AndHealth and Third Street Family Health Services Partner to Radically Improve Access and Outcomes in Specialty Care
COLUMBUS, OHIO – AndHealth announced today its partnership with Third Street Family Health Services, a Community Health Center (CHC), to offer integrated in-house care for rheumatological, dermatological, and neurological conditions at 8 of its locations in northern Ohio including in Mansfield, Shelby, Ashland, Ontario, and Bucyrus. This transformational partnership radically improves access and outcomes for patients with challenging conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and migraine while advancing Third Street as one of the leading health centers in Ohio that can offer integrated whole-person specialty care.
Peggy Anderson, CEO of Third Street said “Patients in medically underserved communities face logistical and cost barriers we must work to eliminate. Patients can wait over a year to see a specialist, and it is difficult to coordinate care across disparate medical records. We are thrilled to Partner with AndHealth to offer our own in-house specialty care so that patients get the care that they deserve and can achieve better health outcomes.”
Addressing the Referral Gap + Health Inequities
CHCs are widely recognized for their high-quality and affordable whole-person primary care, mental health, women’s health, and dental services. While CHCs have many patients that require specialty care, providing services in-house has historically been impossible for all but the largest CHCs due to tremendous cost and complexity. Working instead with external specialists, the typical referral process results in 6-12 month waits, care gaps, significant administrative burdens, and even the loss of the primary care relationship. CHCs estimate that more than half of external referrals are never seen by the specialist, and 70% of patients cite affordability challenges with the external referral model.1 This well-documented “referral gap” is a health equity challenge that has persisted for years.
Working together with CHCs, AndHealth has solved the referral gap by allowing health centers to offer their own in-house specialty care and in-house specialty pharmacy powered by a turnkey and fully integrated model operated by AndHealth but owned and branded by the CHC. Through this approach, CHCs can now take the next step in expanding their whole-person health model by adding in-house specialty care and specialty pharmacy while sharing the significant cost, technology investment, and hard to find expertise across multiple organizations.
The integrated specialty model is economically sustainable and contributes to funding the mission of the CHC. AndHealth ensures the financial outcomes of the service line while also providing affordable and highly accessible care for their patients.
Like CHCs, AndHealth is committed to providing culturally competent care, delivered with compassion to every patient.
The delivery model meets patients where they are and provides options based on how they want to be supported. This hybrid care approach combines the CHC’s physical footprint for primary care, labs, and procedures, with virtual care and onsite visits delivered by AndHealth’s providers that are credentialed into the CHC and work inside the CHC’s medical record. This provides seamless care coordination, eliminates provider staffing issues, and allows patients to benefit from frequent and convenient touch points with their care team. Virtual care puts a clinician right into the patient’s home through the CHC’s telehealth platform and AndHealth’s secure app, which reduces challenges around transportation and time off work.
“We are proud to work alongside Third Street Family Health Center to radically improve access to world-class whole-person specialty care” said Matt Scantland, Founder and CEO of AndHealth. “Their mission of delivering comprehensive health and wellness care, accessible to all, is a north star for this partnership, which will help create a healthier community and greater health equity for the patients Third Street serves.”
A Whole-Person Specialty Model that enables Value-Based Care
According to the CDC, 6 in 10 adults in the U.S. have a chronic disease and 4 in 10 have two or more.2 Despite this, the U.S. healthcare system’s episodic and compartmentalized structure is challenged to support patients in addressing the Social Drivers of Health and lifestyle factors that make up the root causes of chronic disease.
Third Street’s Chief Clinical Officer, Dr. Sheng Liu, described the benefits of this unique model: “Whole person care is really the foundation of our mission as a Community Health Center and if we’re sending the patient outside of our coordinated care delivery, we’re not actually treating the whole patient. The unique element of the CHC is we can provide whole person care where we’re addressing social drivers of health, dentistry, mental health, and specialized conditions all in one encounter with the patient. That’s a much different experience than patients get in other parts of our healthcare system, and it enables us to deliver better patient outcomes.”
By combining expert specialty care alongside support for root causes, such as improved nutrition through medically tailored meal delivery, and support for behavioral health, sleep and movement, patients can achieve dramatically better health outcomes.
Said Myles Spar, MD who is AndHealth’s National Medical Director: “As just one example of the remarkable outcomes this care model is creating, the University of Maryland’s study of our severe and chronic migraine population showed that 60 percent of patients experienced improvement significant enough that they no longer met the ICHD-3 diagnostic criteria for migraine at all, which is a landmark outcome for this patient population.3”
By strengthening patient outcomes and expanding services for complex and high-cost patient populations, an in-house specialty care service line positions CHCs for their coming priorities around entering Value-Based Care arrangements.
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