Advocate Aurora Health is partnering with One Medical to expand membership-based primary care in the Chicago area.
Under the deal, the terms of which are confidential, 28-hospital will be the preferred chain for One Medical's three existing Chicago clinics, as well as future locations the organizations open together.
San Francisco-based One Medical operates a membership model, in which local patients pay $199 annually for access to primary care doctors. Patients' insurance plans are then billed for services provided.
Many members are drawn to the promise of same- or next-day appointments that start on time and last longer than traditional primary care visits. But the majority of One Medical's patients have access through employee benefits, said John Singerling, the company's chief network officer. The company contracts with about 4,000 employers nationally, such as Airbnb and WeWork.
Backed by Carlyle Group, One Medical opened its first Chicago location at 181 W. Madison St. in 2012. It joined Advocate's physician network in 2015, and opened locations River North and Lincoln Park a year later.
"To really transform care and ultimately help people live well, we need to be participating in" innovative care settings and delivery models, said Scott Powder, chief strategy officer at Advocate Aurora, the ninth-largest nonprofit hospital chain in the nation. "Oftentimes the best way to do it is to partner with an existing organization rather than try to invent everything ourselves, which is time-consuming and expensive."
Doctors at the soon-to-be co-branded clinics will refer members to Advocate Aurora specialists when appropriate, but patients will still have the option to seek care elsewhere.
The organizations are also in the process of identifying Chicago-area markets to open new membership-based clinics. The deal does not extend to Wisconsin, where Advocate Aurora also has a presence.
With 72 offices nationwide, One Medical has similar partnerships with hospital chains in other states, including Mount Sinai Health System in New York.
Such partnerships are becoming more common across the historically fragmented healthcare industry as hospital chains face pressure to rein in costs and expand clinical capabilities. Downers Grove-based Advocate Aurora in January announced a deal with to open a high-touch primary care clinic for seniors in Elgin.
"Doctor are going to self-select the format and the channel and the operating model and the clinical model that best meets their needs," Powder said. "Us trying to force once-size-fits-all into the market probably doesn't make a lot of sense long term."
originally appeared in .