Healthcare Rebel Alliance: Q&A with Josh Hix, Season

Health insurance 101
Healthcare Rebel Alliance
Healthcare industry

Nick Soman, Decent: You scaled and sold Plated to Albertsons, then started Season. What's the connection between the two companies? And did you give yourself a break?

Josh Hix, Season: Once Plated had been shipping nationally for a few quarters, we had a pleasant surprise. A health plan reached out to tell us that many anecdotal reports from members were linking Plated to healthy outcomes, and asked us if we’d be interested in discussing some kind of work with them. We spent a while interviewing members and discussing what a contract could look like with the plan team, before concluding that it was best for us to focus on our consumer business. Years later, after leaving Albertsons, I felt like I needed to finish this unfinished business! And yes, I technically took a year break, though in hindsight, I spent too much of that time researching and networking around the idea that ultimately became Season.

Nick Soman, Decent: What guidance would you offer MBAs considering first-time entrepreneurship?

Josh Hix, Season: I wouldn’t consider “entrepreneurship” per se. I would consider working on a specific problem that matters to you, and focusing on whether you have the right mix of skills and willingness to tolerate the tradeoffs that starting a company requires.

Nick Soman, Decent: What are the best and worst things about your job?

Josh Hix, Season: The best thing is the impact that we’re able to create for patients at the end of the day. I’d say the most challenging is how many hoops and gatekeepers we have to pass through in order to finally reach those patients, and the timelines that creates.

Nick Soman, Decent: What misconceptions about Food-as-Medicine would you like to clear up?

Josh Hix, Season: There’s no one universally accepted definition of Food-as-Medicine, but I’d like to suggest that clinical care, usually delivered by Registered Dietitians, is an absolutely critical component. Many people need help understanding nutrition, and then they need help with the behavioral component of putting clinical advice into practice. Second, I’d like to clear up the misconception that Food-as-Medicine is entirely about prevention, or that it takes a long time to create results. Our programs focused on treating chronic disease show large clinical results in 90-180 days, and deliver value for payers well inside of one plan year.

Nick Soman, Decent: Who else in healthcare inspires you, and why?

Josh Hix, Season: Anyone who’s optimistic about what I view to be a fundamentally dysfunctional system, and anyone who’s talking about the real problems—not only focusing on improving the existing system. I’d highlight Julie Yoo at Andreessen Horowitz, who we’re lucky to have on our Board, as an example of both.

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