Product Thinking
Navigating Healthcare and Fintech with Colin Anawaty
March 1, 2023
What challenges do product managers face in highly regulated industries like healthcare and finance? In this episode of the Product Thinking podcast, Melissa Perri speaks with Colin Anawaty about his journey to co-founding First Dollar and the challenges of navigating a highly regulated industry. Colin shares his insights on Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), the benefits of utilizing them, and why he thinks they should be more widely available to all Americans. He also discusses the importance of personal and career growth within startups, and the value of providing clear career paths to employees. He describes how First Dollar evolved into a platform, and how their focus on addressing healthcare inequities and tying together healthcare and finance can lead to incentivizing better outcomes for all.  Colin Anawaty is the Chief Product Officer of First Dollar, a health wallet platform that provides its services to plan administrators to help consumers utilize their health benefits more easily and effectively. Colin has over six years of experience in healthcare and previously worked in the prepaid industry. Before joining First Dollar, Colin worked at athenahealth, where he and Melissa first met. Colin is a product management expert with a strong focus on healthcare and finance and has a passion for helping people make the most of their healthcare benefits. Here are some ideas you’ll hear Colin and Melissa discuss: Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) are a type of account created by the US government to make healthcare more affordable through pre-tax contributions. Unlike other benefits, such as FSAs and HRAs, HSAs can be kept even after leaving employment and can be invested for future use. Colin believes that HSAs should be more widely available to all Americans. The healthcare and finance industries are complex and highly regulated, and it can be challenging for product managers to become subject matter experts in both areas. Colin and his team learned about the industries by using resources such as industry experts and advisory boards, and they also hired people who had a mix of product management experience and expertise in either healthcare or finance. When hiring product managers for a startup, Colin looks for people who have the drive to learn and grow, and who have taken courses in product management. It's important to align product managers with the product lines they oversee and to focus on problem discovery and working with customers. Product managers need to be curious and open to learning about new things, especially when dealing with complexity. Formal training, subject matter experts, and nonprofit organizations can all help product managers get up to speed on regulations and compliance. Embedding security ops and compliance into the culture of a company can make it less scary and more manageable for everyone involved. Creating a consumer advisory board or incorporating customer engagement into terms of service can help companies navigate legal and compliance issues when trying to work directly with end users. Big companies prioritize change management and stability, while startups prioritize velocity and rapid iteration to achieve product-market fit. First Dollar started with a mission to help people shop for care but pivoted to become a platform for HSAs and FSAs. Resources: Colin Anawaty on LinkedIn | Twitter | Instagram  First Dollar
What challenges do product managers face in highly regulated industries like healthcare and finance? In this episode of the Product Thinking podcast, Melissa Perri speaks with Colin Anawaty about his journey to co-founding First Dollar and the challenges of navigating a highly regulated industry. Colin shares his insights on Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), the benefits of utilizing them, and why he thinks they should be more widely available to all Americans. He also discusses the importance of personal and career growth within startups, and the value of providing clear career paths to employees. He describes how First Dollar evolved into a platform, and how their focus on addressing healthcare inequities and tying together healthcare and finance can lead to incentivizing better outcomes for all.  Colin Anawaty is the Chief Product Officer of First Dollar, a health wallet platform that provides its services to plan administrators to help consumers utilize their health benefits more easily and effectively. Colin has over six years of experience in healthcare and previously worked in the prepaid industry. Before joining First Dollar, Colin worked at athenahealth, where he and Melissa first met. Colin is a product management expert with a strong focus on healthcare and finance and has a passion for helping people make the most of their healthcare benefits. Here are some ideas you’ll hear Colin and Melissa discuss: Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) are a type of account created by the US government to make healthcare more affordable through pre-tax contributions. Unlike other benefits, such as FSAs and HRAs, HSAs can be kept even after leaving employment and can be invested for future use. Colin believes that HSAs should be more widely available to all Americans. The healthcare and finance industries are complex and highly regulated, and it can be challenging for product managers to become subject matter experts in both areas. Colin and his team learned about the industries by using resources such as industry experts and advisory boards, and they also hired people who had a mix of product management experience and expertise in either healthcare or finance. When hiring product managers for a startup, Colin looks for people who have the drive to learn and grow, and who have taken courses in product management. It's important to align product managers with the product lines they oversee and to focus on problem discovery and working with customers. Product managers need to be curious and open to learning about new things, especially when dealing with complexity. Formal training, subject matter experts, and nonprofit organizations can all help product managers get up to speed on regulations and compliance. Embedding security ops and compliance into the culture of a company can make it less scary and more manageable for everyone involved. Creating a consumer advisory board or incorporating customer engagement into terms of service can help companies navigate legal and compliance issues when trying to work directly with end users. Big companies prioritize change management and stability, while startups prioritize velocity and rapid iteration to achieve product-market fit. First Dollar started with a mission to help people shop for care but pivoted to become a platform for HSAs and FSAs. Resources: Colin Anawaty on LinkedIn | Twitter | Instagram  First Dollar

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