Jomo Starke: SynerMed provides a wide range of services to traditional independent physicians, over 10k contracted in California, along with their constituents, over 600k lives, mostly Medi-Cal. Our model allows doctors to thrive serving disadvantaged populations, many of whose only option for primary care is the local emergency room.
We are currently only in California, but have a keen eye toward expansion. We are looking for the sickest and poorest populations in the country, looking to go at risk and deploy our model. There seem to be plenty of opportunities…
Joe Hage: Give us an idea of some of the services you provide. You were saying 25% of business is primary care, 75% specialists.
Jomo Starke: In a nutshell, our business model is to take best practices from across healthcare: Kaiser, Medicare Advantage, commercial insurance, recreate them inexpensively, and deploy them to the Medicaid markets. You hear about administrative costs of 40 to 60% overhead in healthcare … Our number is about 3 percent!
Our long view is that the healthcare crisis will only be solved when you bend the cost curve. Nothing will change until that happens. Current cost trends are simply unsustainable.
Joe Hage: What is your “Wal-Mart” secret? Or is that proprietary?
Jomo Starke: No secrets, just good old fashioned leverage. We believe that the cost curve will be bent by the creative deployance of #HealthIT. We have an internal IT staff of 80 and a three-year application development roadmap. We are in the midst of the transition from being a healthcare company focused on IT to an IT company focused on healthcare. It’s an exciting time.
Joe Hage: And what are the similarities and differences between what you do and my friend Robb Cohen does over at XLHealth? (See: XLHealth on Medicare, Monitoring, and Members.)
Jomo Starke: There seem to be many similarities in our business model to XLHealth’s; the success of our endeavor depends on our ability to effectively manage the entire continuum of care.
The creative capture, harmonization and subsequent integration of key metrics into the clinician workflow will drive positive change. The main difference is that XLHealth seems to be focused on Medicare; we are predominantly in the Medicaid space. Ergo, “kings of the market nobody wants.” But lots of folks need.
Joe Hage: Let me ask you what I asked Robb. HC reform expert @GunterWessels believes nationalized healthcare is inevitable. (See Economic Turmoil’s Impact on National Healthcare Reform.) Do you agree?
Jomo Starke: Hard to say. I will say that we feel like we have an answer to the healthcare cost crisis, but it is not in a form that most folks would like. It’s effective but not pretty. Our members get a named primary care physician, access to specialty care, access to local hospitals and pharmacy benefits. The difference is the venues you receive the care in are not what most people are used to. The alternative, however, are public health clinics, community hospitals, and the local ER for primary care.
Did you know the traditional public health system only can care for about 30% of the #safetynet. Care for the other 70% is left to our physicians and facilities.
Joe Hage: I hadn’t, no. For our readers, here is a list of DSHs (Disproportionate Share Hospitals). There are 2,700 hospitals on the list, almost half of all hospitals in the country.
Jomo Starke: We at SynerMed have a fix for healthcare right now. The problem is that it is not in a form most people would find palatable (I don’t think).
If the trends in employer-sponsored healthcare continue in the direction they have been, however, people may not have a choice.
Jomo Starke: We plan to continue innovating and optimizing, hope we get the chance to deploy in other underserved markets across the country.
Joe Hage: Something tells me I’ll be calling on you again, Jomo. Thanks for tonight. Who among my readers should contact you?
Jomo Starke: Thanks. I’m currently vetting almost 30 new #mhealth and #healthIT offerings that have promise. I’d invite your readers to tell me about others.
Joe Hage: Check out the posts I wrote with @kmalaspina. You two should talk! Thanks again for tonight, Jomo. #MedDevice
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