Fighting Chronic Disease Through a Cost Sharing Community—with James Maskell of KNEW Health – EP89

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Lifestyle-driven chronic disease accounts for 86% of healthcare costs in America, but the current system was not designed to address the issue. So, how do we build a new operating system that is proactive rather than reactive? That focuses on lifestyle rather than medication? That is built on empowerment and community rather than disease and risk and fear?

James Maskell is the founder of KNEW Health, a payer solution for chronic disease reversal, and the host of the Functional Forum podcast and flagship show, the world’s largest integrated medicine community. A sought-after international speaker, he has appeared on TEDx, TEDMED and HuffPostLive. James is passionate about creating the structures necessary to evolve humanity beyond chronic disease.

Today, James joins us to discuss the numbers around chronic disease, explaining why people living in the Blue Zones are much healthier than the general population. He shares the KNEW Health approach to healthcare, discussing how the cost sharing model differs from traditional insurance, the services provided by the KNEW Health billing concierge, and the criteria for becoming a member. James also describes the impact of the ACA in America and how it has put money behind an inefficient system that has no discernible impact on health. Listen in for insight into how James is building a network of functional medicine doctors and learn how to create a community to support you in adopting healthy habits that prevent chronic disease.

Topics Covered

[1:36] James’ interest in chronic disease prevention

  • Grew up with integrated medicine
  • Better alternative to existing system
[3:54] The numbers around chronic disease

  • Cost of $47T in next 20 years
  • Accounts for 86% of costs in US
  • Life expectancy decrease (last two years)
[5:53] The Blue Zones

  • Societies where people live to 100
  • Much lower incidence of chronic disease
  • Common thread = culture and community
[7:16] The KNEW Health approach to healthcare

  • Create culture and community
  • Build new operating system of medicine
  • Promote practice of functional medicine
[11:22] How cost sharing differs from insurance

  • Cost sharing has no network
  • Pay cash for significant discount
  • Submit bill to community, receive check
[20:03] The benefits of paying in cash

  • Doctor works for YOU
  • Dramatic cost reduction
[22:42] The KNEW Health billing concierge

  • Directs client to best facility
  • Negotiates rate to reduce bill
[27:34] The criteria to become a KNEW Health member

  • American citizen under 65
  • Best fit for health conscious, self-employed
[32:10] The potential for KNEW Health to expand globally

  • Need in America to create preventive system
  • Every country struggling with chronic disease
[35:16] The impact of the Affordable Care Act

  • 60% of insurance revenue from government
  • Put money behind inefficient system
[37:41] Why James started with doctors

  • Increase # of functional medicine doctors
  • Make easier to learn about this approach
  • 30K doctors in network thus far
[41:11] James’ advice on healthcare

  • Behavior change sustainable in community
  • Online resources to make offline connections

Learn More About James Maskell

KNEW Health

Functional Forum

Evolution of Medicine


The Evolution of Medicine: Join the Movement to Solve Chronic Disease and Fall Back in Love with Medicine by James Maskell

The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who’ve Lived the Longest by Dan Buettner

The Blue Zones Solution: Eating and Living Like the World’s Healthiest People by Dan Buettner


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