04 Apr Day 87: The New Network
The following is an excerpt I wrote to help explain to someone how the Crossover Health Concept has evolved over the last three years.
For the last three years I have been involved as a consultant in the direct practice space. I have had the privilege to work with Lemhi Ventures, companies like Current Health, and several other “Health 2.0” startups focused on delivery of care innovations. I have met and spoken with and to people from all across the country on these topics. One of the most interesting projects I was involved with was the X PRIZE, where I helped design the framework for a $10M competition to radically alter the delivery of care. In talking to a national audience of health care innovators, it became clear to me the “medical home/direct practice” model was what was required to radically shift the payment model, which would drive delivery changes, which will ultimately impact outcomes, and lead to a great consumer experience.
For this reason, I determined to get back into the actual deliver of care. Last July, I began this process by helping a physician friend of my who recently separated from his partner. It was one of those unfortunate situations where he was left without a practice manager, without access to an electronic record, and a floundering practice. I found that I could actually help him the most on the business end while helping out with the clinical end as well. In working through the practice management issues, I ended up hiring a practice manager, implementing an EHR, remodeling the office, rebranding the clinic, and essentially retooling the entire practice for future growth. We were able to refocus and re-energize the entire practice – we doubled patient visits, the patient experience dramatically improved, and we became cash flow positive in four months. This was a team effort by a dedicated group of individuals who remained solely focused on our objectives.
While impressive, there are literally hundreds of practice management companies out there (athena helps us look like all-stars) for traditional practices. But I began to wonder, as I did when I worked in this space previously, about the opportunity to create a management company for Direct Practices. Interestingly enough, our Traditional Practice Management services have continued to flourish (three new physicians have signed on in the last six weeks), while we have simultaneously been able to build out our Direct Practice Management capabilities. I have been working closely with HelloHealth, functioning essentially as a “Practice Launch Catalyst” in getting physicians up and running on the platform. We are focused on getting 10 new practices launched in a very short time frame here in Orange County. This involves identifying physician candidates, engaging them in the project, training them on the various tools, and launching this service within their practices. It is an intense, multi-pronged effort, being done as part of a overall “surge” in a concentrated geographical area. I am fortunate that my own practice, Crossover Health, will be one of the 10 practices that launches within this time frame as well.
A natural side effect of this “OC Surge” is that we are creating a private network of physicians who are using and collaborating on a common platform. This natural network, created and enabled by the HelloHealth platform, becomes increasingly more valuable the more physicians that use it. Crossover Health Management Services will continue to provide support and assist some of these practices after they launch as we have an array of ongoing services to help the practices be successful. We also work quite hard to get others on the platform so that the specialist, ancillary providers, and other health facilitators can also participate on the platform as well. This is actually one of the key benefits of any network, the more members and physicians that are a part of it the more valuable the network becomes. In essence, we create a natural IPA, not to the exclusion of other networks, but naturally and easily as part of self aggregation enabled by the platform. We choose to associate in this way because there is inherent value to do so – there are no contracts, no deep connections, just people collaborating in a whole new way on the platform. If the network does not provide value, then members and physicians can and should aggregate in some other way. Pretty simple concept.
I am a huge believer in the concept of membership based medicine, am a passionate advocate and tireless innovator in the space, and look forward to making an indelible impact in the local area by introducing this concept with force this summer to the OC. Given all the work ahead, it seems like an Endless Summer already!