Posted on Apr 17, 2019, 5 p.m.
In the near future doctor’s appointments may be different, with insurers paying a monthly fee for routine access to your doctor without patients having to pay a copay, as reported in Business Insider.
The Iora model for the new type of clinic will work with sponsors, which are mainly employers or private health plans that will cover the monthly fee. CEO Rushika Fernandopulle has built a company that has raised more than $250 million with ambitious plans to expand to 50 new practices across the nation by the end of 2019.
“Working in the system, you have to be blind, deaf, and dumb to not realize that the system is broken,” says Fernandopulle, who decided to build something new. Initially called Renaissance Health based in Massachusetts he gave patients a proposition; he would charge $40-50 a month and would not take insurance, in return he could give them longer doctor’s visits, follow up calls, and more hands on care.
The original model worked, but in the new model the person paying the fee has shifted, rather than patients paying the monthly fee Iora will work with sponsors to cover the monthly fee. This new model is working as according to Iora in just over 18 months one group of Medicare patients have reduced hospital admission by 50% and ER visits by 20%.
Iora has raised upwards of $250 million from investors such as Humana, Khosla Ventures, GE Ventures, and Tesmasek Holdings who are betting this model will be the future of healthcare within the nation, especially for the elderly; and Iora has built care teams of nurses and other health professionals to help the doctors within the practice.
For example if one is using a Humana Medicare Advantage plan in Phoenix they can opt into enroll in an Iora membership and be linked to doctors and healthcare coaches aiming to keep you healthy; being a membership model that gets rid of copay visit costs.
On average doctors see around 500-700 patients depending on where they practise and the health of their patients, which is much smaller than the 2,000+ patients traditional family doctors might oversea, giving more time to both doctors and patients.
There are only 34 Iora practices across the nation currently, but plans are to expand to add another 50 by the end of 2019 by setting up new practices, and Iora has announced plans to expand into North Carolina through collaborations with Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina.
According to Fernandopulle, who was voted one of 10 people transforming healthcare by Business Insider, he and the Iora team are working to build something new from what exists in the dysfunctional system today. “We're building a radically new consumer-centric relational model for healthcare that's not just a little different than the current transactional 'do stuff to people' model.”
“We’re restoring humanity to healthcare. We believe in primary care that puts people first. Because we can connect on an individual level, we can impact the entire health care landscape.” says Iora health care.
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This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.