"Unlike any other primary care clinic in Las Vegas, Turntable Health was a success, medically. By emphasizing prevention and doctor-patient relationships, Damania’s practice achieved superior quality outcomes, while providing rapid access to care and high patient satisfaction. But from an economic perspective, the clinic was a bust. Insurers shied away from member fees, insisting on more traditional reimbursements, which directly contradicted Damania's long-term health strategy. Turntable Health was forced to close its doors in January 2017, just three years after opening."
Excerpt from How One U.S. Clinic Disrupted Primary Care, Made Patients Healthier And Still Failed by Robert Pearl in Forbes
The economics of healthcare are difficult to begin with. They're especially difficult if you're challenging the system. Turntable Health's attempt was novel and laudable. Their example shows that medical success doesn't guarantee funding.
Turntable Health shows us healthcare innovation requires new funding models. Here are a few models showing promise:
- Iora Health funds clinics in multiple ways: direct pay for uninsured populations, employer funding, and contracts with insurance carriers (including those offering Medicare Advantage plans).
- One Medical charges an annual fee to individuals for access to a clinic and 24/7 telehealth.
- Vera contracts with employers to provide primary care clinics that encourage participation by using a per person/per month (PPPM) funding model rather than the traditional fee-for-service models.