Expert Opinion: Amir Dan Rubin, President and CEO of One Medical Group Talks about the New Consumerism in Digital Health Care
What could be more disruptive and frustrating than a trip to the doctor? For many people, not much.
You have to book an appointment well ahead of time. The doctor’s office is located far from your office or home. Getting there is a hassle. Once you arrive and sign in, you wait, wait, wait in a stiff chair in a packed waiting room. A TV is showing programs that you would never think of watching. You update your medical information on paper forms that are stuck on a clipboard. The pen is running out of ink and when you are done, you discover that the magazine selection is half of what it was the last time you were there.
And when they finally call your name and the doctor sees you, your time together lasts only 10 minutes. And for much of that time, he or she is pounding on a laptop.
It can all add up to an exasperating experience. What would happen if your visit was designed and oriented around you, not around your caregiver’s business?
That is happening, and fast, at One Medical Group.
When you first visit OneMedical.com or start using the One Medical App, you are probably going to think, “Where has this company been all my life?” And with good reason. One Medical dramatically simplifies everything you need to see a physician – fast – and then to get back to your busy life. One Medical currently offers its services at central locations in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, the San Francisco Bay area, Seattle and Washington, D.C., with more locations to come.
Ninety-five percent of One Medical appointments start on time. Appointments average a substantial 30 minutes, at a time when most appointments with physicians today typically last 10 minutes. Blood tests can be administered on-site, eliminating the hassle of traveling to have tests done. If you need a referral to a specialist, that can happen in a day or two in most cases. Virtually all medical plans are accepted. One Medical automates the process of filing claims and does everything it can. Plus, One Medical is now beginning to offer services for anxiety and depression. And membership costs only $15/month.
If it all looks like the doctor’s office of tomorrow, it could well be.
We spoke with Amir Dan Rubin, One Medical’s President and CEO, to ask him about his company and where it is going. Amir is easily one of the most forward-thinking entrepreneurs in health care today.
Amir Rubin On the Philosophy of One Medical
“One Medical is designed to transform the delivery of health care through a differentiated model of primary care that improves the patient experience of getting high-quality medical care. We are out to transform health care, and we are doing it through a member-based, technology-enabled primary care system.
“The members who enroll with us are more than just patients. They are people we proactively engage with on health and care issues. We deliver an outstanding experience and have achieved a 90% positive Net Promoter Score. At the same time, we have demonstrated to employers and payers that we can reduce emergency room visits and hospitalizations by up to one-third. A lot of that is because we offer such great service, 24/7 digitally and virtually, and then same-day or next-day appointments in our offices.”
Reducing Inconvenience to Negligible Levels
“Our approach provides a frictionless access to care. Our offices are located where people work, shop and live, not in medical complexes. We offer digital access – patients can have a video visit with a caregiver that lasts three to five minutes. We are for people who really value their time, on their own terms.”
Becoming a One Medical Patient
“We fit right within the health care system, and we disrupt health care from within. You go online, you sign up as a member. There’s a very low monthly membership fee, and we bill insurance on the backend. So we fit within the current system, but we kind of fit on top of it.
“Also, increasingly, a number of employers are sponsoring the membership fee for their employees. Some are very large companies like Google, GE, NBC, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Uber, who offer us as a benefit to their employees. But then we also have individual consumers who go in and sign up online.
“Our model fits within new, broader themes of consumerism and value-based care. We have a different operating model. We have our own technology and build our own software. We have our own electronic health tracker, our own digital platform, our own visit-management system, our own system for managing workflow. All our providers are our own providers, they’re all on a salary, not employed in a fee-for-service role.
“Our technology helps move work across the enterprise. We have people who are online reviewing member questions and queries, 24/7. Members get return calls within an hour or two and receive return emails within several minutes.”
How One Medical Uses Patient Data
“I should say, we are a longitudinal primary care company. We have longitudinal data on hundreds of thousands of members. And we are using their information to deliver proactive engagement – sending them reminders, giving them advice, and using data to help guide our operations internally.
It’s one thing to have a lot of data, but it’s another to use it at the right time, and for it to be accessible without 1,000 clicks. We apply a combination of human–centered design thinking and process thinking, used by outstanding people.
“The goal of our entire system is to encourage care givers to spend more time with the members. That is achieved by a combination of things that I believe are so impactful – not just data, not just process, not just people, not just incentives. We are combining all of those things.”
Big Trends Amir Rubin Sees
“The health care system is difficult to navigate. It’s a complex system with a complex interface. Confronted with that, people want frictionless access. We are striving to be like your iPhone screen – a very simple interface. We help our members navigate the system in several different areas that include primary care, referrals, benefits, and advocacy.
“Another major issue is delivering value. You know, the U.S. health care system is swelling up to 18% of the GDP. Meanwhile, expenditures on primary care are less than 6 percent of the overall spend in health care. But we can impact 10 times that spending level. Spending very little, we can deliver great value, particularly since our system has great providers, paid on the salary model, promising evidence–based medicine, and backed up by the data and systems to coordinate patient care.”