Ways2Well, founded in 2018 by Heights resident Brigham Buhler, is a virtual preventative health care provider that uses blood lab analysis to provide data on patients’ health states.
Buhler said the company’s origin was inspired by his personal journey.
Buhler spent 15 years in the medical industry, first with American pharmaceutical company Eli Lily and then for Stryker, a Fortune 500 medical technologies firm.
“I was working long hours and trying to be everything to everyone,” Buhler said.
In his late 20s, he saw a nutritionist and did CrossFit to try to lose weight and ward off the diabetes that runs in his family. But he said he wasn’t seeing results.
After a months-long wait to see a specialist and the expense of having a wide array of tests run, Buhler said a wide array of imbalances were discovered. He described his subsequent treatments as life-changing, so Buhler wished he could have improved his health much earlier.
“I wondered, ‘What if we could stop the progression (toward poor health)?’” he said.
Along the way, Buhler linked up with Aaron Schneider, who had spent more than 15 years as a pharmacy technician, pharmacist, pharmacy manager, and director of operations. Together they co-founded ReviveRx, a licensed compounding pharmacy that is the sister company of Ways2Well. They both are under the same roof in Garden Oaks at 3831 Golf Dr.
Completing the team is Tay Bagley, Ways2Well’s chief operating officer who runs daily operations and explores market expansion opportunities. Bagley spent the early part of his career in sales and management at Stryker and MediSmart. Schneider and Bagley are also residents of the Heights.
What makes Ways2Well innovative, according to Buhler, is the time that patients spend with a health care provider as well as Ways2Well’s self-pay system, in which clients don’t go through insurance to get a blood panel.
“A primary care physician has to do it all in eight minutes,” Buhler said. “They have to practice sick care.”
Buhler contrasts that with the 75 minutes that a Ways2Well patient will spend in consultation with one of their health care providers – and they don’t have to wait months for an appointment or pay for parking. He also said that if a comprehensive panel is done with a doctor and billed through insurance, the cost can be thousands of dollars, and there is no guarantee that insurance will pick up the total cost. That cost can also effect what kind of tests doctors order.
With the self-pay system, not billed through insurance, lab tests range from $99-$299 for a full work-up.
“Our goal is to be the Amazon of health care,” Buhler said.
The way it works is that patients will have their first virtual consultation with Ways2Well and then the company schedules the patients’ lab work at a Quest Diagnostics of their choice. Once the tests are done, results are sent to Ways2Well – which it says is a HIPAA-compliant medical provider – and another virtual appointment is done through a secure video call provider. The session is between the Ways2Well nurse practitioner Danese Rexroad with medical director Dr. Mark Mahaffey as a resource.
“They walk you through the results,” Bagley said.
The analysis of the comprehensive blood panels are used to detect genetic and early markers of disease and illness.
“The focus is wellness care,” Bagley said, noting that if there any markers for serious illness or disease, patients are then referred to a specialist.
With test results, ReviveRx can prescribe and compound custom-created prescription-grade vitamins and supplements for the patient. And it can happen in real time because they are next door.
Schneider said ReviveRx is not a retail-facing pharmacy for walk-in customers. Patients are referred there by a network of physicians or the clinical team at Ways2Well. But legally and health care-wise, Schneider said ReviveRX is an accredited pharmacy that could dispense anything you could get at a Walgreens or CVS pharmacy.
According to Schneider, all of ReviveRx’s products are sourced and purchased from distributors approved by the Federal Drug Administration.
“We focus on prescriptions that aren’t covered by insurance,” Schneider said. “They are patient specific.”
While the company doesn’t share Ways2Well patient numbers, its leaders say it is growing beyond their expectations. Buhler said ReviveRX, which has a wider reach and is pursuing licenses in a number of states, has served 6,000 patients. Ways2Well is now working to grow outside of Houston to the rest of the state.
For more information, visit https://ways2well.com/.