R-Health Announces Expanded Collaboration with Aetna for Value-Based Healthcare Delivery

R-Health, a leader in innovative healthcare solutions, today announced the company has expanded its value-based healthcare delivery collaboration with Aetna.

With a recent contract to provide Direct Primary Care services to Aetna members through the New Jersey Direct Primary Care pilot program for members enrolled in the State Health Benefits Program (SHBP) and School Employees’ Health Benefits Program (SEHBP), R-Health now has four agreements with Aetna, each focused on patient-centered care. The New Jersey program is an enhanced benefit for the SHBP and SEHBP that provides members free access to an R-Health Direct Primary Care physician with no co-pays or deductibles.

R-Health began working with Aetna in 2014, through the company’s accountable care organization, the Advanced Comprehensive Care Organization (ACCO). This started with a Medicare Advantage population and grew to include adult commercial and pediatric commercial populations. These programs deliver care to thousands of patients in Southeastern Pennsylvania.

These innovative collaborations are each focused on improving quality of care and reducing overall costs. This includes encouraging stronger patient engagement, sharing best practices across care teams, implementing evidence-based guidelines, and creating performance-based incentives.

“We are excited to deepen our collaboration with Aetna through the New Jersey Direct Primary Care program,” said Mason Reiner, R-Health’s CEO. “By offering their members who are enrolled in SHBP and SEHBP access to R-Health, members will experience primary care the way it should be. This builds on our existing patient-centered collaborations with Aetna.”

Through the collaborations between R-Health and Aetna, the 195 providers in ACCO have consistently surpassed clinical quality benchmarks in areas such as patient access, control of chronic conditions, preventive cancer screenings, and vaccinations. For example, during the most recent performance year, 86% of ACCO’s diabetic Medicare Advantage patients had HbA1c levels less than 9, and 96% of adolescents had proper immunizations.

R-Health’s Direct Primary Care program in New Jersey is an innovative offering focused on drastically improving the primary care experience by providing unlimited access to a personal physician with no co-pays or deductibles. It offers same-day and next-day appointments, little to no time in the waiting room, evening and weekend hours, phone consultations, and digital access to the patient’s personal doctor.

About R-Health: R-Health delivers more effective care and a better patient experience – all at a lower cost. We partner with employers, unions, insurance companies and TPAs to offer primary care that’s truly collaborative. This is accomplished through the traditional core values of convenient, personal primary care; our innovative data analytics and patient engagement platforms that streamline care, delivering better outcomes, lower costs and a refreshing patient experience; and the proactive management of chronic conditions. R-Health delivers value-based healthcare two ways, through R-Health Accountable Care, our commercial ACO, and R-Health Direct Primary Care, our innovative membership-based primary care model.  For more information, visit www.R-Health.md.

About Aetna:  Aetna is one of the nation’s leading diversified health care benefits companies, serving an estimated 46.7 million people with information and resources to help them make better informed decisions about their health care. Aetna offers a broad range of traditional, voluntary and consumer-directed health insurance products and related services, including medical, pharmacy, dental, behavioral health, group life and disability plans, and medical management capabilities, Medicaid health care management services, workers’ compensation administrative services and health information technology products and services. Aetna’s customers include employer groups, individuals, college students, part-time and hourly workers, health plans, health care providers, governmental units, government-sponsored plans, labor groups and expatriates. For more information, see http://www.aetna.com/ and learn about how Aetna is helping to build a healthier world. @AetnaNews

Tips to Boost Your Immune System in Winter

While we may be witnessing more rain than snow currently, we are still in the throes of winter and we could all use some helpful hints to boost our immune system. So keep these tips in mind to stay healthy and avoid illnesses.

  1. Get a good night’s sleep. It’s important to sleep during the nighttime and stay awake during the daylight to balance your hormones for the winter.
  2. Vitamin D. Healthy Vitamin D levels can help boost your immune system. Prepare for winter by getting proper sunshine in the spring, summer, and early fall. This will help to maintain proper Vitamin D levels over the course of the winter.
  3. Fix your gut. Avoid processed foods, fake oils, and inflammatory grains as much as you can.
  4. Stay active during the winter. Be sure to try to get the recommended level of daily exercise.
  5. Control your stress. De-stress as much as you can. You can’t control the world, but you can change how you interact with it.

Still have questions? Reach out to your R-Health doctor to learn more about how to keep your immune system in check during the winter months.

Steven Horvitz, DO, Direct Primary Care Physician and R-Health Direct Primary Care Medical Director

R-Health Opens New Direct Primary Care Practice in Ewing, NJ

New Location Part of the New Jersey State Direct Primary Care Program to Provide Free Access to Primary Care for State, Municipal, and School Employees

Yesterday, R-Health hosted a ribbon cutting and grand opening of its new location in Ewing, New Jersey. R-Health now has four primary care practices serving state, municipal, and school employees in the New Jersey Direct Primary Care (DPC) program, with additional practices launching throughout 2017.

In 2016, the State of New Jersey passed a resolution to create a Direct Primary Care Medical Home program, offering free DPC membership to more than 550,000 state, municipal, and school employees and their family members participating in the State Health Benefits Program (SHBP) or School Employees’ Health Benefits Program (SEHBP).

Like many states, New Jersey has been struggling with spiraling healthcare costs. DPC offers an innovative solution that is proven to lead to better care and outcomes for workers, while lowering costs for individual employees and the State.

Membership to R-Health Ewing, and other R-Health practices, is a no co-pay, no deductible, primary care option for New Jersey public sector workers and their family members. They can join an R-Health practice for free and receive a full range of services including preventive, urgent, and sick care; health and wellness coaching; chronic disease management; and care coordination.

“We are so excited that New Jersey took notice of the benefits of providing barrier-free access to primary care, recognizing the innovative solution offered by Direct Primary Care,” said Mason Reiner, R-Health CEO. “R-Health is reinventing the way primary care is delivered, offering New Jersey workers personalized, relationship-based care.”

R-Health Direct Primary Care practices offer same-day and next-day appointments, longer appointment times, little to no time in the waiting room, evening and weekend hours, and access to the doctor in the office and out of the office via phone consultations and digital messaging.

R-Health physicians care for a maximum of 1,000 patients, compared to 2,500 to 3,000 in a traditional practice, freeing R-Health doctors to spend more time with each member.

State officials and labor union leaders joined R-Health to celebrate the grand opening including State Senate President Steve Sweeney; Kevin Kelleher, Director – Research and Economic Services, New Jersey Education Association; Hetty Rosenstein, Area Director, CWA New Jersey; and other labor leaders.

Said Randi Protter, MD, FACP, NCMP, the lead physician at R-Health Ewing, “I went into medicine to take care of people, but somewhere along the way, the focus on people has been lost in our healthcare system. This approach puts the patient front and center, allowing me to dedicate 100% of my time on providing care for our members.”

This membership-based approach to primary care turns the typical volume-based, fee-for-service model on its head. with R-Health practices entirely foregoing fee-for-service insurance billing.

R-Health Ewing is now accepting enrollment of new members, with sign up available at www.r-health.md/nj.

Why I Practice Direct Primary Care

After medical school, I started working as a physician in a two-person practice with multiple sites. I then went into solo practice in Moorestown, NJ in 1998. During that time, I had a traditional fee-for-service practice, driven by incentives to see more and more patients in order to make more money.

As the years progressed, my practice grew, but so did the non-patient related issues that come along with our current healthcare system. By 2006, I was getting annoyed at the distractions and loss of time to truly focus my time on my patients due to the increasing bureaucracy.

If you know me, you know I don’t like being annoyed, so instead I started looking for a solution.

Here’s what I knew. I loved practicing family medicine but did not like the environment that was unfolding. So, I found my solution and in January 2008, I terminated all my insurance contracts and brought my services direct to my patients. And thus my Direct Primary Care (DPC) practice, the Institute for Medical Wellness, was born.

I grew up the son of a solo private practice family physician in Philadelphia. My father served as National Medical Director of Nutri-System Weight Loss Centers way back when it was an early start-up and through its heydays in the 1980s. I saw the hard work and forward thinking that needed to be done to move from a fledgling start-up to a true disruptive force in an industry. I observed this hard work and dedication from my father and took this same approach with my DPC practice.

Yoda from Star Wars once said, “Do or do not, there is no try.” The DPC system is about putting all physicians in a position where they can truly DO their best for their patients. DPC allows doctors the time necessary to really get to know their practice and to succeed in their professional life. In DPC you truly can Do, not just Try.

As DPC physicians, it is our job to create a practice environment where our patients feel a part of the practice. We want to reduce their fears that we will not be available when they need us. Patients want to know we are listening to them, and that we are there to help them when needed, whether in office, by phone, email, text, video, or even carrier pigeon. If we convince them by our actions, the trust we have then built up is immeasurable, which should make patient outcomes terrific as well.

And now that I am part of the R-Health network, I have the ability to bring Direct Primary Care to even more patients. Now that’s a win-win. Let’s do, not just try.

Steven Horvitz, DO, Direct Primary Care Physician and R-Health Direct Primary Care Medical Director

Why New Jersey is Offering FREE Primary Care to Over 550,000 Employees and Family Members

The State of New Jersey recently launched an innovative program offering free primary care to more than 550,000 public sector employees and family members. Championed by the large public sector unions & Democratic State Senate President Steve Sweeney, and embraced by the administration of Republican Governor Chris Christie, New Jersey’s Direct Primary Care Medical Home Program offers a bi-partisan road map for how employers can enhance the healthcare benefits their employees receive while simultaneously reining in spiraling healthcare costs.

Sound too good to be true? Allow me to share three key features of the program and explain why New Jersey has designed it this way.

Read more on LinkedIn…

Fitness Goals, Not Fads

It’s no mystery that about half of all Americans 18 and over, do not get the recommended physical activity. And it also shouldn’t come as a surprise that with the New Year, many people have set resolutions to get more fit, more active, or to start a new trendy diet.
While it is always great to start the New Year off on the right foot, be careful not to fall into the trap of fads or trends, or to jump head first into a new diet or exercise regimen and not be able to sustain it.

Instead, take things slowly and carve out short periods of time, multiples times a week, for physical activity.

According to America’s Family Physicians, there are many benefits to regular exercise, including:

  • Reduces your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, diabetes, and obesity
  • Keeps joints, tendons, and ligaments flexible, which makes it easier to move around
  • Reduces some effects of aging, especially the discomfort of osteoarthritis
  • Contributes to mental well-being
  • Helps relieve depression, stress, and anxiety
  • Increases your energy and endurance
  • Helps you sleep better
  • Helps you maintain a normal weight by increasing your metabolism (the rate you burn calories)

Are you ready to set the right fitness goals this New Year? Your R-Health doctor can help you develop an individualized plan.

Dr. Steve Horvitz is R-Health’s Medical Director and one of the physician’s taking part in the NJ SHBP / SEHBP program