Fred Turner, CEO and Co-Founder of Curative

Curative started in 2020 as a company focused on improving outcomes for sepsis patients.

But then the Pandemic struck.

It quickly pivoted to become one of the nation’s largest testing centers for COVID-19 with 19,000 locations. Its test sites completed 36 million tests and 2.5 million vaccinations, said Fred Turner, the company’s CEO, and co-founder.

Now Curative’s headquarters are based in Austin with 400 employees and it’s pivoting again.

At the Health Tech Austin Future of Care Delivery Summit at Capital Factory Thursday morning, Turner shared more about the company’s new mission as a healthcare insurance provider. It’s creating a Netflix model for next-generation healthcare.

The startup has created a new employer-based health plan that offers $0 copays, $0 deductibles for in-network services, and preferred prescription drugs as long as the member completes a baseline visit to their primary care physician without 120 days of plan activation. If they don’t, then the member defaults to a plan with a high deductible plan.

At the baseline visit, the member is given a preventative health assessment, but they are also taught how to navigate the system, Turner said. Each member is assigned a “health navigator” who helps them understand their goals and needs and navigate the complex healthcare system.

After Curative’s COVID-19 testing business, Turner said he wanted to focus on something that would move the needle on how healthcare was delivered and make it better for everyone.

Fifty percent of the people in the U.S. get their insurance from large-group employer health plans. Curative is available to companies with more than 50 employees in Austin. It plans to move into the San Antonio market next within a few months, then Dallas and Houston later this year, Turner said.

High deductible health plans don’t work, Turner said. Those plans usually discourage people from getting preventative care like mammograms and colonoscopies or early detection of diabetes and heart disease, he said.

“By not investing in primary care and preventative care that comes back to bite you,” Turner said.

Curative’s plans offer zero cost in network and that builds trust with members, Turner said. Curative wanted to design a plan so that the member always knows what it will cost to receive care, he said.

Two percent of a healthcare plan’s members are generating 50 percent of the costs, Turner said. A dollar spent on primary care is worth way more than a dollar spent to treat a major health problem that if detected early could have been prevented, Turner said. In the long run, the plan ends up saving a lot of money and people are healthier, he said.

Curative already has 10,000 providers in the Austin area, Turner said. Its network includes major providers such as the Austin Regional Clinic, Austin Diagnostic Clinic, and all of St. David’s facilities, among others as well as 24-hour access to a local physician via telemedicine.

“We want you to go get care,” he said. “We want you to get the right care.”

Curative picked Austin for its headquarters at 900 Congress because the Curative brand is already well-known here, Turner said. In addition, Curative has a lab in Pflugerville. It also chose Texas because of its regulatory environment for new healthcare companies, he said. And Austin has a number of headquarters for large companies, he said.

To date, Curative has raised $8 million in venture funding, according to Crunchbase.