Why haven’t new models of primary care become mainstream already?

I recently read a nice piece about why CareMore Health and Iora and One Medical and all the other groups out there trying to reinvent office-based primary care haven’t “become the new normal.” CareMore was founded in the 90’s and has now ~130,000 patients and has changed hands multiple times most recently selling for $800M to Anthem. Iora has raised ~$225M and I haven’t been … Continue reading Why haven’t new models of primary care become mainstream already?

What can’t Virtual Primary Care do?

Sherpaa is one of those things where, once you experience a primarily online relationship with your own doctor, it’s hard to imagine going back to the old-fashioned “you can only talk to me during an increasingly expensive exam room visit.” I talk a ton about how amazing Sherpaa is and why you should be primarily communicating and problem-solving with your own personal doctor online, but … Continue reading What can’t Virtual Primary Care do?

Set up your iPhone to easily message your friends or family if you’re in trouble

With the Apple Watch’s new Fall Detection capability, you can quickly see how technology can update the old “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” concept. Or maybe it’s not a fall, it’s a heart attack or low blood sugar from your diabetes, or a kidnapping, or a hostage situation or a sexual assault. The Watch can’t detect any of those situations, but you need … Continue reading Set up your iPhone to easily message your friends or family if you’re in trouble

Artificial Intelligence in Primary Care

The scope of conversations in a primary care setting is massive. There are ~1,500 conditions primary care physicians typically diagnose and manage, but you’ve always got to be aware of and on the lookout for the other 10,000 or so conditions that are diagnosed and managed by specialists. To put it another way, PCPs manage the common, less complex conditions and specialists manage the more … Continue reading Artificial Intelligence in Primary Care

Comparing the operational costs of traditional primary care, Direct Primary Care, and Virtual Primary Care

The easiest way to understand the costs of primary care is to simply consider the most expensive part of delivering primary care— the salaries and benefits of physicians, NPs/PAs, nurses, and staff. To keep things simple, we’ll ignore the other costs like facilities and operations. For this exercise, we’ll consider a 10,000 patient primary care practice and we’ll compare three kinds of practices: A traditional … Continue reading Comparing the operational costs of traditional primary care, Direct Primary Care, and Virtual Primary Care

The physical exam is a surprisingly uncommon critical piece in determining a diagnosis.

Most people without medical training drastically overestimate the sensitivity and specificity of the traditional physical exam as a means of diagnosis. In reality, for the vast majority of medical conditions, it is one minor data point that leads to a diagnosis. In fact, many, if not most, conditions have almost zero physical findings. Of course, some things are diagnosed exclusively by physical exam. But those … Continue reading The physical exam is a surprisingly uncommon critical piece in determining a diagnosis.

Primary Care fails people surprisingly often.

Patients view doctors as problem-solvers. And this perception works extremely well in doctors’ favor throughout your life. When you’re young, you get sick or hurt. You go to the doctor. They cast your broken arm or prescribe you your bubble gum-flavored amoxicillin and soon you’re all better. From day one, your doctor works miracles. Then you turn 18 or so and graduate from your pediatrician … Continue reading Primary Care fails people surprisingly often.