Around the nation: Oscar Health opens its first clinic for members

Bite-sized hospital and health industry news

  • Arizona: Phoenix-based Banner Health in 2014 launched Banner iCare, a telemedicine program run in partnership with Philips that is aimed at improving care and lowering costs for patients who have two or more chronic conditions. However, participation at first was low in the program, which required patients to switch their primary care providers (PCP). "We went in with this program thinking that what we would do is we would identify these patients and we'll become their entire care team," Banner's Hargobind Khurana told MedCity News. A year into the program, Banner dropped the PCP requirement—and saw results. Enrollment spiked, and Banner has reduced hospitalizations among participants by 45 percent and total care costs per beneficiary by 27 percent per year (Parmar, MedCity News, 11/30).

  • California: Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla on Wednesday hosted its 32nd annual holiday event for former patients to gather with their trauma nurses and doctors. One patient who has come year after year is Penelope Gallegos, whose painful recovery led her to build long-term relationships with Scripps' staff. "The fantastic people I had around me were absolutely the best ever in the world," Gallegos said. Scripps Nurse Practitioner Peter Schultz said of the gathering, "You work so long and so hard taking care of them through the hospital and when they leave, they're gone." He added, "To get them to come back gives you this comfort that they've gone out and become citizens again, gone back into society, and that all the work, all the effort you put into (their recovery) was worth it" (Garske, NBC 7 San Diego, 12/8).

  • New York: Insurance start-up Oscar Health is opening its first clinic for members through a partnership with Mount Sinai Health System. The clinic, in Brooklyn, is paperless and offers no-cost services to Oscar members, including mental health care, treatment for minor injuries and illnesses, lab tests, and nutrition and yoga classes. Oscar is considering rolling out additional clinics in other locations, according to CEO  Mario Schlosser (Covert, New York Post, 12/8; LaMantia, Crain's New York Business, 12/8).

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