A recent report from Jill’s List, the Boston-based business, has shared recent developments of interest to integrative health practitioners and researchers. The firm, founded by Jill Shah and boasting an advisory board that includes notables such as David Riley, MD, Mark Hyman, MD and Michele Mittelman, RN, MPH, is dedicated to “deliver solutions that help doctors, patients, CAM practitioners and companies collaborate in order to deliver more effective and less costly healthcare.”

Data collected by Jill’s List available free for academic research; firm moves into employer market

A recent report from Jill’s List, the Boston-based business, has shared recent developments of interest to integrative health practitioners and researchers. The firm, founded by Jill Shah and boasting an advisory board that includes notables such as David Riley, MD, Mark Hyman, MD and Michele Mittelman, RN, MPH, is dedicated to “deliver solutions that help doctors, patients, CAM practitioners and companies collaborate in order to deliver more effective and less costly healthcare.” Shah notes that the firm has launched it’s Referral Tool for health professionals: “All professional members of Jill’s List can use the tool to send and track referrals to CAM and Integrative Health practitioners who are listed on Jill’s List.” Shah adds that “the tool tracks patient information including geography, age and gender, conditions related to the referral, and modalities of the practitioners sending and receiving the referral.” The referral tool also “collects feedback related to each referral from both the practitioner accepting the referral and the patient involved in the referral.” Shah states that the data gathered can be mined for academic research.
 
The Jill’s List referral process, described in this video, takes less that 30 seconds. All professional members on the site can access it for free. The firm uses either a subscription model or charges a per referral “only when a practitioner accepts a referral to a new patient.” In other news, the firm has recently begun a push into the employee benefits realm. Shah expects that by the end of teh year, 20,000 employees will be using the firm’s “vetted, reviewed

list of practitioners and incentivizing employees to get, be and stay healthy.”

Comment: Since the “integration” era began some 15-20 years ago, many businesses started to link consumers and other stakeholders to vetted lists of providers have come along. Many have long since departed, with their business models. Jill’s List intrigues for reasons like this referral list, and the openness to partnership with academic researchers, and a project in which Shah has had a lead role in convening integrative medical doctors in the Boston area. Jill’s List is presently in a league of its own for its commitment to actual integration, both in its modeling and its products. This business is worth looking into. 

 

Canadian business launches national directory of integrative health clinics

Heidi Rasmussen, co-founder of the Integrative Health Care (IHC) Directory of Canada writes that “after 2 years of searching and designing our website, we have located 50 IHC clinics in Canada who meet the criteria” the business has established for IHCs. The firm’s site has been launched. The criteria are: 1) follow an integrative health care (IHC) philosophy; 2) provide care by a multi-disciplinary team of health professionals; 3) include both traditional Western, complementary and alternative medicine (CAM); and 4) offer clinic information through an online presence. The Integrative Health Care (IHC) Directory of Canada is a free, business listing of selected health and wellness centers in Canada. The firm’s business model appears to be through a “Premium Listing” which is available by subscription. 

 

Massage Envy, with now 800 locations, (re)sold to Roark Capital Partners

Fortune reports that private equity firm Roark Capital Partners has agreed to purchase massage and spa chain Massage Envy from Sentinel Capital Partners. The information about the sale was available through an FTC notice. No financial terms were disclosed. The Scottsdale, Arizona-based Massage Envy has nearly 800 locations throughout the US. An independent association of Massage Envy franchisees, reports that average location revenue rose from around $815,000 in 2009 to nearly $1.25 million in 2011. This suggests the 800 sites create a $1-billion operation. Sentinel acquired Massage Envy in late 2009 for an undisclosed amount from Natural Wellness USA.

Comment: A massage leader who sent this on commented wryly: “What a quaint, personal craft/cottage industry!” In May 2008, Veria, a wellness conglomerate, acquired Massage Envy. Veria, which described itself in their release as “a growing natural health and wellness company,” is part of the Essel Group of companies, a multi-billion dollar consortium encompassing television networks, cable systems, satellite communications, entertainment enterprises, and one of the world’s largest packaging companies. At that time, Massage Envy, founded in 2002, had 420 clinics nationwide. This was up from 265 when the Integrator covered its exploding business in September 2007. The Integrator article was called $90-Million Massage Envy Turns to Employee Benefits Market.