- Health insurer Oscar announced it has opened its first full-service primary care center in Brooklyn, NY.
- Operating in partnership with Mount Sinai Health System, the clinic is available for free to Oscar members.
- Members can use Oscar’s digital tools to schedule appointments, input personal information and access lab results via their personal health profile in the Oscar app.
Staffing the 6,000-square-foot clinic are a primary care physician, nurse practitioner, behavioral health specialist and medical assistant. In addition to preventive care and chronic care management, members can access wellness services and free classes and events. Same-day walk-ins will be available.
The venture could lead to patient referrals for Mount Sinai’s specialists and lead to more continuity in patient care.
“A lot of the frustration consumers have in healthcare, it’s not any one party’s fault,” Niyum Gandhi, executive vice president and chief population health officer at Mount Sinai, told Crain’s New York Business. “It’s not the provider, health plan or pharmacy. It’s that those are all different companies and there are seams, and you fall through those seams. Here, we’re finding we’re able to eliminate those.”
The Brooklyn clinic could serve up to 3,000 of Oscar members in its first year, Oscar officials told the New York Post. The insurer currently has 60,000 New York City members, according to the Post. The longer-term plan could be for a chain of clinics across the U.S., possibly tied to large employers. Oscar CEO Mario Schlosser told the Post 35% of big companies have worksite clinics.
That strategy could fare well in a Trump administration, which is expected to support services like direct primary care and on-site clinics that help employers reduce healthcare costs and keep workers healthy, Frank Moss, co-founder and chairman of Twine Health, recently told Healthcare Dive.
Convenience is a hot topic in healthcare these days. According to a report released earlier this year by PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Health Research Institute, 88% of consumers say they are likely to seek treatment at retail clinics, and a growing array of options is increasing utilization. The report also points to growing demand for behavioral health services — a feature of the new Oscar clinic.
Related, the number of retail clinics in the U.S. is expected to reach 2,800 by the end of next year, up 47% since 2014, according to a recent Nielsen study. Most are owned and operated by big retailers like CVS Health, Walgreens and Wal-Mart. With more people seeking quick, affordable care as an alternative to in-office visits and hospitals, this trend is likely to continue.