TMCnet Feature
January 04, 2021

Pandemic Accelerates New Hybrid Patient Care Model Led by Skylight Health

COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on the economy and the healthcare system, but there have been some revelations to emerge from the pandemic, including new strategies to improve patient care using more personalized healthcare deliveryand technology.

Skylight Health is committed to revolutionizing patient care in the United States, simultaneously improving the quality of care while lowering patient costs. Skylight Health is one of the largest multi-disciplinary healthcare services in North America, providing a broad range of clinical services under one roof. They also have combined in-person patient care and virtual care, using telemedicine when appropriate to substantially lower costs to patients.

As a result, Skylight Health brings the focus back to the well-being of the patient. No matter whether the patient has health insurance, has paid for subscription care services, or is uninsured or underinsured, Skylight Heath gives patents one, affordable healthcare resources to meet their needs.

Skylight Health Pioneers Hybrid Model for Better Patient Care

Skylight Health is pioneering new healthcare strategies that combine in-person and remote patient care, making medical care less costly and more convenient while bring the focus back to the patient.

Their innovative model delivers healthcare services viainsurable fee-for-service care through contracts with Medicare, Medicaid, and commercial payers. Skylight Health operates a health network of more than 30 clinics in 14 states that includes multi-disciplinary clinics for services such as primary care, allied health, and laboratory and diagnostic testing. The company also offers telemedicine and remote monitoring services for uninsured and underinsured patients with limited access to urgent care to help control costs.

In an official statement released at the end of November, Prad Sekar, Chief Executive Officer of Skylight Health Group said, “For the past 25 years, my co-founder Kash Qureshi and I have built successful and profitable healthcare operations. We are now on a path to becoming one of the largest multi-specialty healthcare system in the US. By providing a broad range of services that are not traditionally found under one clinic group, we are able to provide services both physically and virtually and we do so at a substantially lower cost to the patient. We bring the focus back to the patient. Whether it is providing insurable services to patients with insurance or subscription services for the uninsured or underinsured, patients are able to have greater accessibility and greater affordability in an otherwise fragmented and complex industry.”

Fee-for-care providers typically offer services such as same-day and longer appointments, delivery services, and around-the-clock telephone and email access to doctors. Consumers are willing to pay a little extra to get personalized service, using Flexible Spending Account (FSA) and Health Reimbursement Accounts (HRAs) to help pay for services. And 97% of patients say doctors take a personal interest in their health, which is 33% higher than patients using conventional care.

By adopting a care model that embraces both office visits and virtual consultations, Skylight Health can offer better, customized patient care that is affordable and encourages patients to contact their care provider whenever necessary.

Overcoming Barriers to Healthcare

The Skylight Health hybrid care model is designed to combat the rising aversion to doctor visits and the ongoing shortage of physicians.

The rising cost of healthcare is keeping 22% of Americans away from doctors. In 2018 the United States spent $3.6 trillion or an average of $11,000 per person on healthcare. The population continues to age,and the cost of care continues to increase. Health insurance costs also continue to rise. In 2015 the average cost of health insurance premiums rose 5%for families and 3% for individuals, and covered employees contributed 29% of the cost of family health insurance and 18% of the cost of single coverage.

There also are fewer doctors, making it more difficult to get healthcare when it’s needed. According to JAMA Internal Medicine, the number of Americans with a primary care physician fell to 75% as of 2015, and a 2019 poll conducted by NPR (News - Alert), the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health showed that one in four people living in rural areas couldn’t get needed care. The AAMC predicts that there will be a shortage of 122,000 physicians by 2032.

By offering both regional clinics and telemedicine support, Skylight Health makes care readily available as well as more affordable. A survey report by Sykes (News - Alert) found that with the COVID-19 pandemic, 60% of Americans say they are more likely to use telehealth services, particularly since it keeps them out of the doctor’s office.

Simplifying the Complex Care System

The growth of new business models in healthcare also is being driven by the growing complexity of the American healthcare system.

According to a 2019 study by Bancrate, only 6% of Americans are satisfied with the current American healthcare system. This group includes those who have health insurance through their employer, who have no pressing need for medical care and those for whom access to careand out-of-pocket costs are not a concern.

Also, the U.S. healthcare system is one of the most complex in the world with 5,965 different healthcare insurance providers. There also are a multitude of government programs including the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, the Indian Health Service, Medicaid, Medicare, Prescription Assistance Program (SPAP), the Military Health System, the Veterans Health Administration, the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, just to name a few. And there are multiple forms of private healthcare coverage including HRAs, FSAs, and health savings accounts. Research shows that fewer than half of Americans have a proper understanding of how to deal with the U.S. healthcare bureaucracy.

Skylight Health Group simplifies healthcare by providing primary care physicians and specialists in pain management, OB/GYN, cardiology, dermatology, allergies, and other disciplines under one umbrella. Skylight Health accepts all forms of insurance and works with patients to be sure they have the coverage that makes sense for their needs. They also work with uninsured patients who need reliable urgent care, and for those seeking comprehensive care, Skylight helps them find coverage.

The lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic will have a lasting impact on how we administer and manage healthcare in the United States.Skylight Health is applying many of those lessons to create a multi-disciplinary approach to affordable healthcare and making it available through regional offices or via telemedicine. It’s the best of the latest healthcare practices and technologies combined with a multi-disciplinary practice that puts the needs of the patient first.

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