The patient import business


August 12, 2019

Today, Arizona wants to bring the world Iced-TeaHC, and farmers sell pizza to make ends meet.
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A company called NASH arranges itineraries for America’s ‘medical tourists’

For years, desperate American medical patients have traveled outside of the US in search of cheaper healthcare.

Now, companies are offering “medical tourism” services that sometimes involve flying American doctors out to foreign hospitals for less than 24 hours, reports The New York Times.

Medical tourism is nothing new…

High, unpredictable healthcare costs in the US have driven thousands of Americans south to places like Mexico and the Caribbean to get surgery over the past several decades. 

Traditionally, these so-called “medical tourists” have taken their health into their own hands, gambling on unknown hospital systems without medical malpractice insurance in order to save big bucks on medical procedures.

But new businesses want to reduce the risks of medical tourism

That’s right, now, there are medical travel agents.

Colorado-based North American Specialty Hospital (NASH) offers American patients concierge services that are designed to eliminate the uncertainty of foreign surgery.

NASH has assembled a team of 40 American orthopedic surgeons who are willing to travel to Mexico on their off days to treat American patients.

When one of its patients undergoes surgery, NASH arranges for the patient and an American doctor to travel to a foreign hospital (usually in Mexico), providing extra quality control for the patient and additional malpractice coverage for their doctor.

Care can be so much cheaper that patients actually get paid 

In one case where a NASH patient got knee surgery, the doctor made 3x what he would have in the US, the patient’s employer paid less than ½ what it would have in the States, and the patient paid nothing — and got a $5k check for saving her employer so much.

So, where do all these savings come from? 

It’s simple — Mexico’s hospital system charges considerably less than America’s for the same exact procedures and identical medical devices. 

In the US, where hospital prices are usually not transparent, knee surgery often costs between $30k and $90k; in Mexico, it’s just $12k.

Cold, hard NASH
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Arizona Beverage Co. tries to get a head start on the American weed market

The company behind Arizona Iced Tea is the latest in a long list of beverage companies to get into the weed biz, and it’s not just a new iced green tea aimed at the likes of Willy Nelson (talk about a slam dunk publicity play).

Arizona Beverage Co. has reached a licensing deal with Dixie Brands, a Denver-based cannabis company that makes and sells weed vaporizers, candies, drinks, tinctures and topicals in 5 US states.

Why the jump to Jane?

It’s all about the upper hand. Beverage giants, like Constellation Brands and Molson Coors Brewing, have inked deals with marijuana companies in Canada, but, as public companies, they have to wait for cannabis to become federally legal in the US.

As Arizona loses its strong hold on ice tea sales, the privately held company is hoping to get a head start in the US cannabis market while the public big dawgs are still on a relatively short leash.

Soon, weed heads could vape Arizona Iced Tea-HC

AZ-Bev-Co’s change to the cheeba will reportedly start with vape pens and gummies with plans to expand further if all goes well.

Speaking of “goes well”: According to the deal, if the new blaze phase proves successful, Arizona is allowed to buy a stake of up to $10m in the company.

» Weed wins
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US farmers turn to petting zoos and pizza parties to keep their tractors on

As the American agricultural industry struggles with crappy commodity prices, worrisome weather, and troubling trade wars, many farmers are turning to seemingly unlikely sources of extra income: Side hustles.

For many farmers, these side gigs — which can range from goat yoga to haunted hayrides — are the only way to make ends meet, Axios reports.

‘Agritourism’ is an easy source of extra income

Since many high-earning Americans are willing to pay premium prices to see how farms work, farmers can sometimes use resources they already have at their disposal to make extra cash.

Some side hustles — like petting zoos, “pick-your-own” produce tours, and seasonal corn mazes — have been common for years.

Others cater to more modern tastes: Goat yoga and farmhouse Airbnb retreats cater to wellness warriors.  And farm-fresh pizza dinners — which have become immensely popular — appeal to the farm-to-table crowd.

But pizza nights aren’t just for fun — they’re for survival

According to The Denver Post, agritourism can bring in an extra $36k for a family farm — and that’s often the difference between closing and keeping the barn doors open.

Some family farms that have operated for generations report that agritourism now accounts for half of their revenue.

Side hustles are likely to continue for farmers: Colorado State University recently announced it will begin offering courses in agritourism.

» No farm, no foul

Male fertility startups are the latest to raise millions as the wellness industry booms

According to the US Department of Health & Human Services, 1 in 8 couples struggle to get pregnant after one year of trying. And ⅓ of those infertility issues are caused by problems in men.

Now, a small, but growing, number of companies are bringing technology and innovation to the male fertility space. Two companies are raising cash hard and fast to become the king of baby-making mountain. 

Battle for the babies

Dadi, a fertility test and storage kit delivery service, just raised a $5m extension after closing a $2m seed round earlier this year.

This comes shortly after its rival, Legacy, raised a $1.5m round for its sperm testing and freezing service. 

Both offer sperm storage services as well. According to Dadi’s CEO and co-founder Tom Smith, Dadi testing and storage goes for less than 1/10 the price that most clinical facilities charge.

Dadi charges around $200 for its testing kit and one year of sperm storage. The Sperm Bank of California charges up to $525 just for an initial consultation fee

Dadi, Legacy, Hims, Ro, what are these names?

Like Viagra or “sperm bank” is any better.

Other companies that are wellness-adjacent to Dadi and Legacy are raking in the funding as well. 

Hims raised $100m this year, and Manual, a well-being platform for men from London, closed £5m in seed funding in January. And that’s only to name a few of the swimmers looking to grow.

» Men: Can’t live with ‘em.
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That means two things for all you SaaS-ers:

1) Opportunity is out there 

2) So is the competition

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That’s where Gainsight PX comes in.  

Gainsight PX is your every-base-covered solution for product experience. 

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  • Score (and keep) more users thanks to in-app engagements like surveys, walkthroughs, and notifications
  • Deliver the kind of personalized product experience that turns one-time trials into diehard fans. 

There are plenty of product management tools out there, but Gainsight PX is specifically built for SaaS. No, specifically for you.

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