A former top exec at the JPMorgan-Amazon-Berkshire Hathaway healthcare venture shares the 3 reasons he joined a primary-care startup as executive chairman

  • Jack Stoddard joined primary-care startup Eden Health as its executive chairman.
  • Before Eden, Stoddard served as the chief operating officer at Haven, the joint health venture created by JPMorgan, Berkshire Hathaway, and Amazon, and he was previously a top exec at the care navigation company Accolade.
  • He explained the reasons he joined Eden, which works with employers to offer healthcare virtually or in-person. 
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Jack Stoddard knows a thing or two about the different ways to bring down healthcare costs in America. 

From 2018 to 2019, Stoddard served as the chief operating officer at Haven, the healthcare joint venture created by Amazon, JPMorgan and Berkshire Hathaway. Haven came out swinging in 2018 with the mission of lowering healthcare costs for the companies' employees and improving the quality of their care.

Before that, he was chief operating officer and chief strategy officer at Accolade, a company that helps employees navigate their healthcare benefits. 

Stoddard left Haven in May 2019. He joined the board of healthcare startup Eden Health later that year, and was named executive chairman in March.

Eden works with employers like Rent the Runway and Bells Brewery to provide healthcare, either virtually or through in-person clinics in offices. It also works with property managers like Convene and Connell to provide its services to employers working in their offices. The startup in August raised $25 million in funding from investors in a round led by Flare Capital Partners.

Read more: WeWork rival Convene is betting a healthcare startup can help it win new customers by bringing office clinics to the masses

About half of all Americans get their health insurance from an employer, and employers spend an estimated $880 billion on healthcare for their workers each year.

Stoddard said that there are three big trends in employer healthcare that Eden is working to incorporate:

  • There's services to help employees navigate their health benefits, like Accolade.
  • There's virtual care services that link employees with online doctor's visits, facilitated by companies like MDLIVE and Teladoc.
  • And the third is direct primary care, a growing movement of doctors who don't take insurance but instead charge a monthly fee for medical services.

"All three of those in my mind need to be merged together," Stoddard said. "And that is what Eden is doing."

Why Stoddard joined Eden Health

Stoddard said there are three reasons that he joined the young startup. Its approach of integrating in-person and online care with a service that helps people figure out what kinds of care they need was the first reason.

"They've got the product configuration right, and they're building for where the market is going," Stoddard said. "It's a better mouse trap in many ways."

The second reason was how Eden approached its business model, charging monthly fees for its services and forging relationships with property managers. In the wake of COVID-19, Eden has been doing testing and screenings to help employers get their workers back to the office. 

As companies work to safely bring non-essential employees back to the office, having offerings like Eden will be more critical than ever, Stoddard said. 

"Having a health asset, a clinic on-site, is going to be more important than the amenity was prior," Stoddard said. 

The third reason Stoddard decided to join Eden was because of its cofounders, Matt McCambridge and Scott Sansovich.

"They punch way above their experience weight class," Stoddard said. "As somebody who loves solving hard problems, I met this team and I just felt like if I'm going to invest my time, that's the kind of entrepreneur, that team, that you want to help make successful."

Read more: A small but growing movement of doctors that don't accept insurance and charge a monthly fee could be a model for big employers like Amazon and JPMorgan

Primary care's moment

After spending decades finding ways to lower the cost of healthcare in the US, Stoddard has settled on primary care services as the best tool for transforming healthcare.

"The lever that is most effective that needs to be reinvented and pulled is primary care and and that's why I'm spending my time with that as my focus," Stoddard said. 

Over the years, a crop of companies has been gaining steam with new approaches to primary care, culminating in 2020 with the public-market debuts of One Medical and Oak Street Health. The startups take different approaches to the way primary care is paid for, getting paid to keep patients healthy rather than paid based on the number of patients they see. 

Eden's growth, Stoddard said, is another example of new kinds of primary care models taking off. 

"This is beginning to become primary care's moment in the sun," Stoddard said. 

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