Oak Street Health (NYSE: OSH), a network of value-based primary care centers for adults on Medicare and the only primary care provider to carry the AARP name, and Interwell Health, a kidney care management company that partners with physicians on its mission to reimagine healthcare, today announced the launch of OakWell, a joint venture that will offer the highest-quality primary care to end-stage kidney disease (ESKD) patients directly in the dialysis center. This unique approach to primary care for ESKD patients aims to reduce hospitalizations, increase kidney transplantations, and improve outcomes to lower the total cost of care.
When a patient receives in-center dialysis treatment, they spend around 12 hours each week in a dialysis center, often making it difficult to attend primary care and other healthcare appointments. This is a significant challenge, as dialysis patients often have other complex chronic conditions and would benefit from high-quality, preventive primary care. OakWell enables patients to receive coordinated care from a primary care team and nephrologist.
“There is a significant opportunity to leverage the time spent by dialysis patients in-center to improve their overall quality of life,” said Dr. David Buchanan, Chief Clinical Officer at Oak Street Health. “Receiving personalized, preventive primary care from expert care teams can positively impact patient health. We are thrilled to launch this innovative joint venture to remove barriers to comprehensive care for people living with kidney failure.”
OakWell will bring the type of coordinated primary care that dialysis patients need directly to them, offering appropriate interventions in the center while still working in close partnership with nephrologists. This will remove the significant barrier of attending additional, separate medical appointments and helping address important issues of health equity. These provider-led teams will coordinate with the dialysis care teams, and other specialists, ensuring the most comprehensive and coordinated concierge-level care.
“People living with kidney disease have incredibly complex needs,” said Robert Sepucha, CEO of Interwell Health. “We are uniquely positioned to support these patients and are making great strides through our physician partnerships and connectivity to dialysis centers. We know that value-based care only really works when we transform the whole system, which is why we’re so excited to partner with Oak Street Health. Through this collaboration with a leader in primary care, we can truly help dialysis patients live their best lives.”
The OakWell care teams will closely manage patients’ chronic conditions, help them avoid missed dialysis treatments, quickly reschedule any missed dialysis treatments, and coordinate care outside of the center. When patients have urgent needs and aren’t currently in a dialysis center, providers will conduct video visits and provide other support to make sure patients stay healthy and out of the hospital. Additional services such as behavioral health and renal pharmacy support will provide complete, wraparound care. OakWell care teams will also support coordination of kidney transplants when possible.
OakWell will initially begin offering care services in Chicago, Houston, and Dallas-Fort Worth dialysis centers in Q3 of 2023.
OakWell is hiring qualified primary care physicians, nurse practitioners, medical assistants, and community health workers. To apply, visit this link.
Interwell Health is a kidney care management company that partners with physicians on its mission to reimagine healthcare – with the expertise, compassion, and vision to set the standard for the industry and help patients live their best lives. The company is differentiated by its ability to deliver improved clinical outcomes and better quality of life for patients, reduce the total cost of care for payer partners, and provide the resources physicians need to thrive in a value-based world – all at scale. To learn more, visit interwellhealth.com.
Founded in 2012, Oak Street Health is a network of value-based primary care centers for adults on Medicare. With a mission of rebuilding healthcare as it should be, the Company operates an innovative healthcare model focused on quality of care over volume of services, and assumes the full financial risk of its patients. Oak Street Health currently operates more than 170 centers across 21 states and is the only primary care provider to carry the AARP name. The Company is a winner of Energage’s 2022 Top Workplaces USA award, was recognized by Inc. on its inaugural Best-Led Companies of 2021 list and was honored as a recipient of the 2022 and 2021 Joy in Medicine™ Health System Recognition Program by the American Medical Association. To learn more about Oak Street Health’s proven approach to care, visit oakstreethealth.com or read its Social Impact Report.