Kyruus co-founder Julie Yoo discusses barriers to health care access at Berkeley Forum event

Amber Tang/Staff

Related Posts

Julie Yoo, co-founder of the enterprise health care provider solutions company Kyruus, discussed what she refers to as the “patient access paradox” at a Berkeley Forum event Tuesday night.

In her speech, Yoo discussed how 30 to 40 percent of patient appointment slots are empty or poorly utilized in leading health care providers, resulting in wait times of weeks or months. Kyruus seeks to increase efficiency and reduce empty patient slots by using health care provider data to match patients to the most suitable providers.

The Berkeley Forum is a nonpartisan organization run entirely by campus undergraduate students that organizes talks, speeches and debates by distinguished figures who are experts in their fields.

“Your ability to match a patient to the correct health care provider is only as good as your ability to get them an appointment,” Yoo said during the forum, which was held at the Haas School of Business.

Compared to cross-industry averages, customer service in the health care industry is “the worst off by far,” according to Yoo. Patients spend an average of nearly 10 minutes booking an appointment over the phone, Yoo added, and 30 percent of call time consists of waiting on hold.

Kyruus uses a “moneyball” approach to optimize provider networks, Yoo said to the audience. The moneyball theory originated from Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane, according to Yoo, and focuses on the use of statistical data to make assessments.

“If baseball teams could figure out a way to move scouts from just eyeing players … to using actual data statistics to assemble players and high-performing teams, why couldn’t we do that in health care in a much more meaningful application?” Yoo said during the forum.

During an interview and open Q&A session moderated by campus sophomore Shivali Baveja, Yoo fielded questions regarding value-based health care and the limit of virtual long-distance health care, or telehealth, applications through Kyruus.

Yoo admitted that there are limitations to telehealth, including the inability to conduct procedures or tests virtually. She added, however, that many patients can be triaged via televisits, especially those seeking help with mental health.

In response to campus alumnus Dorian Chen’s question on how Kyruus manages multiple stakeholders, Yoo said the key to doing so is choosing a primary fiduciary or someone in whom trust is placed from day one. She added that Kyruus ultimately decided on the health care system, as opposed to the individual patient or provider, as the primary fiduciary.

“This allows us to actually make decisions — if all else is equal, we will preference the health care system,” Yoo said in her speech. “You can’t serve every master equally — you have to make some compromises.”

Contact Amber Tang at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @ambertang_dc.