With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and new pressures being placed on healthcare providers and insurance underwriters, healthcare is undergoing a seismic shift and it’s the patients who are benefitting. Skylight Health Group (TSXV:SHG; OTCQX:SHGFF) is taking the lead in healthcare transformation with its growing network of regional clinics committed to providing personalized, affordable care that puts the patient first.
Skylight Health is one of a growing number of medical providers that are attracting more patients seeking better service as well as convenience and affordability. Rethinking how healthcare is delivered is gaining in popularity because it combines same-day appointments, delivery services, remote access to care providers via phone and online, and other services. Skylight Health is perfecting a new model by offering multi-disciplinary health services under one roof, including primary care, urgent care, specialists such as pediatric care, pain management, dermatology, cardiology, oncology, and other disciplines as well as health and wellness, lab services, and diagnostic testing.
“We bring the focus back to the patient. Whether it is providing insurable services to patients with insurance or subscription services for the uninsured or underinsured, patients are able to have greater accessibility and greater affordability in an otherwise fragmented and complex industry,” said Prad Sekar, CEO of Skylight Health.
And the number of Skylight Health clinics is rapidly growing. The company recently announced the reopening of four clinics in Maine, Massachusetts, Colorado, and New Jersey. They also have acquired six regional medical groups in the last six months of 2020, which opens up two new markets and adds more regional care facilities to the 30 clinics across 16 states acquired between 2017 and 2019.
Making Patient Care Better and More Accessible
Skylight Health is one of the largest multi-specialty systems in the United States and it continues to build its network by promoting quality patient care. The company is committed to simplifying healthcare and ensuring that patient needs aren’t lost in the growing complexity of the healthcare system.
“Our clinics operate independently but bringing them under one parent company makes it easier to scale and deliver more services in different locations so we can pay more attention to the needs of patients,” Sekar said. “Increased management costs and administrative overhead tends to drive independent practitioners into larger health networks or hospitals, where their patient load explodes, and they can’t offer the same personalized care. With our regional clinical model, we can provide more personalized service for better patient outcomes.”
Supporting independent clinics also allows Skylight Health to provide more customized patient care, including through telemedicine. According to a recent survey by the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI), 40% of Americans don’t feel safe going to their doctor’s office due to the pandemic. Offering telehealth services helps minimize exposure for both patients and staff and still provides the personalized care patients need. The ability to provide unlimited consultation through telehealth for a nominal subscription fee opens up greater opportunities for patients to have substantial access to a healthcare provider in a way previously unavailable.
Promoting More Affordable Patient Care
In addition to providing quality, personalized care, Skylight Health is committed to making healthcare services more affordable.
According to a Bankrate survey, 32% of U.S. families chose not to seek out medical care in the 12 months before the COVID-19 pandemic because of cost. That includes doctor visits, annual exams, medications, vaccinations, routine blood work, and eye exams. According to a Kaiser Family Foundation survey, 24% of people taking prescription drugs and 23% of seniors say they have difficulty paying for medicine. At the same time, the Consumer Price Index shows that the medical care index increased 1.8% over the last 12 months. It is estimated that patient healthcare costs have increased almost 30% since 2015, and the average deductible is $1,820 while out-of-pocket costs average $4,400.
Skylight Health’s services are covered by Medicare, Medicaid, and a variety of commercial payers. Many Skylight Health patients use Flexible Spending Account (FSA) and Health Reimbursement Accounts (HRAs) to help pay for health services. The company also works with its patients to be sure they have the insurance coverage they need. They even work with uninsured patients seeking conventional or urgent care and help them find underwriters to cover the cost of care.
To help patients save money, Skylight Healthcare also has launched a discount drug program. Subscribing members use a discount drug card to receive savings of up to 80% off the cost of generic drugs at pharmacies nationwide. The program is offered in partnership with United Networks of America (UNA) which has a network of 72,000 pharmacies across the United States.
Skylight Health believes that its unique model will continue to yield benefits for patients and investors. The company plans to continue to expand by acquiring more clinics, and it will customize offerings within each clinic to accommodate patients’ healthcare needs. For patients who need reliable, affordable care, it can’t happen soon enough.