Nice Healthcare members request in-person meetings with medical professionals via an app. Submitted photo

Startup aims to provide Minnesota Nice health care

Updated: January 25, 2018 – 3:36 pm

Nice Healthcare co-founder likens company to delivery services

Thompson Aderinkomi says he started his company because health care isn’t so nice, especially not Minnesota Nice.

The Northeast Minneapolis resident is the co-founder of Nice Healthcare, a primary care provider that has drawn more than 3,000 members across the Twin Cities metro since launching last fall. Despite providing medicine, Aderinkomi describes Nice Healthcare as a tech company that aims to change the way health care is delivered by bringing medical professionals out of clinics and to your door or computer.

“This is like Amazon Prime for health care,” he said. “It’s the same medicine, just different delivery channels.”

Nice Healthcare is a membership-based health care service where members pay a flat annual or monthly fee and can schedule video or in-person visits with a licensed nurse practitioner. Like a pizza shop, Aderinkomi said, the company works within a delivery range — roughly 30 minutes outside downtown Minneapolis, its core delivery area — and its staff can write prescriptions, do blood tests and most things their counterparts in traditional clinics could do.

Aderinkomi, a medical economist and a former board member of MNsure, said he and co-founders Genevieve Swenson and Allison Nelson started the company as an alternative to a broken health care model built on high, unclear costs and a lack of customer service.

Nice Healthcare is completely decentralized and doesn’t have offices or facilities. The roughly dozen or so staff work remotely. One employee even lives in Hawaii and telecommutes for regular staff meetings.

The company relies on a mobile partner for X-rays and — just like many clinics, Aderinkomi points out — a national reference lab for test results. Unlike delivery services, staff aren’t rated or tipped as memberships cover nearly all costs besides those for vaccines and additional services. Aderinkomi said they pay market-rate wages and because of their low overhead they can charge less than traditional clinics.

Offering memberships means they can plan how much staff to have available, Aderinkomi said.

“We maintain capacity to make sure all of our members can have same-day visits,” he said.

Nice Healthcare doesn’t take insurance and Aderinkomi is quick to say it isn’t an alternative to insurance, so members would still be penalized by the federal government if they didn’t maintain a plan.

In fact, many of the company’s users get memberships through their employer as a supplement to insurance. Relying on Nice Healthcare for routine visits may allow some to save money by moving to a high-deductible plan with lower monthly premiums.

“It’s the right thing to do because Nice Healthcare isn’t for catastrophic events… It’s for your regular, everyday health care,” he said.

Local companies like MN Air, ACR Homes of Roseville and Eden Prairie-based Parallel Technologies are among its clients. Aderinkomi said Nice Healthcare is especially popular in manufacturing where it’s difficult for employees to take time off.

Memberships are available in Minneapolis, St. Paul and Duluth. The company is looking to expand to southern Minnesota where Aderinkomi said people can forgo driving long distances into a clinic with a video visit. Aderinkomi also hopes to begin prescription deliveries later this year.

Memberships are based on household rather than families. They start at $59 per month for individuals, in addition to sign-up fees, and go up to $99 per month for households of as many as five. Additional members can be added to a plan for $40 per person per month.

With upfront contracts that can be cancelled at any time, Aderinkomi said their service is easier than signing up for a gym membership.

“Once people use it, they absolutely love it. They stop going to their clinic,” he said. “They can have visits with us anywhere, anytime.”