Think about the last time you saw your primary care doctor. You probably spent a good amount of time in the waiting room, and then waiting again in the exam room. When the doctor finally came in, you likely only spent a few minutes with him or her. Physicians today are overburdened with so many patients that they can’t realistically form a genuine relationship with each one. Further complicating things is the fee-for-service healthcare model, incentivizing volume of patients in order to get paid.
“There is not one silver bullet that is going to solve everything that is wrong with our healthcare system, but reimagining more innovative and optimized primary care can be part of the solution,” says R-Health Co-Founder and CEO Mason Reiner.
“R-Health’s mission is to deliver transformative relationship-based primary care. … When people have time to develop a meaningful and enduring relationship with a personal primary care physician that they have great access to and who can serve as the true quarterback for their health, then they are happier, healthier and spend less money on healthcare,” Reiner adds.
R-Health has six direct care practices throughout New Jersey in New Brunswick, Hamilton, Ewing, Morristown, Cherry Hill and Voorhees. It has two additional practices in Kansas City and plans to open four more in Pennsylvania this year.
“We limit the number of patients that each of our doctors is responsible for to about a third of what a typical doctor is responsible for,” Reiner says. “They have more time to spend with each patient and they are liberated from the volume-based, financial incentive of fee-for-service medicine where you basically only get paid if you see people in the office.”
Joining an R-Health doctor’s office is a free enhanced benefit for members of the New Jersey State Health Benefits Plan (SHBP) and School Employee’s Health Benefits Plan (SEHBP). There are no co-pays, deductibles, or any other “hidden” fees. Individuals and families can also join R-Health Direct Care, which utilizes a membership-based approach with a fixed monthly rate.
Every R-Health patient gets a HIPPA compliant app that acts as a “unified communication portal.” Patients can use the app to text their doctor, send photos, and participate in virtual visits. R-Health doctors provide a full range of services including: preventive care, urgent care, sick care, health and wellness coaching, chronic disease management, care coordination and more.
“So much of the good primary care really happens outside of the office, like follow ups and coordinating care,” says Reiner, who adds that the goal with R-Health is to reestablish primary care as the bedrock of healthcare delivery and give people the access to a personal primary care physician who can help them develop a personal health map, help them meet their health goals, and coordinate their care when they need the rest of the healthcare system.