A new partnership aims to bring employers and their employees access to direct primary care — even when they’re in a primary care desert.
San Francisco-based Hint Health, a digital health company working to grow direct primary care (DPC), announced last week it is teaming up with New York City-based Eden Health, a national provider of virtual and in-person primary care. Eden Health will join Hint Health’s Hint Connect platform, which is a network of independent DPC clinics. DPC is a model in which customers periodically pay physicians directly for primary care services instead of going through insurance.
Through the partnership, employees of Hint Connect’s employer customers will be able to choose whether they want to receive care from a local DPC provider in their area (either in-person or virtually) or a virtual provider through Eden Health. The choice comes down to each individual employee. Eden Health provides primary care, urgent care, chronic disease management and care coordination services.
The collaboration will especially benefit employees who live in remote areas without a DPC provider, said Beth Holmes, head of Hint Connect. This is particularly important now that so many employees are working from home and may be dispersed across the country with different levels of access to care.
“There are times when there isn’t a DPC in a certain community,” Holmes said in an interview. “It’s a newer movement. There might not be a clinician there or the patient might prefer a virtual-only clinician just because of their lifestyle or their personal health status. So with the Eden partnership, each individual employee can choose the path that they want to take.”
Hint Connect has independent clinics in about 35 states, according to Zak Holdsworth, CEO of Hint Health. Working with Eden Health, however, brings its network to all 50 states.
It is free for providers to join Hint Connect. Employers pay a bundled fee, which includes an administrative fee that goes to Hint and a fee that goes to the providers. On average, in-person direct primary care through Hint Connect is about $80 per member per month for employers, and about half of that for virtual direct primary care.
By working with Eden Health, Hint Health hopes to further grow the direct primary care movement, Holmes said.
“Our ultimate goal is to make direct care the standard of care and we’re really passionate about making primary care your one-stop-shop, your friend. This allows us to do it for more people, more employers,” Holmes stated. “Bringing really strong primary care to more employees is ultimately what we hope to do.”
The news follows another recent partnership between Hint Health and Nextera Healthcare, a Colorado-based DPC provider. Hint Health also recently acquired AeroDPC, a software company and electronic medical record for DPC clinics. Other DPC companies include Forward Health and EverMed.
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