Skylight Health Sets the Bar for the Future of Healthcare

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Skylight Health Sets the Bar for the Future of Healthcare
Skylight Health Sets the Bar for the Future of Healthcare Pixabay

If the pandemic of 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that the United States healthcare system is in dramatic need of change. The cost of medical care continues to rise while the number of doctors available to treat patients continues to decline. Drug prices continue to escalate while health insurance becomes more expensive and more complex. Skylight Health Group (TSXV:SHG; OTCQX:SHGFF) is one organization charting a new course by addressing these problems through offering quality, affordable healthcare.

With headquarters in Toronto, Skylight Health is changing the model for patient care, bringing quality care to patients by offering multi-disciplinary care under one roof and by providing extensive telemedicine services. Virtual medicine has become a growing practice area due to the pandemic, and healthcare providers have found that they can provide quality care to remote patients and those reluctant to visit the doctor’s office using telemedicine. The goal is to make healthcare available to every patient who needs it, whether they are insured or uninsured.

“The structure of the US healthcare market continues to leave tens of millions of Americans uninsured or underinsured,” said Prad Sekar, CEO of Skylight Health. “Having access to affordable, quality healthcare is not a reality for so much of the population and we are working to close those gaps and ensure everyone can acquire cost-effective care for themselves and their family. Skylight Health has a network of more than 30 primary care and specialty clinics, more than 50 healthcare providers, and robust telemedicine technology. With this foundation we can disrupt the market and serve otherwise underserved communities in such a way that it removes the financial burden from the patient and increases access to both primary care and specialty services.”

To fuel expansion, Skylight Health closed C$13.8 million in financing at the end of 2020. The company plans to use part of those funds for new clinic acquisitions across the country. As an example, Skylight Health recently acquired Healthcare Resources Management LLC, operators of Perimeter Pain and Primary Clinic in Cookeville, Tennessee. This acquisition adds 12,000 patients to Skylight Health’s roster of 120,000 patients and expands its network of clinics and telemedicine services covering 15 states.

The Need for a New Approach to Healthcare

Research shows that Americans resist seeking out physician care, even when they know healthcare is needed. The average American sees between 18 and 28 different doctors during their lifetime, although there continues to be a steady decline in patients seeking the services of primary care providers.

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the problem. Fearing risk of infection, the number of patients making office visits to care providers dropped 60% in April 2020 and remained at 33% below normal by the end of 2020. Even before the pandemic there was a marked decline in doctor visits. Research from one insurance provider with 20 million customers found that primary care visits dropped 25% from 2008 to 2016 for people under age 65. The number of adults who went at least a year without a routine doctor’s visit also climbed from 38% to 46%.

The primary reason for fewer doctor visits is rising costs. A 2019 Gallup survey revealed that 25% of Americans say they or a family member delayed treatment for a serious ailment because of cost, up 19% over the previous year, and another 8% say they delayed treatment for a less serious condition. The rising cost of medicine is another factor. For example, the cost of a vial of insulin is $30 in Canada but $320 for the same medication in the U.S. Similarly, Canadians pay an average of $500 per year in administrative healthcare costs where the average American pays $2,500. That is part of the reason that in 2019 29% of Americans failed to take medication, 19% failed to fill prescriptions, and 12% either cut their prescribed doses in half or skipped them altogether. 

To combat these chronic issues, Skylight Health is adopting a new approach to improve the quality and availability of care, reduce costs, and bring the focus of healthcare back to the patient.

Rethinking U.S. Clinical Healthcare

The Skylight Health Group is committed to improving patient care and lowering annual costs by adopting a subscription service model. The U.S. healthcare market has seen increasing demand for concierge healthcare, with fee-for-care services costing between $77 and $183 per month. The advantage to patients is lower overall healthcare costs and better service. Concierge healthcare typically includes value-added services such as same-day appointments, longer consultations, delivery services, and 24/7 access to physicians by telephone and email. 

As Skylight Health continues to expand, they are better able to serve patients by offering specialty care such as OB/GYN, pain management, cardiology, oncology, medical testing, lab services, and more at each regional clinic.

“Due to our large clinic network and the way we approach healthcare, it becomes much easier to provide multiple services under one roof,” said Sekar. “While at our core we are a primary care provider, adding sub-specialties and allied health programs allow our patients to have full healthcare access without needing to seek out secondary providers. For example, a patient who uses us for primary care but requires a pain specialist or an allergist, or even a cardiologist, will be able to do so within our network. We then work with a vast array of insurance companies to ensure our patients have the least amount of out-of-pocket expenses possible.”

To promote better patient care, Skylight Health also is committed to making services more affordable. Skylight Health offers annual subscriptions for $199 so patients have access to a physician whenever they need one, either with an office visit or a telemedicine consultation. Subscribers can get same-day or next-day appointments with no hidden fees or copays. They also accept all forms of medical insurance and work with patients to help them make the most of Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) and Health Reimbursement Accounts (HRAs), providing quality care that fits coverage. They also help uninsured patients them find ways to subsidize healthcare costs to make them affordable.

To help reduce healthcare costs, Skylight Health recently launched a discount drug card program where subscribing members receive additional discounts that can add savings of up to 80% on the cost of generic drugs. The drug card, offered in partnership with United Networks of America (UNA), can be used at over 72,000 pharmacies nationwide.

Skylight Health Group is taking the lead in revolutionizing today’s healthcare systems with a disruptive approach to clinical care that offers easy access to custom care at affordable rates. As the cost of healthcare continues to rise and access becomes more difficult, you can expect to see Skylight Health set the standard for quality care. This should be welcome news to patients across the country.

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