Office workstation top view of business people working around M&A, keyboard, calculator, phablet and money on wooden table - merger and acquisition concept

Top view of office workstation of business people working around M&A, keyboard, calculator, phablet and money on wooden table - M&A concept

Health technology company Hint Health aims to create an ‘end-to-end platform’ for direct primary care providers after acquiring AeroDPC, the companies announced Tuesday.

Based in San Francisco Hint Hello is a billing platform for direct primary care providers (DPCs). Its HintOS product handles member enrollment, employer plan administration, billing, invoicing, payments and other services. Patients using Hint Health can circumvention payers and reach doctors directly by paying a monthly membership. AeroDPCbased in Denver, Colorado, is a software and electronic medical record (EMR) company for direct primary care clinics.

Hint will launch a new product in 2023 that will include membership management, billing, EMR, business management, patient communication and other services. Clinical tools from AeroDPC and billing and membership tools from Hint are needed, said Zach Holdsworth, co-founder and CEO of Hint.

“We will launch a combined product in 2023 that basically integrates the best of both systems into one product,” Holdsworth said in an interview. “The goal is to create an affordable all-in-one solution that makes it easy for clinics looking to get started in direct primary care to get up and running.”

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but it was a cash and equity deal, Holdsworth said.

AeroDPC will be an independent subsidiary of Hint and will provide services to its existing customers. Dr. Brad Brown, co-founder and chief medical officer of AeroDPC, will now serve as Hint’s medical director. Brown himself is a direct primary care physician.

“One of the things that is really exciting about this acquisition is that Dr. Brad is actually a practicing DPC physician,” Holdsworth said. “He brings insights that are sometimes difficult for a software company to get in a silo. So the fact that he’s actually seeing patients in his clinic and feeling the pain of the real world in terms of actually running a business, that’s invaluable for a software company.”

Brown said part of the reason AeroDPC entered into the deal was because of a shared mission with Hint to help physicians provide direct primary care.

“It’s aligned with the mission, the vision,” Brown said in an interview. “We’re both trying to change American health care. We’re trying to make it easier for doctors to be with their patients.”

For Hint, the company has always planned to expand its products. Ultimately, Hint decided the best way to do that was through an acquisition, Holdsworth said.

“We were really in the process of trying to figure out if this is something we build or buy?” Holdsworth stated. “When we met with the AeroDPC team, they had already built a great product.”

Direct primary care is a growing industry, with patient memberships increasing 241% in the US from 2017 to 2021, according to a recent report from Hint Health. The acquisition is intended to support continued growth in the area, Holdsworth said.

“DPC is a growing movement, but there are still not enough DPC physicians to serve the population of the United States,” Holdsworth said. “I believe the only way to unlock long-term scale in this movement is to make it really easy and efficient for new clinics that are starting up to get off the ground.” So if this helps us achieve that, then mission accomplished from my point of view.

This is the second acquisition for Hint. In 2021, the company acquired Equal Health, a direct primary care network and benefits provider. Looking ahead, Hint is considering additional acquisitions, Holdsworth said.

Photo: Kritchanut, Getty Images

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