NABR Provides Home-based Primary Care by Trained Healthcare Professionals
Healthcare has changed dramatically over the last couple of years thanks to the relaxed restrictions on telemedicine. Patients, medical professionals, and insurance providers all learned how effective virtual visits could be when we couldn’t visit doctor’s offices during the pandemic.
Now NABR (pronounced “neighbor”), a Columbus-based startup, moves the quality of care and convenience even further. The company offers in-home primary care services by sending a trained healthcare professional to the patient’s residence. Imagine avoiding the hassle of crowded waiting rooms and the inconvenience of getting to the doctor’s office or lab for in-person tests and examinations that with NABR can now be done at home.
NABR’s Modern Version of a House Call
“There is an ongoing culture shift in medicine,” said Marc Arenas, NABR co-founder and CEO. Dr. Arenas is a board-certified geriatrician and family physician who focuses on developing innovative healthcare delivery options for healthcare management and diagnosis.
“There are two things that changed that are the drivers to allow our model, regarding insurance payment,” he said. “Patients no longer need a physical visit to establish care with a new [primary care] provider. They can establish that now with telehealth. Also, permitted telehealth sites now include the home; before it was only at a medical facility.”
Integrating Telemedicine with Primary Care at Home Delivered by Certified Staff
NABR is recruiting medical staff in Ohio and Florida, the company’s first two markets. Individuals who have completed medical certification programs, for example phlebotomists (individuals who are certified to draw blood samples), make excellent candidates for NABR’s approach.
The company provides additional training under a supervised model built around synchronous care between the trained healthcare provider who is with the patient and a physician, as needed, on camera to give verbal instruction. Each mobile caregiver is equipped with a kit containing medical instruments to measure the body’s basic functions (temperature, pulse, blood pressure, and respiration) as well as digital stethoscope, otoscope (for ears), and a dermatoscope for high-quality skin and wound inspection. The kit is completely agnostic and can be used with any telehealth software.
Patients can call, email, text, or book directly online. For those who want to keep their existing doctor, NABR can schedule a visit on their behalf and facilitate for a fee. For patients with a NABR PCP, NABR bills insurance providers directly. For patients without insurance, a primary care subscription option with published pricing provides full access to NABR’s medical team.
NABR is a utility service for physician practices that want to extend their house call reach into the community–in urban and rural areas. For physician practices that do not have telehealth software, NABR provides a HIPPA-compliant solution. The more people make a choice to age in place, the greater the opportunity for this new approach to in-home primary care.
“Using us as a platform, physicians can access patients from anywhere,” Dr. Arenas said. “When patients aren’t limited to physicians in their own area, interesting things begin to happen. Patients can find a provider who speaks their language and meets their exact needs.”
NABR is also in discussions with community-based organizations to reach parts of communities that may need services most. “The goal is to become Medicaid-approved benefits to provide health services to people who have the hardest time getting them,” Dr. Arenas said.
“My biggest realization through research in geriatrics and in working in private industry and with national payers is that in healthcare, our institutions and education systems, either purposefully or accidentally, discourage innovation,” he said.
“We started NABR,” Dr. Arenas said, “to overcome the financial, geographic, and cultural barriers to expanding value-based care into the home. We believe that when providers step back and are allowed to think about providing better care to the patient, we will see change on all levels of the healthcare system.”