08 Dec Democratizing Concierge Medicine: First Look at Current Health
Current Health (kûr‘ənt helth) n.
- Membership based, comprehensive primary care practice based in San Francisco area with plans to spread branded clinics throughout the West.
- Millennial version of the classic vision of a trusted physician who makes house calls.
As I have mentioned previously, I have been involved in some really cool projects recently that I believe are at the forefront of the wave of change that will soon wash over the health care industry as the “time for change” appears to be now.
With that preamble, I am thrilled to introduce you to Current Health (formerly San Francisco On Call) – The Primary Care Specialists. I have had the privilege to work with Dr. Jordan Shlain, David McKie, Vy Le, and the excellent team of physicians over the last six months to help transition the practice from a house call / urgent care focus to a membership-based, comprehensive primary care “medical home” for individuals and families who value their health as an asset.
The macroeconomic reasons for this transition at this time are well known. The American health care systems is in shambles. The United States currently spend 17% of Gross Domestic Produce on health care, a number which is anticipated to balloon to 25% over the next 15 years. Despite leading the world in terms of absolute and relative spending in the health care sector, the United States ranks ~35th in health metrics tracked by the World Health Organization. Serious questions have also been appropriately raised regarding the quality, efficiency, safety, and outcomes achieved by the US health system: 100,000 preventable deaths due to medical errors annually, approximately $700 billion spent in ineffective/unnecessary treatment, and consistent estimates of 30% waste associated with administrative inefficiencies.
These systemic challenges are compounded by a employment-based insurance model that has continued to fray as companies have been forced to reduce their health care offerings in order to remain competitive in the new global economy. This has resulted in real wage decreases, increased numbers of uninsured individuals, spikes in medical bankruptcies, increased costs due to delayed care, and misallocation of limited health resources. These challenges have directly affected health care providers who have experienced decreases in wages, job satisfaction, and control over the way they deliver care. Primary Care physicians have been particularly hard hit, and their former role as guardians of health has been minimized, displaced, or eliminated. This has lead to current and predicted severe primary care physician shortages at the same time that primary care has been identified as a necessary pre-requisite to low cost, high quality, and best outcome health care systems. Even if this shortage began to be addressed today, it will take approximately a decade to close this primary care gap.
Current Health is a response to the health system crisis in general and impending break down of the primary care speciality specifically. Our business focuses on elevating the nature of the patient physician relationship by creating a practice design whereby the patient, the provider, and optimal health outcomes are aligned. Current Health is a membership-based, direct-practice, comprehensive primary care delivery model. Our direct financial, administrative, and clinical relationship with the patient provides both the freedom and the flexibility to deliver optimal health care. In its most basic form, it is a fresh perspective on the classic vision of a trusted physician who makes house calls.
Members pay an affordable membership for access to our practice and our physicians and are rewarded with a single point of health care accountability for all aspects of care. Members are assigned a care coordinator who oversees followups and proactive health maintenance. Members are invited to participate in their care through several engagement techniques as well as access to their personal health record which serves as the medium of communication with Current Health. Given our intense focus on delivering an unrivaled customer service experience, we ensure that our Members are informed, empowered, and connected to their physicians and the practice at all times.
Current Health plans to become a leading primary care brand that delivers on the promise of high touch service paired with unprecedented access to physicians. Our direct practice model, including centralized support of all health stores and effective use of technology, enables Current Health to democratize the concierge medicine experience for an entirely new generation of patients. Current Health creates an environment where clinical excellence, administrative efficiencies, and financial alignment can lead to best outcome care.
We look forward to documenting our journey in the coming months in this blog and other places. There will be alot of interesting things to discuss – providing conceirge experience for the masses, fee for service model, direct practice model, patient care coordination – and I look forward to helping each of you become Current.