Photograph by Peter Chollick

Shaking up the system

September 8, 2021

Health

By Kim Catley

After 20 years working in managed care and insurance, Michael Waterbury, ’95, saw firsthand the problems with the U.S. healthcare system. Now he’s on a mission to fix them.

Waterbury started RemedyOne, a company that cuts through the complexity of pharmaceutical programs, in 2015. During the years spent building up RemedyOne, he realized healthcare needs to be fixed one system at a time. He founded Goodroot in 2020 as a parent company to support other entrepreneurs who have ideas for startups that solve specific issues. It provides the finance, legal, sales and marketing services typically available in a larger corporation. Goodroot currently has four subsidiaries that reduce inefficiencies, lower prescription costs, and help small employers negotiate better contracts.

The idea arose after Waterbury grew frustrated with corporate America and felt the profit-driven market didn’t align with patient needs.

“If I’m going to make a difference, I’ve got to set my own course,” he says. “I’ve got to use what I’ve learned, the relationships I have, the ideas I have. People talk about disrupting healthcare, but we talk about reinventing healthcare one system at a time.”

Next up, Waterbury hopes to help patients — who are typically insured — resolve medical debt by reviewing bills, negotiating better prices, and looking to employers to help cover costs. He also wants to fix the issue at the source by working alongside healthcare and insurance companies.

“We can't have hospitals sending huge bills and then suing people and garnishing wages and bankrupting them,” he says. “If you go through the system, you have insurance, and you end up with massive bills and you're bankrupt, that's a failure point. We're studying that and we want those who are running these big hospitals and insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies to come to the table, find the solution, and be part of developing and implementing it.”