In our healthcare system today, it takes about 10 to 15 years for research to “matter” and become adopted into practice. Think about that: if you publish a research study that proves that a certain technique or procedure is superior and more beneficial to the standard practice, chances are it will take at least 10 years for it to catch on. With all of the amazing technology and innovation happening in the country right now, why is this still the case? Why is the healthcare industry still so far behind? Crossover Health is tackling this issue head on as they continue to innovate, grow and build relationships with tech giants such as Facebook and Apple.
Ever since we can all remember, healthcare has been centered around a “fee-for-service” model. With this type of model, each service provided is billed and paid for separately, thus putting the incentives entirely in the wrong place. “It really drives everything”, explained Dr. Dan Lord, Physical Medicine Senior Program Manager at Crossover. “It creates volume care, not quality, and ultimately allows insurance companies to dictate care. Healthcare systems are based around billing and coding, not efficiencies or patient centered care,” he said. That is why patient centered care has been one of Crossover’s main pillars as well as the focus of the company since it began.
Crossover was founded in 2010 by Scott Shreeve, MD, Rich Patragnoni, MD, and Nate Murray who are all still C-level executives at the company. As they continued to witness firsthand, the inefficiencies and gaps in healthcare such as high costs for less than quality care and slow adoption of technology in practice, they decided: there has to be a better way to do this. Thus, they began to redefine the primary healthcare model and delivery of care entirely.
Originally, the company began by building general membership-based health centers in Southern California. Although they had success with this, they began to realize it was difficult to grow the kind of company they envisioned, one patient at a time. Instead, they saw an opportunity in employer-sponsored healthcare which would enable them to contract with an entire population of people at once. This is how Crossover began to build onsite health and wellness centers at larger, self-insured companies. “This now sets the tone for everything we can do”, explains Lord. “It allows us to innovate and build our own care programs the way we want to build them.”
At Crossover’s clinics, you will find a redefined primary care model which includes an integrated care team of physicians, physical therapists, chiropractors, acupuncturists, behavioral health therapists, health coaches and fitness coaches. They were recently published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine with a study that shows the clinical and economic outcomes of using an integrative care team in employer-sponsored clinics. The study not only shows that Crossover’s integrated care model is successful clinically but that it has also been able to save their clients $400-$600 per episode of care for a back or joint injury as well as decrease opioid prescriptions 10x as compared to the general community.
To date, Crossover has had over 1 million patient visits and has secured over $110 million of funding from investors- and they’re not done there. This past May, they acquired Sherpaa, a telehealth company that focuses specifically on employer populations. This year, Crossover is making a huge push into the virtual care space and working to completely redesign the patient experience. “99% of medicine is not emergency care”, says Lord. “It’s a conversation.” The idea is that this “conversation” will start virtually and work to standardize patient care pathways which will allow for a quicker, much more efficient process when it comes to getting patients the care that they need and not spending healthcare dollars when they don’t need to. When a patient needs to speak with a real human, there will be “virtualists” (licensed healthcare providers) on the other end providing virtual care and working to triage patients appropriately. Lord describes this new technology as an enhancement to care, not a replacement. “It is not replacing providers but instead is augmenting how they work.”
Crossover Health has grown immensely over the past 9 years and continues to innovate and explore new opportunities in order to scale the business by being able to provide care for people both in person and from a distance. They are saving time and money by doing so and are completely changing the way primary care is implemented in the healthcare system. Only time will tell if others in the healthcare world will catch on to this successful, integrated model so that they can bring the best, most efficient care to each of their patients.