Unlocking the Benefits of Advanced Primary Care

A Game Changer for Payers Employers and Employees Alike

 

Healthcare Access Challenges

Employers and their teams (payers of healthcare) are confronting major healthcare challenges:   increasing costs, poor patient experiences, and barriers to accessing care. Sticking with the status quo no longer works and a new approach is needed. Enter advanced primary care—a transformative model that partners with health plans to address these issues head-on. This model promises lower costs, improved care quality, and enhanced patient experiences, all while offering value-driven referral navigation. Discover why payers should consider this innovative approach to healthcare.

The Promise of Advanced Primary Care: Lower Costs, Better Outcomes, and Enhanced Access

Advanced primary care represents a comprehensive, value-based approach to healthcare. By focusing on holistic, whole-person care—including behavioral health and social determinants of health—this model dismantles barriers to access, making healthcare more user-friendly and accessible. Key features include lower patient panels per provider to allow for greater personal care, multiple ways to access care (in-person, by message, phone or video), and minimal waiting times for appointments (same or next day appointments).

The synergy of high-quality, personalized, and convenient care encourages greater patient engagement, especially in routine and preventive care. This proactive involvement helps catch health issues early, leading to significant cost savings and better health outcomes. By prioritizing value and excellence, advanced primary care effectively reduces costs while enhancing the patient experience.

Enhanced Referral Coordination

Once engaged with advanced primary care, patients benefit from coordinated referrals. Trusted providers guide them to high-quality, cost-effective specialists, simplifying their healthcare journey and improving outcomes. This coordination is particularly impactful in reducing unnecessary costs and enhancing patient satisfaction.

Exceptional Member Experiences with Advanced Primary Care

Advanced primary care not only benefits payers but also significantly improves member experiences. Confronted with their healthcare challenges, members need robust support to enhance their healthcare interactions and reduce costs. Here’s how we can support your member employees:

 

1. Improving Member Experience

For many, healthcare is synonymous with stress and frustration, often leading to neglect of minor health issues until they escalate. Changing this experience is crucial. Providing multiple access points—such as digital and in-person options—and minimizing wait times can encourage people to seek care promptly. Longer appointment times and more personalized care ensure that members feel heard and their health needs are fully addressed, leading to happier, healthier lives now and in the future.

2. Providing Steerage to High-Value Networks

Beyond primary care, effective referral navigation to high-value networks helps members access quality care from local specialists. Given the wide variation in cost and quality for procedures within the same region, data-driven guidance is an invaluable resource for members.

3. Improving Clinical Outcomes

As a value-based care model, advanced primary care focuses on delivering high-quality care at every level of healthcare. This model ensures that members receive superior primary care by incentivizing providers to achieve optimal health outcomes rather than a high volume of short appointments.

 

Advanced Primary Care: A Cost-Saving Revolution

The future of healthcare lies in advanced primary care. This approach promotes preventive care and early intervention, reducing the need for costly emergency room visits, urgent care, and hospital admissions. Positive healthcare experiences will encourage members to engage more frequently with primary care, fostering a culture of health maintenance and early problem detection.

Engaging a dedicated healthcare partner to build an advanced primary care solution offers you and your members transformative benefits. The combination of flexibility, quality, and convenience leads to lower healthcare costs and improved member satisfaction.

Don’t wait to explore this groundbreaking healthcare model. Your organization and its members deserve a better kind of healthcare. Learn how Exemplar Care collaborates with health plans to deliver advanced primary care and transform healthcare access today.

Sources:

  1. Harvard Business Review. “The Benefits of Advanced Primary Care.” Retrieved from https://hbr.org
  2. American Medical Association. “Advanced Primary Care: A New Model for Better Health Outcomes.” Retrieved from https://ama-assn.org
  3. Health Affairs. “Improving Access to Advanced Primary Care.” Retrieved from https://healthaffairs.org
  4. Journal of General Internal Medicine. “Impact of Advanced Primary Care on Healthcare Costs.” Retrieved from https://jginternmed.org
  5. National Academy of Medicine. “Enhanced Referral Coordination in Primary Care.” Retrieved from https://nam.edu
  6. New England Journal of Medicine. “Patient Experience and Advanced Primary Care.” Retrieved from https://nejm.org
  7. Commonwealth Fund. “Longer Appointments and Patient Outcomes.” Retrieved from https://commonwealthfund.org
  8. Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative. “The Value of Face Time in Primary Care.” Retrieved from https://pcpcc.or
  9. Journal of Healthcare Management. “Improving Health Outcomes through Advanced Primary Care.” Retrieved from https://jhealthcaremgt.org
  10. Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care. “Standards for High-Quality Care.” Retrieved from https://aaahc.org
  11. American Journal of Managed Care. “Cost Reduction through Preventive Care.” Retrieved from https://ajmc.com

Why Advanced Primary Care is Essential for Employee Well-Being

 

Imagine offering your employees a benefit that allows them to be healthier, happier, and more productive. This is possible through a simple subscription.

For over 40 years, research has shown that superior primary care leads to better health outcomes, increased happiness, and significant savings. Now, companies are enhancing their employee health benefits with subscription-based primary care.

Great primary care is the cornerstone of effective healthcare delivery. With superior primary care, physicians can build relationships with their patients, address underlying issues rather than just treating symptoms, and take the time needed to address concerns before they escalate into emergencies. Unfortunately, today’s healthcare system often provides poor primary care, with doctors seeing upwards of 2,000+ patients and having only 5-10 minutes per appointment. This limited time forces physicians to refer or prescribe instead of addressing the root causes, resulting in higher costs and lower patient satisfaction.

By changing the payment model, we can transform the care provided. With subscription-based primary care, your employees can experience the difference through:

Enhanced Employee Wellness:

Subscription-based primary care offers employees personalized, on-demand access to healthcare, reducing the barriers to seeking timely medical attention. With comprehensive health screenings, chronic disease management, and wellness coaching, employees can achieve and maintain optimal health, leading to fewer sick days and higher overall productivity.

A study published in the Journal of Family Practice found that patients with access to high-quality primary care had lower rates of hospitalization and emergency room visits. Another study in Health Affairs showed that strong primary care systems are associated with better preventive care, leading to early detection and management of chronic diseases.

Increased Employee Satisfaction

Happy employees are productive employees. Subscription-based primary care provides a VIP experience, ensuring that employees feel valued and cared for. In addition to same/next day in-person visits, the convenience of virtual consultations and personalized health plans fosters a sense of security and trust.

A survey conducted by the American Academy of Family Physicians indicated that patients in subscription-based practices felt more valued and had stronger relationships with their doctors compared to those in traditional practices. This deeper connection contributes to better mental health and overall happiness.

Cost Savings for Companies

One of the most significant advantages of subscription-based primary care is cost predictability and savings. By investing in proactive health management, companies can reduce the frequency of expensive emergency room visits and hospitalizations. Subscription plans often come with fixed monthly fees, making it easier for businesses to budget healthcare expenses while providing high-quality care.

A study by the Society of Actuaries found that DPC patients had lower overall healthcare costs due to fewer hospital admissions, reduced need for specialist care, and better-managed chronic conditions. Additionally, a Milbank Quarterly study highlighted that effective primary care could lower healthcare costs by reducing unnecessary tests and procedures

Boosting Productivity

Healthy employees are more focused and efficient. With easy access to primary care, employees can address health concerns promptly, minimizing downtime and preventing minor issues from becoming major problems. This proactive approach to health management translates to a more engaged and productive workforce.

What is Direct Primary Care?

Direct Primary Care is a healthcare model where patients pay for their primary care directly through a monthly or annual fee. This model allows for more personalized care, longer doctor visits, and greater accessibility. Our membership includes 24/7 access to a provider.

Take the next step towards a healthier, happier, and more productive workforce. Contact us today to learn more about our subscription-based primary care plans and how they can transform your employee benefits package.

Sources:

  1. “Impact of Primary Care on Health Outcomes” – Journal of Family Practice
  2. “Primary Care and Preventive Care” – Health Affairs
  3. “Patient Satisfaction in DPC Practices” – American Academy of Family Physicians
  4. “Cost Savings in Direct Primary Care” – Society of Actuaries
  5. “Economic Impact of Primary Care” – Milbank Quarterly

Innovative Approaches to Preventing Burnout and Supporting Employee Well-Being

Understanding Burnout and the Role of Advanced Primary Care

Burnout is a specific type of stress related to work, characterized by physical or emotional exhaustion, a sense of decreased achievement, and a loss of personal identity, according to the Mayo Clinic. Since 2020, awareness about mental health challenges, including burnout, has grown significantly. This increased attention is crucial, as burnout can lead to severe health consequences and affect overall well-being.

Identifying Burnout Early

Managers play a crucial role in identifying early signs of burnout and intervening before employees reach an advanced state of exhaustion. They should watch for:

 

  • Signs of Overwhelm:  Employees may show signs of being overwhelmed through anxious behavior, nervous habits, physical health decline, or irritability.
  • Excessive Overtime: Consistent overtime can indicate overcapacity. Managers should assess whether additional support or adjustments are needed.

 

  • Life Changes and Trauma: Big life events such as moving, injuries, or loss can impact performance. Managers should consider how these changes affect work.

 

  • Reduced Productivity and Errors: Overwhelmed employees may struggle with focus, leading to decreased productivity and frequent mistakes. Managers should offer support and address stressors.

 

  • Resistance to Change: Employees under strain may be hesitant to embrace new processes or changes. Managers should gauge whether reluctance is due to lack of capacity.

 

  • Loss of Interest: Employees losing enthusiasm for their work may be affected by stress or burnout. Managers should check in on their well-being.

 

  • Cynicism and Negativity: High stress can lead to a normally positive employee becoming more negative. Managers should assess their well-being and workload.

 

  • Emotional Overreaction: Overstressed employees may react emotionally to feedback or criticism. Managers should approach these situations with empathy.

 

  • Withdrawal from Colleagues: Isolation can indicate anxiety or overwhelm. Managers can offer support or suggest mental health days.

 

  • Lack of Focus: Employees who have too much on their plate may struggle to concentrate. Managers can assist by streamlining responsibilities or helping with time management.

The Proactive Role of Direct Primary Care

Incorporating Direct Primary Care (DPC) memberships into employee benefits can significantly aid in preventing and addressing burnout among employees. By providing accessible and personalized primary care, DPC supports employees’ well-being and helps managers identify early signs of burnout. Here’s how DPC can complement managers’ efforts to combat burnout in the workplace:

 

Improved Access to Care and Preventive Healthcare

Memberships provide employees with direct and efficient access to primary care providers, allowing them to seek medical advice and treatment quickly. This easy access enables employees to address health concerns before they worsen, promoting preventive healthcare and reducing stress from untreated issues.

Mental Health Support and Stress Management

Our membership-based care model emphasizes holistic care, including mental health support. Employees can discuss work-related stress with their provider and receive personalized guidance on stress management. This support can help employees maintain a healthy work-life balance and prevent burnout.

 

Cost Savings and Time Efficiency

Employees can manage their health more efficiently, reducing the need for extended time off for medical appointments. With greater access to providers, our model of care can also lower healthcare costs for both employees and employers by minimizing costly emergency room visits and hospitalizations.

 

Employee Engagement and Retention

Offering Exemplar Care memberships as part of employee benefits demonstrates a commitment to staff well-being, fostering increased job satisfaction and retention. Employees who feel supported by their healthcare provider are more likely to be engaged and motivated at work.

 

Health Education and Empowerment

Our providers share educational resources and advice, empowering employees to make informed health decisions. This knowledge can help employees take charge of their health and proactively address potential burnout risks.

 

Flexible and Convenient Care

Our model offers flexible scheduling and longer appointment times, enabling employees to receive care without significant disruptions to their workday. This convenience contributes to better health management and reduced stress.

 

By investing in Direct Primary Care and fostering supportive environments, employers can significantly impact their employees’ overall well-being and contribute to the prevention of burnout. If you’re an employer, benefits advisor, or third-party administrator interested in implementing Direct Primary Care, schedule a consultation today.

 

 

Different Ways to Access Your Provider at Hy-Vee Health Exemplar Care

Many people think there’s only one way to visit the doctor’s office: you call the receptionist, book an appointment with your in-network healthcare provider, wait in the waiting room, see the doctor for a few minutes, and then leave. But what if we told you there is a better way? Hy-Vee Health Exemplar Care offers a variety of options for communicating with your doctor. Keep reading to learn more and become a member of Exemplar Care today.

In-Person Visits

Through our model, while you don’t have to see your preferred provider in person, we recognize that some people prefer this option — perfectly fine.  In cases where your provider needs to examine you or take labs, meeting in person makes sense.  Also, for those who value face-to-face interactions, we want to accommodate all our patients’ preferences as best we can. We offer same or next-day appointments depending on need and, for acute care, members also have complimentary access to walk-in or urgent care.

Phone Consultations

At Exemplar Care, we understand that sometimes you just need quick medical advice. You can ask questions like:

  • Can you explain my test results?
  • Can I reduce my medications?
  • What should I do about my persistent cold?
  • Should I come in for a bruised toe?
  • How can I manage constipation?
  • Why are my allergies acting up?
  • What’s the best way to care for my child’s fever?

These are examples of questions your provider can assist with over the phone. Sometimes, we may require additional information or an in-person visit to provide proper treatment. But, for busy families seeking medical advice, phoning your doctor at Exemplar Care can be a convenient option.

Via Email or Messaging

For those who prefer not to talk on the phone or visit in person, we’re happy to communicate via email or messaging as part of your membership service. If you have non-urgent questions or need advice, these modes of communication can be ideal for reaching your Exemplar Care provider.

Telehealth Video Calls

One of the most popular options among our patients is video chat. It’s the next best thing to an in-person visit because your provider can see, hear, and talk to you as if you were there. Telehealth appointments are great for those who live further away from the clinic but still seek quality healthcare.  You can schedule telehealth appointments for primary or urgent care across all our locations.

Becoming a Member of Exemplar Care

Regardless of your preferred communication method, our Direct Primary Care team at Exemplar Care is here to assist you. We have access to various communication platforms and aim to support our patient members in every possible way. If you’re not already a member, you can find a location near you and sign up here.

Navigating Seasonal Allergies: A Guide to Managing Symptoms

 

Transitioning into spring in the Midwest is marked by the transition from snowblowers to lawnmowers and the blossoming of flowers and planting of crops. However, for roughly 10 percent of the population, spring also brings back hay fever and the irritating seasonal allergies that come with it.

What exactly causes allergies?

Seasonal allergies mimic symptoms of illnesses without the actual infection. They occur when the immune system reacts to irritants like pollen, resulting in allergic rhinitis, or hay fever.
Stacy Hennigar, ARNP, explains “when your body’s defense system, which is meant to keep you healthy, overreacts to things in the environment such as tree pollen, pet dander, or certain molds and can make you feel lousy.”

When is allergy season at its peak?

It typically begins in February and extends until early summer. In the Midwest, tree pollen dominates early in the year, followed by grass, ragweed, and other weeds.
Stacy notes that “timing and severity can vary across the country, but climate factors such as warm days, high humidity, and wind can increase allergens.” According to Stacy, “pollen levels peak in the morning hours and people can suffer from multiple environmental allergies.”

How do you know if you have seasonal allergies?

A specialist known as allergist can do specific testing to determine allergens. If you have symptoms such as sneezing, a runny or stuffy nose, watery or itchy eyes, pressure behind the ears and face, hearing problems, headaches, and a sore throat due to nasal drainage that tend to occur routinely at the same time every year, it is likely due to environmental allergies, or hay fever.

What are effective ways to manage seasonal allergies?

• Monitor pollen and mold counts.
• Knowing which pollens you are sensitive to can help. During spring and summer tree and grass pollen is highest in the evening. In late summer and early fall, its ragweed pollen, and levels are highest in the morning.
• Avoid touching your face while outdoors to minimize pollen exposure.
• Shower after outdoor activities to remove allergens from your skin.
• Keep windows closed at home and in vehicles to reduce pollen exposure indoors.

What over-the-counter medications are available for managing allergy symptoms?

Over-the-counter oral antihistamines such as Allegra, Zyrtec, or Claritin can help relieve symptoms. Also adding additional treatment with intranasal steroid, or antihistamine spray;  such as Flonase, Nasacort, Rhinocort, can provide improved relief of symptoms. Any time you have questions or feel unsatisfied with symptom relief, it’s essential to consult a healthcare provider. Sometimes, underlying conditions can mimic allergies, warranting further evaluation and personalized treatment.

As you navigate through allergy season, consider the benefits of membership with Exemplar Care. Our care team offers personalized attention and effective solutions to alleviate your allergy symptoms. Take control of your health and embrace the spring season with renewed vitality. Breathe easier and schedule your appointment with us today.

If you are interested in more health tips for spring, here are five ways to spring into health.

Contact Exemplar Care today to understand how our direct primary care membership can help you.

Knowing Your Blood Pressure Numbers

The Power of Proactive Care

It’s natural for our blood pressure to fluctuate throughout the day based on our activity level, stress, emotions, or even body temperature. However, prolonged high blood pressure levels, or hypertension, can lead to health issues, particularly for the heart. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), hypertension affects almost half of U.S. adults but here’s the even more alarming reality: only 1 in 4 of those adults is effectively managing it.

We quickly recognized the value of integrating the American Heart Association’s Check. Change. Control. ® Program into our Exemplar Care member services. Check. Change. Control. ® is a four-month hypertension management program empowering individuals to take charge of their health through blood pressure self-monitoring.

Key features of this program include:

  • Goal setting
  • Blood pressure monitor for at-home tracking
  • On-site care team to support participants & provide monthly educational sessions

Don’t just take it from us!

Meet Jane and John, a couple whose story highlights the success of the Check. Change. Control. ® Program at Hy-Vee Health Exemplar Care. It all started when Jane received a call from our clinical team inviting her to participate in the program. She considered her age and recent slightly elevated blood pressure readings and decided to sign up.

“I received my monitor from Exemplar Care and began tracking my blood pressure. It was back to normal, so I thought maybe the monitor was off and recruited my husband, John, to test it,” explained Jane. John has always been considered fit and healthy, completes his annual physicals, takes no prescription medications, and is not overweight.

John took several readings that night and the next day that displayed unexpectedly high values. “There were no indications that would have led me to believe his blood pressure was that way,” remarked Jane. At this point, she convinced John to join the Check. Change. Control. ® Program and they began monitoring their blood pressure together, revealing a previously undetected hypertension diagnosis for John.

Thanks to the program, John promptly consulted his primary care provider at Exemplar Care to develop a plan, avoiding potential complications from delayed detection. Jane’s readings have now returned to normal, and John has been implementing the diet and exercise suggestions given by his Exemplar Care provider and education provided by the program to help lower his readings. Jane emphasized that, “If it wasn’t for this program and the access to care we receive as member patients through my employer, I’m afraid we wouldn’t have caught this for months, maybe even a year.”

This member patient testimonial speaks to the effectiveness of the Check. Change. Control. ® Program, particularly paired with Hy-Vee Health Exemplar Care’s Direct Primary are model. With longer same day or next day appointments and 24/7 access to care, patients like Jane and John can receive prompt attention and personalized care plans tailored to their goals. This narrative is a reminder that prevention and proactive monitoring are key to achieving better health outcomes for all. Learn more about becoming a Hy-Vee Health Exemplar Care member here.

 

National Doctor’s Day: Why Direct Primary Care?

As we celebrate National Doctor’s Day, we wanted to take a moment to reflect on the “why” behind the choice, Dr. Jon Van Der Veer and Dr. Michael Line made to pursue careers as Direct Primary Care doctors. Direct Primary Care is a healthcare model where patients pay a transparent monthly fee directly to their provider or clinic, in way of a membership fee.

Dr. Jon Van Der Veer, founder of Exemplar Care, says that his “why” really comes down to the core values that led him into the field of medicine, particularly into direct primary care. He goes on to say, “For me, it’s always been about prioritizing meaningful time with patients and exploring alternative avenues for delivering healthcare. Our model of care allows for more efficient communication, whether through HIPAA-compliant messaging or phone calls, which allows us to dedicate more time to longer patient visits aimed at addressing the root causes of their health concerns and discussing their health goals.

“Unlike the traditional healthcare system, where patients often feel like numbers in a revenue-driven machine, this patient-centered model allows us to <strong>detect health issues earlier and proactively work to maintain well-being. The transparent pricing makes healthcare more accessible and cost-effective for individuals and companies alike, resulting in substantial savings.”

Dr. Van Der Veer concludes, “Ultimately, direct primary care aligns with our fundamental mission as healthcare providers: to care for people the right way. It’s why we entered this profession and shows our commitment to delivering care that truly puts patients first.”

Dr. Michael Line, MMM, also took a moment to reflect on his “why” for becoming a doctor in the direct primary care setting. “For me, this model represents more than just a way to deliver healthcare—to me, it embodies compassion. The Direct Primary Care model gives me the time to form meaningful, trusting relationships with my patients, and be just a message or phone call away whenever they need me. This not only leads to better health outcomes for my patients, but by focusing on preventative, proactive care, we can enhance well-being while minimizing the need for hospitalizations and emergency visits. For doctors driven by a genuine desire to serve others, the Direct Primary Care model allows you to do just that.”

Whether you’re a healthcare provider or an individual exploring healthcare options, consider the Direct Primary Care model that prioritizes the patient above all else. Learn more about Hy-Vee Health Exemplar Care’s direct primary care services here .

Hy-Vee Becomes Joint Owner of Exemplar Care

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa (Jan. 30, 2024)

Hy-Vee, Inc. announces today that it has become a joint owner of Exemplar Care as it works to bring more affordable primary care and urgent care services to Iowa patients and employers.

Under the agreement, Exemplar Care medical clinics will be renamed to Hy-Vee Health Exemplar Care, offering direct primary care and 24/7 urgent care (where available). Locations are currently open in West Des Moines, Ankeny and soon Bondurant, Iowa. Hy-Vee Chief Medical Officer Dr. Daniel Fick and Exemplar Care’s leadership team, including their founder Dr. Jon Van Der Veer, will manage the clinics.

Through Hy-Vee Health Exemplar Care, employer groups can provide their employees access to unlimited primary and urgent care through memberships for a fixed monthly fee or layer the membership with a major medical health plan. Health care memberships are also available to individuals and families outside of an employer-funded plan.

“We are proud to partner with Exemplar Care to provide a new way of delivering health care to patients and employer groups,” said Aaron Wiese, president of Hy-Vee. “By combining Exemplar Care’s expertise with Hy-Vee’s extensive background in pharmacy and infusion care, we will not only be able to reduce the cost of health care for patients and employers, but more importantly, improve the health of our patients through personalized patient care, increased access to care and transparent pricing.”

Hy-Vee has operated in the health care industry for more than 50 years and continues to expand its operations. The retailer currently operates more than 275 retail pharmacies across eight Midwestern states, as well as Amber Specialty Pharmacy, an award-winning, national specialty pharmacy provider. In 2020, Hy-Vee formed its own pharmacy benefit manager Vivid Clear Rx to combat rising drug prices by bringing more transparency to the industry.

Hy-Vee has also entered the medical space in recent years, launching a low-cost telehealth and online pharmacy provider called RedBox Rx that specializes in mental health, men’s health, women’s health and more. Most recently, Hy-Vee opened Hy-Vee Health Infusion Care medical practices in West Des Moines, Iowa, and Chicago to provide affordable infusion therapy to patients with chronic conditions.

The retailer has invested heavily in the wellness industry, employing a team of registered dietitians who offer nutritional services virtually and in person. Hy-Vee’s dietitians and pharmacists also work together to offer Food as Medicine-supported services to help individuals manage health conditions through dietary changes. Utilizing its fleet of mobile health units, Hy-Vee’s dietitians and pharmacists also provide health and wellness services across communities and within workplaces. Additionally, Hy-Vee operates a free educational program for children called Hy-Vee KidsFit that promotes physical activity and healthy lifestyle habits.

The joint ownership of Exemplar Care marks Hy-Vee’s latest expansion in the industry. To learn more about Hy-Vee Health Exemplar Care, visit www.exemplar.care.

 

Hy-Vee, Inc. is an employee-owned corporation operating more than 550 business units across eight Midwestern states with sales of more than $13 billion annually. The supermarket chain is synonymous with quality, variety, convenience, healthy lifestyles, culinary expertise, and superior customer service. Hy-Vee ranks in the Top 5 Most Trusted Brands and has been named one of America’s Top 3 favorite grocery stores. The company’s more than 75,000 employees provide “A Helpful Smile in Every Aisle” to customers every day. For additional information, visit www.hy-vee.com.