The Week in Disruption goes beyond the headlines to uncover the significance of emerging trends in healthcare and beyond.
From disruptor to disrupted in 12 months
In just the last year, sparkling water manufacturer LaCroix’s emergence as a popular and healthy alternative to soda has quickly given way to the challenges of a legacy company losing market share to consumer-focused competitors.
In 2018, overall consumption of sparkling water in the U.S. was expected to nearly triple its performance just 10 years earlier, with LaCroix claiming 23.3% of the market. While LaCroix is still an industry leader—with nearly half a billion dollars in yearly sales through late May—it has seen its market share drop to 17.3%. The Wall Street Journal notes that LaCroix’s recent success has inspired a new wave of competitors from Polar to Bubly, offering consumers lower prices, more natural ingredients, or varied flavor options. It will be interesting to watch whether LaCroix’s efforts to retain its stature rely on innovative new offerings of its own or more of the same.
Your ride to the doctor is three minutes away
The race between Lyft and Uber to become healthcare’s ride-hailing service of choice is heating up. This week, Lyft announced its approval as a Medicaid provider in Arizona in the wake of the state’s passage of new regulations for non-emergency medical transportation. Lyft claims that it is the first ride-hailing provider in the United States with approval to work directly with Medicaid beneficiaries.
Uber, meanwhile, recently agreed to provide transportation services to healthcare start-up Grand Rounds, which provides healthcare services to more than 100 large employers and 4.5 million covered lives. Grand Round intends to integrate Uber into its digital consumer platform, allowing patients to book rides to their doctor appointments directly.
Payer-provider partnership bets on wellness and prevention
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota and North Memorial Health are partnering up to share ownership of North Memorial’s 20 primary and specialty care clinics—with an ambitious goal to reduce the cost of care by 20 percent in just five years. The new partners announced plans to achieve that goal through a focus on “wellness, prevention and health outcomes, rather than consumption of services.” The agreement comes amid growing interest in payer-provider partnerships.
Innovation at a glance
- BlueCross and BlueShield of California has announced plans to shift away from workplace wellness initiatives and offer curated digital health applications to members with employer-based insurance.
- A new HealthLeaders article explores efforts by North Carolina-based Atrium Health to transform its rural hospitals from primarily acute care to a broader medical home model.
- Shareholders at Centene and WellCare have approved plans for a proposed merger of the two insurance companies. Assuming the merger receives state and federal regulatory approval, the combined entity would cover more than 22 million Americans.
- UnitedHealth has agreed to purchase the healthcare payments processing firm Equian—which touts its ability to avoid overpayments for insurers and other clients.