In our ongoing series around the COVID-19 crisis, we plan each episode with the specific aim of delivering you, the listener, actionable items you can do right now. To ensure that during this crisis you can solidify and strengthen your business while continuing to serve your patients at the highest level, we’re bringing you two of our favorite people in healthcare. Joining us today is David Goldhill, CEO of Sesame and Dr. Allison Edwards, Sesame Regional Physician Advisor and Founder of Kansas City Direct Primary Care, to talk about how you can adopt the right strategies for doctors to overcome this crisis.


  • How a personal tragedy and a timely New Yorker article set David Goldhill on the path from being a top media exec to one of our leading voices in healthcare.
  • Why incentives and priorities are a huge motivation and focus of David’s research.

What we saw was an opportunity to create something of an alternative health economy outside of third party reimbursement.

David Goldhill
  • The Direct Primary Care Marketplace: A guide for practices and patients.
  • The solution for high deductible patients you can’t collect from.

We elected to not bill insurance in our clinic simply because we wanted to make sure that we were actually working for our patients as our customers.

Dr. Allison Edwards
  • Insurance made it difficult to treat patients: How helping under-served populations in an FQHC drove Dr. Edwards to DPC.
  • The DPC Speed Advantage: How Dr. Edwards was able to adapt and pivot without having to convince government or insurers, she just had to convince her patients.
  • The NEW Channels, Formats, and Expectations for the doctor-patient relationship.
  • An overview of the video platform, payment, and scheduling with Sesame.
  • What you can and can’t do through Telemedince in Primary Care.
  • A rundown of the Virtual Check-in
  • Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good.

David Goldhill, President, and Chief Executive Officer

David Goldhill is the founder and CEO of Sesame, which operates an innovative direct pay marketplace for the full range of health care services.  Sesame launched its service in Kansas City in 2019.  Goldhill has been a leading voice of market-based health care reform since publication of “How American Health Care Killed My Father” as the cover story of the September 2009 issue of The Atlantic.

Goldhill is the author of “Catastrophic Care: Why Everything We Think We Know about Health Care is Wrong” (Knopf, January 2013) and of “The Real Costs of American Health Care” (Vintage 2016).  He is co-editor of New York’s Next Health Care Revolution (Manhattan Institute, 2015).  Goldhill is chair of the Board of Directors of the Leapfrog Group, an employer-sponsored organization dedicated to hospital safety and transparency.

In his business career, Goldhill was president and CEO of GSN, which operates a US cable television network seen in 80 million homes and one of the world’s largest digital games companies.  He previously served as president and COO of Universal Television Group, the largest division of Universal Studios.  In this capacity, he oversaw all operations at the company’s domestic and international cable television networks, cable and network television studios, first-run syndication business and worldwide television distribution.

Goldhill was also chairman and CEO of Independent Network Holdings, Ltd. (INTH), which created and operated the TV3 television network in Russia.  Prior, Goldhill was the CFO of Act III Communications, a privately-owned holding company with interests in television stations, movie theaters, magazines, and film/television production.  He has served as Director of Commerce Hub (CHUBA), Expedia (EXPE), eLong (LONG), and numerous private companies.

Goldhill graduated from Harvard University with a B.A. degree in history and holds a M.A. degree in history from New York University. 

Dr. Allison Edwards, Sesame Regional Physician Advisor, Founder of Kansas City Direct Primary Care

Dr. Allison Edwards aims to change the manner in which healthcare is delivered, putting the emphasis on keeping people well rather than solely stepping in and treating the sick. Her professional interests and areas of expertise include public health, women’s health, preventive medicine, and emergency medicine. Originally from Lawrence, Dr. Edwards spent her undergraduate years at Drake University in Des Moines, IA before returning to Kansas City for medical school at the University of Kansas. From there, she completed her residency and served as Chief Resident at the University of Colorado in Denver, CO and is currently board-certified by the American Board of Family Medicine. In addition to providing care at KCDPC, she volunteers at the JayDoc Free Clinic and serves as a Volunteer Clinical Assistant Professor for the University of Kansas and a Volunteer Clinical Instructor for the University of Colorado, allowing her to continue to educate the next generation of healers. In her free time, she loves spending time with family and pursuing hobbies including photography, travel, gardening, cooking, being outdoors, and reading the newspaper over a cup of coffee.

Sesame is a marketplace for health services where customers pay upfront for care. Sesame connects patients and providers directly, making quality health care more accessible, affordable, and transparent. No surprise bills, no hidden costs. Just great doctors offering their services at fair, transparent prices.

Sesame offers an end-to-end HIPAA-compliant telemedicine solution with a key distinction.  Sesame virtual appointment includes our direct-pay payment and billing functionality.  At a moment of uncertain reimbursement policies around telemedicine – and with telemedicine appointments carrying fees meaningfully less than in-office visits, Sesame allows practices to recoup revenue with little administrative cost. Our platform is a fully HIPAA compliant, easy to use service that enables any licensed medical provider in the US – in any specialty – to immediately list their services using our convenient, self-onboarding tool. The platform also works with other video services, which allows physicians to utilize Sesame for its upfront payment functionality alongside an existing video conference solution. We’re offering the service free to all providers for the next three months as a way to introduce the concept of direct-pay services to a broader range of providers.

Patients can use Sesame to find the telemedicine care they need, with a wide range of specialties and providers—from general consultations, to dermatology, physical therapy and beyond, all available with clear, affordable pricing and a straightforward booking platform.

Links, Resources and Related Episodes

Catastrophic Care: Why Everything We Think We Know about Health Care Is Wrong by David Goldhill

This is a jarring book. Be prepared to be shocked, enraged, and enlightened by the inner-workings of our healthcare system. David lost his father to that system, and his experience sent him on a mission to understand how, and why, it happened.  David was the CEO of The Game Show Network and a complete healthcare “outsider”. David’s understanding of how businesses work, in particular from a financial incentive side, allowed him to get deep into the underlying factors that govern how our healthcare system works.

Catastrophic Care Book Review by Don Lee

Direct primary care alliance university

EHRs for DPC – Elation, Hint, Atlas (in the order they were mentioned)

related episodes of dpc

Twitter @SesameCare @Dr_A_Edwards @David_Goldhill

Linkedin: Sesame David Goldhill Dr. Allison Edwards

More on Direct Primary Care (DPC) from The #HCBiz Show

Or, find it on your favorite podcast network such as:

Trying to drive change within your healthcare organization? Launching a new product? Having trouble getting decision-makers’ attention and buy-in?

We’ll help you understand the whole picture so that you can align your innovation with the things decision-makers care about. And then we’ll help you execute It’s not easy, but it’s possible and we’ll help you get there.  Sign up here and we’ll keep you up to date on healthcare industry news with podcasts, blog posts, conference announcements and more. No fluff. No hype. Just the valuable (and often not-so-obvious) information you need to get things done.

The #HCBiz Show! is produced by Glide Health IT, LLC in partnership with Netspective Media.

Music by StudioEtar