Who We Are
True Medicine enables patients to use HSAs/FSAs to buy healthy food, exercise and supplements.
There is $140 billion sitting in HSA and FSA accounts. This is under-optimized pre-tax money (~35% savings) Americans can use to buy qualified medical expenses. Healthy food, exercise (classes, equipment, gym membership), and supplements count as qualified medical expenses with a Letter of Medical Necessity (LMN) tying these items to the prevention/reversal of a specific disease.
We’re building the infrastructure that allows health and wellness merchants (think Peloton, 8 Sleep, Oura Ring, etc) to accept the $140+ billion tied up in HSA and FSA accounts. And by allowing consumers to spend these pre-tax dollars on goods that make them healthier, we’ll incentivize consumers to invest in their health, and begin to reverse the explosion in chronic illness that’s plagued the US the last 50 years.
Whether you’re in engineering, marketing, sales, or customer success, you’ll have a seat at the table as we work to improve nutrition and health outcomes for hundreds of millions of people.
True Medicine brings to fruition a goal that many in the wellness field believe is necessary for sustainable health improvement: making healthy choices easier and less expensive.
Role Overview and Values
We’re hiring a Founding Engineer who can lead the creation of our payments integration product. This person will shape business goals with the founding team, and then transfer these goals to an engineering roadmap. Values we’re looking for:
- Enthusiasm for our mission (described below) to solve the root cause issues that are making Americans sick.
- Exhibits a growth mindset and learns quickly.
- Demonstrates ability to understand and absorb new information.
- Understanding of your own strengths and weaknesses – when to ask for help and when to move forward autonomously.
- Wants to work with/manage fewer people of the highest caliber than more people of mediocre caliber.
- Critical thinking:
- Able to quickly understand objectives and execute in an environment of ambiguity.
- Never uses “because that’s what I was told to do” as a reason for doing something that doesn’t make sense.
- Acts without being told what to do.
- Brings new ideas to the company.
- Cares about getting to the right answer, not being proved right.
- When faced with a setback or tough feedback, moves forward instead of dwelling on the past.
- Focused on achieving the mission, not having the right answer.
- Adjusts quickly to changing priorities and conditions.
- Understand sunk costs are sunk.
- Openness to criticism and ideas:
- Reacts calmly to criticism or negative feedback, and has a “feedback is an opportunity for information and improvement” mindset.
- Is willing to give criticism and negative feedback – realizing we are all here to get to the right answer to achieve our mission.
- Speaks and writes clearly and articulately.
We are looking for someone who exhibits autonomy and maturity and is eager to transfer business objectives into software and iterate/learn quickly. There are no hard and fast experience or education requirements, although we would expect to see demonstrated history of execution in this space.
95% of all medical costs go to people after we are sick. This is so normalized, most don’t realize how insane it is. Few would argue that the purpose of healthcare should be to enable people to be healthy. But this is not how it works. Every institution that impacts our health – from Pharma to hospitals to doctors to insurance – makes money when we are sick and loses money when we are healthy. Health doesn’t happen in a doctor’s office. Going to the doctor after you have diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, cancer or any other chronic condition is like going to the mechanic after you’re crashed a car. We need to prevent the crash in the first place.
There is a tribe that realizes that habits are the basis of health. Not drugs, not doctor’s visits, not surgeries.
Nearly every dollar of health policy should go towards incentivizing these five habits:
- FOOD: Eating whole, non-contaminated food and NOT eating inflammatory food such as sugar, highly processed grains, and vegetable oils.
- SLEEP: adequate quantity and quality of sleep.
- MOVEMENT: Increasing exercise and reducing sedentary behavior
- STRESS: Reducing chronic stress
- ENVIRONMENT: Increasing sunlight and minimizing environmental toxins
People who practice these habits rarely get heart disease (#1 cause of death), many leading forms of cancer (#2 cause of death), stroke (#5 cause of death), Alzheimer’s (#7 cause of death), Type 2 Diabetes (#8 cause of death) and liver disease (#10 cause of death). They will be much more likely to recover from pneumonia (#9 cause of death), COVID-19 (#3 cause of death) chronic lower respiratory diseases (#6 cause of death), and suicide (#11 cause of death).
Disease isn’t some random occurrence that might happen in the future – it’s tied to what we do and how we feel today. If you are battling “minor” health issues like fatigue, brain fog, anxiety, pain, infertility or erectile dysfunction, it’s important to realize that the underlying cause of these conditions is generally the same thing that will lead to a “major” illness sometime later in life. But these underlying causes are reversible; you can feel better today and drive down your risk for most major diseases to nearly zero by prioritizing these five habits.
The health situation today is dire, but we are optimistic. Just 120 years ago, starvation, malnutrition and early death were the norm. Tuberculosis and pneumonia were the leading causes of death. Life expectancy in the United States was around 40. Only 10% of Americans made it to age 65. 30 percent of all U.S. deaths occurred in children less than 5 years of age compared to just 1.4 percent in 1999. If you transported someone living in those times to the present day, they’d be in utter shock as they tried to process the advancements society has made.
Yet, we are in the midst of a modern health crisis. The good news is that our system can be fixed and the crisis can end. Throughout prior crucible moments, human ingenuity created advancements and systems changes that few could imagine. The next revolution in health will come from understanding how the root of almost every disease relates to habits.
And habits are driven by incentives.
We need to start seeing food (and exercise, sleep and other healthy habits) as medicine. Over 90% of Americans are battling or at risk for a chronic condition. But drugs and medical interventions don’t cure disease.
There are thousands of peer-reviewed studies that show exercise and healthy food helps reverse and prevent virtually every chronic condition – ranging from diabetes to infertility to depression to heart disease to obesity. Often, the food and dietary interventions are better than leading pharmaceuticals or medical procedures.
Doctors can prescribe food and exercise to prevent disease, and we believe more should – and True Medicine will normalize this in the medical and consumer ecosystem.
- Justin Mares, who has co-founded healthy food brands Kettle & Fire and Perfect Keto (which combined generate over $100 million/year in revenue) and is the co-author of Traction, a leading book on growth marketing.
- More on Justin’s passion for this mission in his newsletter.
- Calley Means, who recently sold his first company and is co-authoring a book (with his sister, Levels co-founder Dr. Casey Means) through Penguin on the relation between food and disease. Stanford/HBS grad.
- More on Calley’s passion for this mission here.
Comp and equity in top 10th percentile for seed startups. Our goal is to have a small team of founder-minded, mission-aligned professionals.