Are you surprised and delighted by your primary care doctor?

A couple of years ago, I reached a breaking point.

I had endured one too many rushed doctor’s appointments where I didn’t feel heard. I was frustrated by games of phone tag with the doctor’s office. I hated feeling that I was imposing if I had a quick medical question but didn’t want to take the time to drive to an appointment or schedule a video visit.

Working in health care innovation, I was familiar with advanced primary care health centers. But it took a lot of work to find one near me. It’s such a new field.

I wasn’t sure an advanced primary care provider would be worth it. 

My prior primary care doctor went to a top medical school. She knew my medical history. I had confidence in her. The advanced primary care center I found was an hour away, although they assured me that most of our interactions could be digital if I wanted. I would be paying a flat monthly rate for unlimited support instead of paying my portion of each doctor’s appointment. Since I could cancel anytime, I figured I’d give it a shot. 

My first appointment was what one might expect from a concierge doctor experience…really great! I was delighted but not surprised.

A few months later, on a Friday after work, I was at a park with my kids when my foot got stung by a bee. I didn’t think much of it. Around 9 PM, my foot swelled up. I was a little worried it was an allergy. My sister is allergic to bees and has to carry an EpiPen. I felt bad calling my advanced primary care doc so late, but of course, this was what I was paying for! She picked right up and had me send photos through their app. She specified what over-the-counter medication to take and which symptoms to watch out for.

At the end of the call, I expected her to rattle off the blurb I’d heard when paging any doctor after hours over the years: “If X happens, then head to the ER.” 

But she didn’t say that. She told me to call or message her if anything changed or I had any other questions. The night passed uneventfully. 

Saturday morning, I was cleaning up after breakfast when my phone rang. My doctor was calling to check-in. This was a welcome surprise!

Of course, with COVID-19, having my new doctor available in the app and a phone call away has been great. Now, I can’t imagine going back to traditional primary care.

Of all the benefits, delights, and surprises I’ve had with advanced primary care, data makes me the most excited about the potential to really transform not just our health care experience, but our health.

Digital interaction with health care teams — sharing photos and exchanging messages to document symptoms in-between visits, uploading data from wearable devices, and beyond — gives us more data that can lead to earlier and more accurate diagnoses and more proactive care.

I’m thrilled Sana is bringing advanced primary care to our members in Austin.

Sana MD LogoHere at Sana, we recently announced our first advanced primary care health center, Sana MD, which will open in August in partnership with Proactive MD. Proactive MD is the only primary care provider to have achieved validation for cost savings – nearly $193 less per member per month – from Validation Institute, reinforcing the value of their innovative, compassionate and comprehensive care model. Improving health outcomes and reducing costs is central to the mission of both Sana and Proactive MD. And even better – for those living in the greater Austin area, Sana MD is available to Sana members at no cost with most of Sana’s integrated health plans.* 

By giving members access to Sana MD, we are thinking long-term about our members’ health. That starts with advanced primary care:

  • Sana MD includes family medicine, urgent and preventive care, labs and diagnostics, chronic disease management, and a range of programs to help you reach your health and wellness goals
  • Members are paired with Patient Advocates —trusted advisors to help with referrals, second opinions, and answering questions
  • Video appointments, in-app messaging, and 24/7 availability by phone
  • No-rush 30-minute appointment blocks
  • Same-day appointments
  • Wait times less than 5 minutes
  • First-class service from a friendly and caring team

Sana provides high-quality, value-based health care to small businesses and their employees. Sana MD will be the foundation of our Sana Care ecosystem in Austin, and we aim to bring Advanced Primary Care to more members soon.

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*For members on our PPO Plus HSA plans, access to unlimited care at Sana MD is $80 per month. 
Originally published Jul 6, 2021 10:30:26 PM
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Jaime Moran July 6, 2021