Contact Person: David Kulick, Chief Executive Officer, Harmony Health
January 5, 2016
For immediate release:
ENTREPRENEURIAL HARMONY HEALTH BRINGS BETTER PRIMARY CARE TO LOUISIANA MEDICAID PATIENTS
Innovative model offers potential to reduce overall healthcare costs by up to 35% through comprehensive primary and preventive services.
NEW ORLEANS, LA, JANUARY 5, 2016. Harmony Health is launching a comprehensive primary care model for Medicaid patients, aiming to improve health and reduce overall healthcare costs. Harmony Health has graduated from the Impact Accelerator Program at Propeller, a social incubator based in New Orleans.
How it works – Challenging the Status Quo
- Harmony Health will operate primary care clinics staffed by an integrated primary and behavioral health care team which will allow patients unlimited access to services. Harmony Health will provide all primary care services to patients through this clinic model covered by a flat monthly fee paid by the patient’s Medicaid plan.
- Harmony Health disrupts the status quo of traditional fee-for-service encounters, which limit healthcare access and services (due to both historically low reimbursements for services as well as limitations in terms of what services can be provided during a specific encounter). Harmony Health’s unlimited access using new technology, flexible scheduling, and remote monitoring, all anchored by a highly specialized care team will drive patient engagement towards improving patient health.
- Harmony Health will offer the comprehensive services of a primary care facility with the flexibility and efficiency of urgent care.
- The general and administrative costs associated with insurance billing and reimbursement is estimated to be approximately thirty percent of all clinic costs. By having one monthly fee, Harmony Health is shifting these wasted overhead costs to direct patient care and removing any disincentives to providing excellent quality by tying care to patient outcomes rather than patient volume.
Why it Matters? HEALTH Care, Not Sick Care
- Patients are proactively engaged with the Harmony Health care team and don’t have to wait until they are sick to receive care.
- Harmony Health clinic care teams build strong relationships with patients in order to set and meet health and wellness goals, while addressing existing barriers.
- When timely and appropriate primary care services are provided, patients become less dependent on costly hospital services. This lowers costs for Medicaid and improves health outcomes for patients.
The state of Louisiana spends $7 billion annually on Medicaid care, yet patients often have poor health outcomes. This is the result of a cycle in which reimbursement for primary care services for Medicaid is so poor that there are limited providers who accept primary care patients. This low access to quality primary care leads to disease progression and the use of costly hospital services. Harmony Health plans to align the financial incentives with the quality incentives. This will not only lead to healthier patients, but also a significant cost savings for the Medicaid health plans and health systems that serve these individuals. Governor-Elect, John Bel Edwards, has promised to expand Medicaid in Louisiana, providing the ideal time to focus on advancing a model of primary care that aligns financial sustainability with patient centered care.
Dr. Jonah Mink, Harmony Health’s Chief Medical Advisor states: “It’s thrilling to be able to design a highly efficient system of care from the ground up that promotes psychosocial and physical health and addresses the root causes of illness. And it is even more exciting to design that system to actually work for individuals that face the greatest barriers to achieving and maintaining health and wellness. In order to achieve these goals, we are designing a care structure that is highly flexible to enable our care team to move with our patients and meet them where they are.”
Harmony Health is based in New Orleans, Louisiana. The co-founders have expertise in public health policy, healthcare finance and operations, and direct primary care and are passionate about using innovation to improve population health. To learn more and schedule an interview, contact David Kulick, CEO of Harmony Health, firstname.lastname@example.org