Phoenix-based Equality Health offers value-based care solutions dedicated to serving independent primary care practices in closing gaps in care. Last June, I had the opportunity to interview Mark Stephan, M.D., M.B.A., the company’s chief medical officer, about Equality Health’s ’Medicaid-first” business model.
“The way we enter markets is in the Medicaid space, but we also have Medicare Advantage contracts and we’re in ACO REACH,” Stephan told me. “It’s important to bring a portfolio of value-based agreements to a practice. It helps with mindshare and behavior change and practice transformation when you have a significant part of your panel in a value-based agreement.”
In December I had the chance to hear more about how this plays out from the physician practice perspective by talking to Victoria Blanken, executive director of Highlands Physicians Inc., a 1,400-physician independent physician association in east Tennessee and southwest Virginia.
I asked Blanken what was attractive to Highlands about working with a company like Equality Health.
First, she said, Highlands runs as a very lean organization, and most of its profits go back to the physicians to help them maintain their financial independence. Among the many challenges her office faces is working with more than 40 different EHRs, but she said Equality Health is working to integrate data from those EHRs into their Care Empower software.