums as opposed to the 10 – 12 % increase institutions who weren’t utilizing the service experienced. 

The saved cost is largely due to the Sherpaa doctors who solved 70% of the medical cases without having to send patients for unnecessary visits. 

Among the chief reasons Sherpaa is making a meaningful impact in their partner companies is the culture they’ve distilled in their now 30 person team. 

As founders, Jay and Cheryl are adamant about creating a diverse community and infusing the team’s work with curiosity. 

“It’s very important for us to have a diverse culture because we want to be reflective of the organizations that we’re serving, as well as the greater country at large,” Cheryl explained.

Sherpaa currently operates in 15 states and is quickly expanding to reach as many patients as possible.

“As we work with innovative companies, we’re serving as a place in healthcare where it’s the most innovative patients and the most innovative doctors; Out of that can come the future,” Jay shared. 

We’re practicing the future today, and it’s only going to get better.

To gain deeper insight into Sherpaa’s work designing the future of healthcare tune into Jay and Cheryl’s episode of Beyond the Headline and subscribe to the team’s blog

Here’s a glimpse of what we discuss: 

  • How Sherpaa works 
  • The cultural and financial benefits for companies 
  • The importance of constantly asking, “Why?” 
  • Why diversity is critical to delivering an exceptional service 
  • How to avoid interview bias 

If you or a company you know is interested in partnering with Sherpaa you can learn more here