Chief Technology Officer and Senior Vice President, GE Digital
Oak Street Health
The coronavirus pandemic created massive challenges for every part of the healthcare industry, including primary care. Primary care practices that are paid based on the number of patients they see each day saw heavy financial losses.
For a growing number of primary care practices who are working to get paid a large fixed sum each month to take care of all of a patient's health needs, the impact of the pandemic hasn’t been as severe.
Chicago-based Oak Street Health is one such company, striking contracts with health insurers to provide primary care to seniors, in particular those who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid. Ideally, the model is meant to keep seniors healthier and save money.
The company was founded in 2012 by CEO Mike Pykosz, Chief Operating Officer Geoff Price, and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Griffin Myers. Inspired by other healthcare companies that were taking new approaches to managing the health of patients in places like southern California, the founders saw a way to transform how seniors were cared for on a national level.
To do that, Oak Street built its own primary care practices. It now gets paid to manage the health of members, driving them to and from appointments and offering them social events and more time with their doctors.
So far, Oak Street’s reach has grown to caring for 85,000 seniors in 54 centers. Even amid the pandemic, Oak Street has been seeing a majority of patients in the office while also building out its ability to do in-home and virtual visits. Oak Street made its stock-market debut in August, surging to a $9.5 billion valuation in its first day of trading.