The pendulum for primary care is coming home, says VillageMD co-founder


Paul Martino

“We believe that care is going to happen in the community,†Martino said. McKnight’s Daily Home Care. “We believe the care will happen at home. It will be supported by technology and we will all need the right hospital care in the right circumstances for the right patient. “

VillageMD is one of a growing number of companies in the US home visiting industry. Grand View Research firm values the industry is around $ 460 million and expects it to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 5% over the next six years. Leading industry players include Village MD, Treat, Health Expedition and Doctor on demand.

VillageMD illustrates the rapid growth experienced by the sector. The company started eight years ago with 13 providers in Houston and has grown to 3,000 providers in 14 markets in 10 states, serving 1.6 million patients. The company employs primary care providers, including physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners, through its independent Village Medical clinics and co-branded clinics in 50 Walgreens stores. It also has affiliations with independent primary care practices. He provides care in clinics through home visits and telehealth.

Martino brought a unique perspective to VillageMD. He has spent over three decades working in the health insurance industry, serving as Anthem’s Chief Strategy Officer in his last role. In his article on the hymn, Martino found that 5 cents of every dollar spent on a patient’s medical care went to primary care providers; the rest went to specialists and services. From Martino’s perspective, primary care clinicians could better manage care, prevent patients from going to hospital, and control health care costs.

“As a payer, I looked at the landscape, thinking that my best opportunity to generate economic benefits is to partner with the cheapest ones. They are independent primary care physicians, â€Martino said.

“The worst primary care”

Thomas Cornwell, MD, Senior Medical Director of VillageMD, said McKnight’s Daily Home Care hospitals are not the best sources of primary care. He said he knew this because he had spent two decades providing primary care to homebound people through Northwestern Medicine, an extensive network of medical providers and a branch of Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago.

Tom Cornwell, MD

“The most complex patients who need the most care go to the hospital and that’s the worst primary care,†said Cornwell. “You don’t control diabetes, you don’t control heart failure. So it was quite easy to take these people who were receiving virtually no care and give them phenomenal care at home. “

Home care partnerships

Health insurers recognize the value of providing home care. Humana has partnerships with Heal and DispatchHealth. Aetna has partnered with Well being. VillageMD is independent of payers and works with many health care plans. The company recently became the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ largest participant in the new direct contracting program, serving 56,000 patients in eight states.

The pandemic has helped bring home care back through telehealth and home hospital initiatives. And Martino is confident that more care will be provided at home long after the pandemic is over.

“We moved away from that because a group of doctors became employees of the health systems and it was all about the hospital and not primary care. I think the pendulum is finally starting to swing the other way, â€Martino said.

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