On March 27, 2019, Chilmark hosted the first in a series of Healthcare Meetups in Boston. Chilmark Analyst Alex Lennox-Miller presented and led a discussion about new front door to care strategies with local leaders Keith Figlioli (LRV Health), Dr. Danny Sands (Society for Participatory Medicine, BIDMC) and Ken Cahill (SilverCloud Health). We heard about broader transformations in healthcare delivery and technology, emerging best practices, and key challenges still facing the industry. For a taste of the discussion that evening, check out the video below:
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About New Front Doors to Care
Patient access and access to patients are the lifeblood of the health care industry. Primary care practitioners and primary care practices have historically been the gatekeepers of the healthcare experience, and patient volume is primarily driven by relationships with those providers.
Keeping patients within a network through referrals and linked care has been one of the largest financial concerns of healthcare organizations (HCOs). It drives mergers, acquisitions, strategic decision making, and spending. Now, however, the primary care provider is no longer the sole source of preventative, chronic, and acute care, especially for younger consumers. Independent urgent care clinics, retail clinics (CVS, Walmart, and Walgreens), employer-sponsored health clinics, telehealth, virtual care, and even AI-based chatbots are all seeking to become the new front door to care. As alternatives to the PCP become more available, how will that impact the care delivery chain? What will the options be for consumers looking for health care outside of the PCP? What are the implications for HCOs, networks, employers, payers, and patients?
The new front door is a growth vehicle for providers; and providers wield a tremendous new-front-door advantage in that they already have consumers’ trust. (Some consumers say they would use a retail clinic only if it were affiliated with a local hospital or provider.) But providers must recognize they are now operating in an arena driven by consumer expectations; what might have passed for customer service in the traditional arena won’t fly in the new, consumer-centric front door.