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How Parsley Health Pivoted From Chic Clinics To A National Telehealth Platform – Forbes

Posted: February 14, 2021 at 4:54 pm


Medicine Mom: Dr. Robin Berzin is a doctor, healer, mother of two and founder & CEO of Parsley Health.

Since launching Parsley Health in 2016, Dr. Robin Berzin set out to build a holistic medical startup to combat a health crisis thats plagued the country long before Covid-19.

Theres a huge gap in the healthcare system where its too focused on acute care or treating what people are sick with now, says Dr. Berzin, a Brooklyn-based mother of two. Most primary care doctors are not focused on basic preventative care or the reversal of the chronic disease. Unfortunately most are not trained to think this way, even at the top medical schools in the country. To date, shes raised $36 million for the venture.

According to the CDC, 60% of U.S. adults have at least one chronic disease (ranging from heart disease, cancer and diabetes, to eczema, colitis and hormonal imbalances). Chronic disease drives approximately $3.1 trillion in health spending and 90% of annual healthcare costs nationwide.

These are largely lifestyle-driven, preventable and reversible conditions, says Dr. Berzin. At Parsley weve always offered an in-depth holistic approach to chronic disease management, looking at a patients sleep, fitness, nutrition and mental health to determine health optimization.

Dr. Berzin also set out to redefine what a doctors clinic could look like. They dont have to be these cold, sterile places and we wanted to reframe that, she says.

Stylish Startup: Checking into a Parsley Health's bright offices.

Instead of the usual drab waiting rooms, Parsley Healths locations in Los Angeles, New York City and San Francisco are flooded with natural light, greenery and natural elements. Parsleys entryways and lobbies can easily be mistaken for a boutique Hoxton hotel or cozy day spa.

While custom-designed clinics lured fashionable press and members alike, she knew eco-inspired decor would only be the garnish to her cutting-edge platform.

For years weve been so focused on our flagship centers but weve been simultaneously taking a big bet on telehealth before Covid-19 happened, says Berzin.

Parsley Health or Hoxton Hotel? For years, Berzin banked on her offices' cool interiors to popularize her approach to holistic wellness and chronic illness management.

She kicked off January 2020 by rolling out telemedicine in 10 states. Its a missing piece of the healthcare system. We need a better way to manage the chronic healthcare crises with preventive careand telehealth is a great way to do that at scale, she continues. According to a report from the Commonwealth Fund, around 0.1% of allmedical visits at the beginning of 2020 were conducted via telemedicine.By late April, that number rose to nearly 14% nationwide.

But the following months posed new challenges for the founder. In February she welcomed her second child as the pandemic made its way to the U.S. By March, she quickly pivoted Parsley Health from an in-person care operation, to a full-blown telehealth platform. The growth we saw in our brick-and-mortar disappeared overnight and that was a scary moment as founder and CEO, says Berzin.

Additionally, she had to oversee Parsleys team as it provided healthcare to patients across the country suffering from a disease that didnt exist three months before, all while taking care of two children under the age of 4 with no childcare.

But she continued to double down on virtual visits. By April, Parsleys telehealth expanded to 35 states. Her team nearly doubled to 150 people, including full-time and part-time board-certified physicians and customer care coordinators. As of December 2020, Parsley Healths rapid expansion has brought it to more than 47 states states across the country and has grown membership by more than 20x since February. While Berzin declined to disclose exact revenue figures for the full-year 2020, she says it rose from $10 million in 2019 to the tens of millions in 2020.

Parsley Health was offering telemedicine in 10 states in January 2020; by December 2020 Parsley was fully national.

Before founding Parsley Health, Dr. Berzin co-founded, Cureatr, a physician communication app. The Brooklyn-based mom completed medical school at Columbia Universitys College of Physicians and Surgeons, and trained in Internal Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.

As it continued to grow its virtual services nationwide, Parsley continues to refine its approach to healthcare, from revising all intake language for the clinical teams, to accounting for the unique needs of LGBTQ+ and patients of color.

And she believes this mindset will keep Parsley fresh in an increasingly competitive market. Telehealth is a feature, not a product. Just because a doctor is online doesnt make them a better doctor, says Berzin. In terms of success it all comes down to the quality of care youre offering.

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How Parsley Health Pivoted From Chic Clinics To A National Telehealth Platform - Forbes

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