Monday, April 04, 2016

United Healthcare's gamble on making the doc more fun

According to a story by Phil Galewitz on MedCity, United Health care is spending $65 million to launch pilot primary care approaches in Chicago (4 clinics) and Atlanta (6 clinics).

Available to Obamacare recipients, Harken Health covers 35,000 members.

The company threatened to drop out of Obamacare last November, but is now trying to attract more customers instead.

Harken Health offers unlimited free doctor visits, 24/7 access by phone, a personal health coach, mental health services, yoga, cooking, acupuncture. The clinics are beautiful--hardwood floors, faus fireplaces.

The idea is to get members to seek care early and not wait until they are really sick. There are no out-of-pocket costs for docs and no small networks.

The health coaches meet with patients during and after visits--and help with referrals and insurance. They also will coach on weight loss and other medical issues.

Yes, you do pay copays for drugs. With generics for chronic diseases, you pay for two mos and get the third mo free.

This is primary care--what about returning to the new model when you have to see a specialist? The new model seems to be surly staff, endless noodging to get test results, long waits, and forms, forms, forms. I signed a form the other day allowing the doctor to examine me. That's why I was there! We need a form?

Still--those fireplaces...sounds kind of inviting.

1 comment:

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