LASO Health announced Tuesday it is collaborating with Walmart to offer its customers access to LASO’s telehealth practitioners across all 50 states.
San Antonio nephrologist Dr. Hamed Mizani launched LASO Health in early 2020 to improve patient access to healthcare. The company’s first product is the LASO Local, a free mobile and desktop application that connects healthcare consumers directly to physicians, specialists, and healthcare services.
The San Antonio-based company’s new membership program called LASO Plus gives LASO customers access to Walmart’s Health Virtual Care. LASO Plus monthly users can also access Walmart’s round-the-clock telehealth services to book virtual urgent care visits 24/7/365 or schedule appointments with primary, mental, and behavioral healthcare providers in just a few days.
Telehealth statistics show that the use of virtual care is 38 times higher than before the COVID-19 pandemic, with over 27 million using telehealth services in 2022. The demonstrated benefits of telemedicine include improved access to care, convenience, and slowing the spread of infection, according to a 2021 National Health Interview Survey.
“This isn’t an insurance plan,” said Tim Kaufeldt, LASO CEO. “LASO Plus is ‘streaming healthcare’ if you will, providing families anywhere in the U.S. direct access to virtual health care with zero co-pays for a low monthly membership fee.”
Plan membership costs for LASO Plus start at $16.99 for individuals and $27.99 for families.
Currently, LASO partners with medical, dental, and wellness providers in the San Antonio and Austin markets. More than 5 million people have used Walmart’s Health Virtual Care, which debuted in 2019. The integration of LASO Plus into Walmart’s telemedicine platform provides the San Antonio company access to users across the U.S.
“We are determined to disrupt the complicated way patients now search for healthcare services, often without a clue at what the final costs will be,” Mizani said. “Whether you need to book an appointment one time on our free app or pay for the monthly LASO Plus membership, patients will be able to compare doctors and prices before booking a service on our platform.”
The startup is based out of Geekdom, a downtown startup community in San Antonio.
“LASO Health’s product is a modern solution that helps revolutionize how people navigate the complex healthcare system” said Geekdom CEO Charles Woodin. “It meets people where they are and puts the power of choice back in their hands.”
LASO Plus also has a small business plan for business owners interested in offering access as an employee benefit. Costs for coverage (depending on state and local tax laws) can start as low as a dollar or a little less a day per employee.
“Because LASO Plus is not insurance, business owners can offer 1099 employees a paid membership as an employee benefit,” Kaufeldt said. “And, users can save on prescriptions with our discounted drug plan feature.”
For in-person visits and services, licensed medical, dental, and wellness practitioners can join the LASO Local platform for free. LASO transfers payment directly from the consumer to the healthcare professional, saving doctors overhead costs from issuing and processing invoices. LASO Health continues to onboard new healthcare professionals to its platform daily. Medical practitioners interested in joining can connect with the business-to-business or B2B network on the LASO platform.
Kaufeldt emphasized how LASO Local and the new Walmart-affiliated plan LASO Plus were designed to meet everyone’s healthcare needs, not just those with insurance coverage.
“LASO doesn’t replace insurance. That’s for catastrophic coverage when needed – think of it as home insurance with these high deductible plans,” Kaufeldt said. “But even if you have insurance, if you cannot pay a $9,000 deductible, you can consider yourself unfunded for your healthcare needs – and LASO is here to fill that gap.”
With telemedicine use on the rise and more people looking to manage healthcare costs effectively, LASO Plus will help more people access affordable healthcare, Mizani said.
“As one doctor, I can influence a patient’s life, but with this platform, I can help millions,” Mizani said. “We want to become the biggest healthcare platform across the country without owning a single doctor’s office.”
The featured image is a screenshot of LASO Health’s new plan called LASO Plus.