3 ways an innovative medical clinic can benefit insurers

One medical clinic may single-handedly transform how primary care is delivered--and insurers could benefit by taking notice. 

In a post on LinkedIn, Elizabeth Bierbower, president of Humana's employer group segment, wrote about her experience while visiting Iora Health's Freelancers Clinic in Brooklyn, New York.

"The meeting was an eye-opening experience into the way people should and want to engage with their primary care physicians," she said. "While we have yet to find a 'silver bullet' in healthcare that drives to optimal health and outcomes, as providers and health plans look to engage individuals in their health, the Iora Health model is a good place to look for some answers."

Here are her three main takeaways from the Iora practice and how insurers can innovate change.

1. Improve the customer experience

Working to improve the consumer experience can mean many different things to different providers and payers. At Iora Health, it includes providing amenities and comfort even in the waiting room. Bierbower described the room as untraditional with iPads with Wi-Fi access available for anyone to use. By embracing mobile devices and other digital offerings, organizations are taking an "outside-in" approach, focusing on what their customers consciously want instead of what they can offer to their customers, FierceHealthPayer previously reported. Iora Health also has a patient advisory board, which helps provide feedback about both positive and negative aspects of the practice. So far, Iora Health is succeeding, having demonstrated high patient satisfaction and lower costs for the employers and sponsors they work with.

2. Engage consumers

The providers at Iora Health have a mantra--listen first, treat second--that speaks to the core of its goals for patient engagement. With that in mind, the care team, including physicians, health coaches and a nurse innovator, discusses how best to engage their patients. They often use role playing to help each other hone their engagement skills. A particularly unusual approach is that Iora Health care members frequently discuss how they can better engage the patients who don't come in for appointments. "Patients don't know how to manage diseases, so let's give them the ability to have self-efficacy," Rushika Fernandopulle, Iora Health co-founder, said during a session of the AHIP Institute in Seattle. "We must build teams around patients to help educate them about their health, create care plans, have empathy and relate to them as human beings."

3. Focus on well-being

Iora Health patients have appointments with their team members that last about an hour. The conversations during those appointments focus on patients' overall well-being, and the team members work to understand underlying issues that might be blocking a patient from following a treatment plan. Data analytics can play a large role in boosting patient's overall health and well-being by, for example, reminding them of doctor appointments and helping them track their diet and fitness.

To learn more:
- read the LinkedIn article

Suggested Articles

Welcome news to many health IT stakeholders: HHS announced Friday that it is extending the comment period for two proposed interoperability rules.

CMS took aim at increasing the use of generic drugs in ACA plans in a new rule filed Thursday evening.

Fidelity and the NBGH found large employers are expected to spend an average of $3.6 million this year on wellness programs.