Mason Reiner and Dr. Randy Robinson co-founded R-Health back in October 2013. The startup charges an Atlas MD-style monthly membership fee that grants access to see primary care doc with no co-pay or deductible. Individuals, employers, unions and small businesses are all eligible to participate.
Michael Hinkelman of Philly.com talked to Reiner recently.
We’re always excited to see direct care getting off the ground and into practice. Here are some highlights from their interview:
- Regarding R-Health’s business model — “Basically, we provide comprehensive and convenient care – same-day and next-day [office visits], 24/7 access to a doctor via email, phone, Skype and mobile messaging – for an affordable, monthly membership fee.” Sounds great to us!
- Fees — “Our fees start at $79 per month for individuals and we offer group discounts for employers, unions and and families.” Every market is unique so choosing a price point can be challenging. We found $50 to be our sweet spot in Wichita, but it’s not set in stone yet.
- Why direct care? — “When people have quality, reliable primary care, they achieve better outcomes at lower cost. A good primary-care doctor can actually deliver 80 to 90 percent of health care that most people require and reduce the need for unnecessary tests, specialists and visits to ERs and urgent-care centers, which drive up costs.” Amen, R-Health!
- Regarding their goals — “We want you to have a relationship with a primary-care doctor who emphasizes wellness and patient satisfaction.” R-Health obviously has their head and heart in the right place.
- Thoughts on red tape — “Once you get away from the insurance reimbursement model, which is do-more-bill-more, and change it to a membership model, you can start to use technology smartly and effectively to bring down costs by delivering care more efficiently.” That’s the kind of thinking that will revolutionize healthcare in America.
- Challenges — “People begrudgingly accept what inherently is suboptimal quality and high costs. So it’s educating consumers to think about a membership model, what direct primary care is and showing them the data that supports it.” That’s direct care’s biggest challenge. It’s beyond making sense at this point. It’s convincing people to believe in affordable health care. It’s right in front of us. The hardest part is getting past the “too-good-to-be-true” mentality.
R-Health represent the core principles of direct care. Lean business, exceptional customer service, and profit derived from actual results. We wish them the best of success and satisfaction in 2014.