The Doctor Is In
And Readily Available in Person or Online
Before enrolling in the evening MBA program at the Leavey School of Business, Andy Bartley was a biological engineer designing surgical equipment. Now he’s an executive with a new primary-care provider that is using technology to make basic medical services more accessible to patients.
Bartley is Regional Vice President for New Market Development at One Medical Group, the nation’s fastest-growing primary care practice. It offers same-day appointments made by email and a variety of services handled online, an approach it says saves money and deals with patients’ concerns more quickly.
“I was a One Medical patient before joining the company,” Bartley says, “and believed in what they were doing. This is a company that is addressing a critical problem in our health care system — primary care — and I wanted to be a part of the solution.”
At the time he entered the MBA program in 2008, Bartley was thinking primarily of furthering his career in the medical-device industry. But a venture capital competition at Santa Clara opened his eyes and mind to the possibility of entrepreneurship and led him to take classes that would prepare him for that career direction.
“Santa Clara provided exposure to a diverse cross-section of Silicon Valley professionals,” he says. “The education was top-notch, and it allowed me to develop a well-rounded skill set across areas like finance, marketing and business formation.”
After graduating from Santa Clara, Bartley joined The Angels’ Forum, a Silicon Valley angel investing group. Responsible for finding new companies to invest in, Bartley was exposed to over a thousand early-stage businesses in a variety of industries. In late 2011 he started to see an increase in the number of startups that were successfully using machine-learning algorithms to turn large data sets into valuable information about user behavior.
That led him to be one of the founders of Algorithms.io, launched in early 2012 on the premise that as more companies move online, they are collecting large amounts of data about their customers — data that if properly understood could yield valuable sales and marketing insights.
However, the Big Data sector exploded that year, causing the new company to pivot in 2013. Algorithms.io saw a new opportunity in the manufacturing sector, addressing demand for advanced analytics using streaming data generated by machines and sensors during the production process. Focusing on this area led to business with Fortune 500 manufacturers and paved the way for the sale of Algorithm.io to LumenData at the end of 2013.
Bartley had been following changes in health care provision and decided to return to that field after the sale of Algorithm.io. “I wanted to get back into health care,” he says. “The Affordable Care Act is creating seismic shifts within this industry. One of the critical issues is access to primary care, and One Medical is addressing that.”
The group has an extensive footprint of offices in six urban areas — San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Boston, and Washington, D.C. One Medical’s premise is that by using technology efficiently, it can increase access to primary care by both reducing the need for face-to-face doctor appointments, yet scheduling them promptly when needed.
One Medical has developed its own mobile and telemedicine solutions that tie directly to a patient’s electronic health record. This integration provides its doctors with access to patient s’ medical histories and allows doctors to offer a variety of treatment solutions through video conferencing or One Medical’s mobile app.
For example, a patient worried about a mole can take a photo of it with a smart phone and email it to a doctor, who can determine whether it is harmless or calls for an office visit and a closer look. Routine prescriptions are also simplified. A patient from Chicago, traveling through Arkansas, can use the app to request a prescription, which can then be sent directly to a pharmacy near where the patient is traveling.
The use of technology enables doctors at One Medical to see 15-16 patients a day (as opposed to 30 at a traditional primary care practice). With fewer in-office appointments, patients can generally schedule a doctor visit the same day. Appointments typically start on time, and doctors can spend the time necessary to properly treat the patient.
“The downstream effect of improving access to primary care,” Bartley says. “is that people are less likely to utilize higher-cost resources like emergency rooms and urgent care. This is good for patients, as well as the healthcare system.”
The company accepts most major health insurance plans and charges users an annual fee ($149 in the Bay Area), largely to cover the cost of technology services, such as the app and video visits not covered by insurance. Current patients skew toward individuals, and Bartley is charged with bringing more companies into the fold.
“My focus is on building our presence inside corporations,” Bartley says. Knowledge-worker industries such as tech, law and finance value the increased productivity and care our model provides. Companies are spending significant money on recruitment and productivity programs, but then leave their employees sitting in waiting rooms when they need medical treatment.
“Our combination of physical locations and virtual solutions ensures that employees are able to get high-quality treatment fast. We also offer on-site wellness programs like flu shots, biometric screening and wellness seminars to promote employee health.
“The word about One Medical is starting to get out. We recently won the 2014 Tech Crunch Crunchie award for best health startup, and were featured in VentureBeat as the hot health benefit for technology companies. I’m working on developing our business in and around Palo Alto and Sunnyvale, as well as leading efforts to expand into new markets. Cities with a high concentration of knowledge workers are a perfect fit for One Medical. It’s an exciting time to be in health care.”