In the healthcare system, there is a lot of red tape that exists throughout hospital emergency rooms, free-standing ERs and in the system itself. Jay Woody, MD, a Dallas ER physician and the founder of Intuitive Health, tended patients in the emergency room for years, making him profoundly aware of the constant red tape.
He saw patients leave with outrageous bills simply because they couldn’t get into their primary care physician or they simply didn’t have one. He also saw patients struggle with long wait times for minor illnesses that could have been treated at an urgent care facility.
Dr. Woody saw the need to create a healthcare model that produced higher patient care and still kept the patient at the center of attention, decreased wait times and made healthcare costs reasonable.
He realized the kind of care his patients were receiving at the local hospital ER wasn’t conducive to giving patients the best care during their times of uncertainty. He knew a change needed to be made to improve patient care, while also changing the way his patients were charged for the care they need.
Thus, Intuitive Health was born. It created a retail healthcare model that combines both an emergency room and urgent care facility under one roof.
The Dual Model Only Bills for the Care Needed
Typically, an urgent care clinic is utilized for sore throats, sprains, minor fractures, allergic reactions, minor burns, cold and flu-like symptoms, and other routine care. A good rule of thumb is urgent care treats things that a pediatrician or primary care physician can treat.
These facilities are not equipped to deal with serious medical emergencies or ailments. Most urgent care clinics do have more hours in the evenings and weekends, but some of them can limit access by requiring an appointment. They do not accept walk-in patients.
Free-Standing ER and Hospital ER
Free-standing emergency rooms are just that — emergency rooms that are not attached to a hospital but provide the same services 24/7 that you would find at a hospital ER. The model is intended for serious injuries such as chest pain, abdominal pain, trauma or specialized care.
Patients who go to a free-standing ER will still pay ER prices, even if their illness or injury could have been treated and billed as urgent care.
The typical ER bill can have copayments, costs for diagnostic tests, laboratory fees, radiology fees, pharmaceutical expenses, supply and facility fees, nursing services, and physician care services. Discretionary ER charges vary so widely from facility to facility that it’s challenging to estimate what a visit will actually cost the patient. Even with a free-standing ER model, the cost can equal that of treatment at a hospital-based ER.
Combining the Emergency Room and Urgent Care
Intuitive Health developed a hybrid healthcare business model that is a significant game-changer in the fight against unnecessary ER utilization.
Intuitive Health’s dual model combines both ER and urgent care under one roof. How does this benefit the patient? By creating a hybrid retail healthcare model, patients now have access to both in a single facility. It eliminates the need to choose and provides convenient, quality care, fair billing and a positive customer service experience.
By combining ER and urgent care under one roof, it allows patients to be billed only for the care that they need. We believe that patients should not be responsible for an ER copay unless their situation is evaluated as a major medical emergency.
Intuitive Health sees that, on average, 80 percent of patients who seek care at our facilities are billed under urgent care. Intuitive Health patients receive higher quality of care while also saving time and money. The Intuitive Health dual model saves patients, communities and employees hundreds of thousands of dollars on unnecessary and excessive ER billing. In Texas alone, these facilities save in excess of $20 million in unnecessary ER billing annually.
The best part about our model is we only charge for the level of care you need, so you don’t have to try to decipher the severity of your case before deciding where to go.
Therefore, patients are getting the care they need, when they need it, and all under one roof.
Healthcare That Is Easier to Access Than Ever Before.
For the Patient
Intuitive Health focuses on providing the best patient experience throughout our clinics. With our comprehensive proprietary algorithm, we build our dual model ER and urgent care facilities in popular retail areas. We make it easier for people to seek the care they need in a place they would generally find themselves running errands or shopping.
We build clinics in these locations with the intent that patients are able to hop in their cars, drive five minutes down the road and arrive at a fully equipped ER and urgent care facility. Whether the patient has allergies or appendicitis, they no longer have to decide what kind of care they need and are billed only for the care they use.
A prime example is our newest location, opening November 2019, named Riverview Health Emergency Room & Urgent Care in Fishers, Indiana. The clinic is located at the corner of I-69 and 116th, next to Topgolf.
For Hospital Systems
By choosing locations that are strong in a given retail area, Intuitive Health has the ability to maximize the potential for success and increased market share opportunities.
We build our dual model clinics in areas that allow hospitals to expand market share. Most hospitals are faced with the inability to expand where they would like because another hospital system is already in the area. By building these dual model retail healthcare facilities, hospital systems can reach a new patient base while also creating more diverse healthcare choices for patients.
Providing the Right Care. Right Now.
While the combined model of ER and urgent care provides the same services as a hospital-based ER or the local urgent care clinic, our clinics are consistently faster in getting the patient in and out of the doors with the exact care they need. Building our free-standing clinics unattached to hospitals gives us more control in making the patient journey process move faster.
With hospital ER systems, patients have longer wait times to see the doctor, get labs taken and receive scans and other procedures because they are sharing these resources with the rest of the hospital. Our dual healthcare model provides our patients with the care they need in a timelier manner by eliminating the wait for access to resources, such as the lab, X-ray, CT and ultrasound.
Your Health Is Not a Guessing Game, and Getting Care Shouldn’t Be Either
The Intuitive Health retail model takes the question “Should I go to an ER or urgent care?” out of the equation when you need fast care. By giving communities access to both urgent and emergency care under one roof, patients don’t need to guess about the severity of their current illness or injury.
With the Intuitive Health dual model, we decide the level of care required. When patients walk in to one of our facilities, they will be evaluated by a board-certified ER physician using a standardized criteria set to determine the level of care required. This model allows patients to focus on getting the most cost-effective and appropriate treatment.
Healthcare That Cares
At the center of our healthcare model is our culture. Our primary differentiator from the majority of the healthcare system is our attention to customer service, training and servant leadership. When opening a new clinic, we dynamically train our leaders with a focus on retail best practices.
How does retail relate to healthcare? We want patients to feel welcome immediately as they enter our clinic doors. We want them to know they will be treated with the best care and compassion. Then they will return when they need us again and become promoters for our facilities.
At Intuitive Health, we utilize a customer service scoring method called a Net Promoter Score (NPS). Large retail corporations, such as Target and Starbucks, use this type of scoring to measure the willingness of customers to give recommendations and to gauge their loyalty to the company and the brand.
Every patient treated at one of our facilities has a questionnaire sent to them, and they are asked to provide honest feedback about their experience. Then, utilizing more than 40,000 pieces of patient feedback, we implement a continuous improvement model.
Using patient feedback to improve customer service has led Intuitive Health to become the nation’s leading healthcare customer service organization. We have an NPS score of 85, distinguishing our clinics as world class.
The Culture of the Patient Journey
Built on a foundation of servant leadership, Intuitive Health’s dual model clinics are designed with the patient journey in mind. We greet patients warmly without the presence of glass partitions or barriers in our facilities, creating a better reception experience. All of our ER and urgent care clinics are walk-in only, allowing patients to be seen without making an appointment. Also, we created a short check-in process for new and existing patients, allowing them to be seen quickly.
Once the patient is in care, our triage process triggers a series of efficient workflows that allows our highly trained medical professionals to make decisions that keep patients moving instead of waiting for the doctor’s consent at every turn.
This process allows testing and other lab procedures to run in parallel while the doctor is heading toward the patient — dramatically decreasing door-to-door times. Armed with all patient information, the doctor’s time with the patient is highly efficient, and patients can be diagnosed and discharged shortly thereafter.
Intuitive Health’s dual model of care understands the value patients place on their time and money.
The Dual Model: Creating Change for the Better
At Intuitive Health, we are in the business of making a deeper change to the healthcare system. We created a retail healthcare model that delivers care that is more personal, cost- and time-efficient, and accessible for everyone.
Placing ER and urgent care under one roof saves patients, communities and employers millions of dollars each year by eliminating unnecessary emergency room utilization.
Intuitive Health partners with leading health systems nationwide to help build, operate and launch the ER and urgent care dual model. If you are interested in learning more about Intuitive Health and developing partnerships, visit www.iheruc.com.
By David Apple, Chief Marketing Officer, Intuitive Health