Seattleites will soon have a new option for primary care.
One Medical, a San Francisco-based startup that has raised more than $180 million from venture capital firms like GV and Benchmark Capital, is preparing to open two primary care centers this spring in the Seattle area, its eighth U.S. market.
The offices, in downtown Seattle and Bellevue, will feature a traditional primary care model that utilizes “modern design and technology,” One Medical founder and CEO Tom Lee explained to GeekWire.
The service One Medical offers differs from what you might see at a typical primary care office thanks to a focus on longer appointments with patients and utilization of the latest technology.
For example, you can schedule same-day or next-day appointments. Top-rated doctors see half as many people as the average office, giving them more time with patients. And the entire experience is tech-enabled. Patients can communicate with doctors 24/7 by email or with the company’s app, which features chat and video functionality. The app also lets users send photos to their doctor; renew prescriptions; and book their next visit.
“We’ve totally redesigned what primary care should be for the modern healthcare era,” Lee said. “It’s a mindset toward service, quality, and convenience.”
Lee, who grew up in the Seattle area and received his MD from the University of Washington School of Medicine, founded One Medical eight years ago on the premise that primary care “seemed broken.”
“I realized we didn’t offer primary care that was very patient-centered, and certainly not affordable,” Lee said.
One Medical has also built its own internal software that allows the company to do “10X the service at about a third of the labor cost,” Lee noted.
“We actually reduce our overhead by using technology,” the CEO said. “Then we reinvest the savings in more time with patients. That’s how we’re able to do what we do on an affordable basis. The technology allows us to be more effective and efficient with a patient’s time.”
One Medical, which employs more than 1,000 people, works with the major insurance providers and bills patients using a traditional healthcare model. It also participates with some exchange plans and offers a fee structure to those without any health insurance.
Those that receive care from One Medical must pay an annual membership fee of $199, “which helps us provide services and benefits beyond what insurance covers,” the company noted. Many companies, tech startups included, offer One Medical to employees as a benefit and discount the membership fee.
Lee, who earned his bachelor’s degree at Yale and an MBA from Stanford, said that Seattle is one of the “top areas where we’ve had lots of requests,” thus why the company is opening up two offices there and potentially a third later.
One Medical currently has 50 locations in seven markets. You can get updates on the company’s progress for the Seattle area offices here.