Advantia Health opens flagship practice for women with a focus on hospitality and integrated care

Advantia Health worked with an all-female architecture studio to design the space with a modern look that doesn't feel like a doctor's office, company executives said. (Advantia Health)

Advantia Health has opened a new flagship health practice in Washington, D.C. that takes a page from the hospitality industry.

The practice, located on U Street in Washington, D.C., aims to make care more convenient and more comfortable for patients and is designed to make patients feel that they are not in a traditional doctor's office, officials said.

Liv by Advantia Health partnered with Alda Ly Architecture (ALA), an all-female architecture studio, to create a clinic environment that enables comfort, said Christine Loftsgaarden, Advantia Health’s vice president of growth and operations.

Unique design features include a lobby that opens to the street with floor-to-ceiling windows, a seating area designated for patients to sit quietly and another for patients who want to chat and a women-focused library of books in the waiting room. Each exam room has a dedicated nook with a vanity for patients and the practice has a “Mother’s Room” for private nursing, pumping, or changing that will be open to the community.

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"We started with the hypothesis that women’s bodies are different and women need a different type of care. We needed a space that was truly focused on women and offers an integrated care model under one roof," Loftsgaarden said.

Liv is Advantia Health's flagship medical practice for women that integrates obstetrics, gynecology, primary care, and mental healthcare.

Women often go to one office to see their OB-GYN, another to see their primary care provider, and another to meet with their mental health provider. Liv offers coordinated care in one place, company executives said.

"We believe the healthcare industry can and must do better for women,” said Vincent Bradley, CEO of Advantia Health in a statement. “Advantia Health is proud to be leading on this front with Liv. Our team built Liv with women at the center of the care experience and every decision  about the space and care model, creating a practice that solves frustrating problems and brings real, powerful improvements to people’s health.”   

Traditional healthcare for women can be disjointed and, even worse, hard to access. On average, women can expect to wait more than 38 days to see a new primary care physician and 17 days for a gynecology or obstetrics appointment.

A quarter of working women lack the time and workplace flexibility to make it to an appointment during traditional clinician hours. according to Advantia Health. Close to half (45%) of 18- to 29-year-olds report that they don’t have a regular primary care doctor, and many women report getting their primary care from their gynecologist or obstetrician.

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The new practice, which is housed in a space that was originally intended as a restaurant, was slated to open in October but plans were pushed back due to the pandemic.

Patients will be able to make same-day and next-day appointments and also will have access to virtual care including Advantia’s Pacify app, which provides new mothers with on-demand access to lactation and other perinatal support. 

Technology also will be a big component with a mobile app that enables patients to access telehealth appointments, online scheduling, same or next-day appointments, interactive SMS text for scheduling and canceling appointments, and a dynamic waitlist to help get patients in sooner if possible.

Patients also will have access to Advantia’s Pacify app, which provides new mothers with on-demand access to lactation and other perinatal support, and free, same-day prescription delivery is also available.

“I’ve found that patients generally like their providers, but are frustrated by the front and back-end processes involved in getting appointments and handling post-appointment activities,” said Sharon Kressel, M.D., lead OB-GYN at Liv by Advantia Health. “Those are exactly the problems Liv solves. We are providing the highest quality healthcare and making every aspect of our patients’ experiences better - from scheduling an appointment and walking in the door to talking to your providers and addressing your health needs.”

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The company's goal is to eventually scale the model and tailor it to other regions.

Advantia Health joins a growing list of healthcare companies pushing toward a tech-enabled care model that upends the traditional healthcare experience. San Francisco-based startup Forward operates a direct primary care business model and embeds technology including artificial intelligence, sensors and mobile apps in ways that aim to make healthcare more closely mirror consumer experiences. 

Other companies in that space include One Medical, Iora Health, Crossover Health and VillageMD.

Unlike the direct primary care models, Liv by Advantia Health will accept most major insurance plans for health visits. The practice also has an annual membership fee to provide benefits not covered by insurance such as extended hours, flexible scheduling, technology to support virtual care, and personalized health plans

Founded in 2014, Advantia exclusively focuses on women and maternal health with a tech component. The company reports providing direct care through more than 200 providers across 50 OB-GYN and coordinated specialist offices.

In January 2020, the company secured $45 million in funding led by New York asset management firm BlueMountain Capital.

Advantia also is among a crop of startups tackling women's health attracting a lot of investment dollars, including Maven, Modern Fertility, Ro, Hers (of Hims & Hers) and Pill Club.