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This looks awesome! Great Wired article as well. Worth reading.
Thanks for the support! I cofounded Stride w @butner to help us all make smarter heath decisions. Ask me anything about Stride! Here to answer.
@noahlang Hey Noah, this is great! Just saw this. I founded Emissary (http://www.emissarymed.com) with 2 friends, and it sounds like we deal with a lot of similar themes. For affiliate corruption (influencing user behavior to get a better referral fee) have you seen this from users, or just from interviewers? How are you thinking about showing proof/trust around this? How are you dealing with transparency at scale? Luckily our marketplace gains a ton of scale for each one hospital network we add, but it seems like [compare all healthcare plans] is a very different beast. How are you thinking about cost vs quality in rankings? Guess that's enough questions for now :) Looks like you're in SF though. Would love to grab coffee some time!
Thanks Jonathan! We're certainly tackling some similar themes. I was surprised to see the questions about commissions affecting recommendations in Wired -- we, unlike other traditional broker engines, don't accept 'advertising fees' to list plans at the top. Additionally, we've built an 'ethical wall' internally -- our commission rates with insurance companies are explicitly separated from our search engine and held by only me and our accountants. And I leave the coding up to @butner. But sometimes that's not enough. To tackle consumer transparency on the issue, we've enabled consumers to prove the engine's recommendation to themselves: With every data point you adjust, our recommendation refines and responds. We have to deliver value for every data point that an individual contributes, and prove that the engine builds a higher-confidence recommendation at every step. Think about it like ET walking up the stairs into Eliot's house -- you have to deliver value (in ETs case, Reese's Pieces) if you want people to keep contributing their data and take another step closer to converting. At the end, you use our scenarios to poke-and-prod the recommended plan to get you over any final decision hurdles (like why not just go uninsured?) As a consumer brand, we're only as good as the quality of our recommendations. Happy to chat more about this in SF! Ping me on LinkedIn and stop by RockHealth to chat sometime. Noah
Oh you're in RH? Sweet, we applied for next round, I'll probably see you there in a month :) One thought we had to change the "game mechanics" of this type of system: accept min(all possible fees) as profit, donate the remainder. But I think for the most part, it's just paranoid consumer activists talking about this stuff, or reporters generating controversy.