As a direct primary care provider, Frontier Direct Care launched in 2018 serving just a few individual families. It eventually grew to work with larger, self-funded employers.
The company provides unlimited primary care services virtually and in person at a cost of $60 per member per month for employers or $60 to $100 per month for individual users. But there was a barrier for some potential employer customers: They didn’t always know where to put Frontier in addition to their current health insurance plan, said Dr. Peter Latsopina, founder and chief medical officer of the Harlingen, Texas-based Border.
“For the employer, they’re thinking, ‘Well, how do I fit this in?’ I’m already spending all this money on my traditional self-funded third-party insurance plan,’ … They’re thinking, ‘This is going to increase my health care costs,’” Latsopina said.
That’s why Frontier decided to work with the New York-based Flume Health, a digital health plan administration platform, to start your own self-funded health plan. Flume is considered a more technologically advanced option than traditional third-party administrators such as Sedgwick or UMR. Through this health plan — which is expected to become available Oct. 1 — members will have access to Frontier’s primary care services, as well as hospital visits, prescription drugs and other necessities.
“In effect, we can now go to a group of employers and say, ‘Hey, we have this package that will meet all of your health care needs,'” Latsopina said. “You get your primary care with Frontier, and then we have all the catastrophic coverage built around that for employer groups.”
With the new health plan, Flume delivers its full suite of services through its Flume OS platform, which includes provider contract management, payments and claims processing, said Richard Fu, Flume’s chief growth officer. By working with Flume, Frontier will be able to grow its business over the long term, he added.
“We’re enabling a pretty robust primary care model where they can actually start to get closer to the flow of funds, so we’re aligning incentives that help them become more fit and solvent over the long term,” Fu said.
By working with Flume, Lazzopina said he hopes to overcome a major barrier for people in healthcare: affordability.
“We believe that by working with employers who provide 80% of the health coverage for our population, we will be able to dramatically reduce health care costs,” said Latsopina.
Other direct primary care companies include Cheers forward and EverMedwho work in various areas of the American border, is the largest direct provider of primary care in South Texas, according to news release.
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