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What A Gas Station Learned After One Year Of Being A Healthcare Provider

Podcast

Guests: Brice Habeck & Patrick Aguilar, MD

Narrator (00:00):
Welcome to 360 degrees of healthcare with Dr. Stan an in depth. Look at our industry from our very own chief medical officer who will talk with other medical and industry professionals on the changing and evolving landscape of the healthcare system from the inside.

Stan (00:21):
Thanks for joining us. My name is Stan Schwartz. I’m an infectious diseases physician with decades of experience in healthcare. As a student, a teacher, a fellow, a researcher, a practicing physician in both solo and group practices, a health system executive, and now a healthcare entrepreneur. And as I get older as a patient, I want to share my 360 degree view of healthcare with you. My thanks to zero studios for support of this podcast. My guests today are Bryce habe, executive director of med wides, urgent care, and Patrick Aguilar, Dr. Patrick Aguilar, chief medical officer for Medwise Bryce was my guest on our episode from February 26th, 2021, almost one and a half years ago about why a gas station started selling healthcare. We’ll put that link in the show notes today, fast forward 17 months, I wanted to connect with Bryce and Patrick to hear what they’ve learned is not every day that gas stations sell healthcare. Now, these two fellows are so modest. So I’m have to tell you that their parent organization QuickTrip is a highly respected convenience, sore and gas station chain, probably the best in the nation. And they just wouldn’t say that. So gentlemen, fast forward 17 months, what have you brought to healthcare from your culture as a very successful convenience store gas station chain that has really impacted the way you deliver healthcare at either one of you, please start?

Brice (01:56):
Well, I’ll jump in Stan. Um, I think that there’s been many things and, and it’s important, uh, for us to, uh, maintain who we are a as, uh, an employer and, um, what we’ve learned in the, the retail space. And so, uh, off the top of my head, consistency is, is critically important to QuickTrip and we’ve made that critically important to us. So from going to one clinic to the next, we want there to be the familiarity for both the patient, uh, as well as for the employee, as well as just, uh, you know, our view of the customer and med Wise’s case, the patient, what we, uh, wanna focus on is, is what is our patients focused on? And so we wanna value the things that they value. And most of the time we hear that that is actually time, their time that we’re trying to move with some sort of, um, uh, urgency.

Brice (02:42):
It’s a, it’s an urgent care. And so, uh, we, we want, we wanna have that, but if I, if I were to try to land my finger on the most important thing, um, I believe that it’s just development of people and that, uh, we want to ensure, um, that our team members understand their value and what they contribute to the patient and continue to develop and grow them. Um, I think that, uh, most people know QuickTrip is high on promoting from within and, and so, um, investing in our people is critical and we’ll continue to do that and spend, uh, the time and effort that it takes to get our people there. And, and I think Stan, if I can queue up Patrick, um, I think that is rather unique in the space of the way we provide care for our front care providers and a P. So I’ll let Patrick kind of expand on that a little bit.

Patrick (03:27):
Yeah. You, I think thanks Brice think, and thanks by the way, stand for having us. This is awesome to get to talk to you about what we’re doing. We’re really excited about it and love the opportunity to, to share what we’re, what we’re thinking about. Uh, you know, Bryce talked about customer satisfaction and, and we’ll call it patient satisfaction, cuz cuz that’s the accurate way to call it in healthcare, but really what’s made QuickTrip a success in the convenience store space is recognizing that there’s two pools of customers. One the kind that walks in the door and buys something. And the other, the one that’s in a red polo selling that, uh, something to the, to the customer who walked in. We recognize that too. And, and at Medwise we really wanna think about our employees as very important customers and very important constituents for, for both of us.

Patrick (04:05):
Um, I, I have a background in thinking about organizational behavior on an academic level, uh, and taught some courses on that at wash U and the school of medicine. Um, and when I walked in QuickTrip for my job interview, I was blown away by these two enormous posters that say really impressive things. Now one of ’em is that, uh, QuickTrip exists to provide employees an opportunity to grow and succeed. And that, that really bears out in the way that, that everything Bryce described takes place and, and it bears out in the way that QuickTrip treats employees across the country. The other poster says, if you’re not taking care of the customer, you better be taking care of the person who is, and that’s something that we value very highly. So, uh, but on both, uh, Bryce and my plate is the idea that our primary customer is the people who are taking care of the patients in the clinic.

Patrick (04:46):
And our job is to listen to them and hear their voice and marry that up to what we’re hearing from patients in the clinic and, and try to satisfy both of them in ways that that meet the needs of both kids, constituent groups, that that’s something that we, we see really apply directly to the way that we take care of our advanced practice providers. As Bryce described, we have, uh, a pretty good cohort of people that we’re really proud of and excited about the care they deliver. We have a group of physicians that provide clinical guidance and help where they’re needed, but the apps are the ones delivering care in the clinic every day. And so, because that’s true, we wanted to make sure that those individuals and those professionals that are doing that have access to the highest levels of leadership. And so we’ve created promotion pathways that, uh, mean that a PA who started out in our clinics at the very beginning is now really in charge of all of our operations and, and I lean heavily on her expertise. Um, she’s paired up with a physician who is an expert in urgent care to think about how to make sure that what we’re doing has the same quality everywhere across the network, but that type of development approach, that type of opportunity to make sure that we are giving people the voice and how this is run is a mirror image of what we’ve seen at QuickTrip and what we hope to create in the years to come.

Stan (05:53):
So just for our audience apps or advanced practice practitioners, and that generally includes nurse practitioners and physician assistants, have you, you know, provi medical providers of all sorts are kind of unique for sometimes having strong egos, et cetera, has that impacted your hiring? I mean, do you hire for personality for fit?

Patrick (06:19):
Yeah, this is, this is a great question. And thanks for the, the clarification on jargon. I, I definitely wanna be clear for everybody. Um, there’s a book that was written by our founder and it’s called for lucky to smart. And there’s a whole section in it about the idea that, um, if you wanna have people in your company who take great care of customers, you can’t train them to do that. You have to hire them to do that. And so it’s, it’s a major point of emphasis on the part of Medwise that we are hiring for brand fit now across brand fit. We want that to be a wide diversity of perspectives and ideas and personalities and backgrounds and all kinds of stuff, but we want all those people to be people who see the patient as a very important customer whose, uh, high quality care and satisfaction. We, we wanna meet every visit that we see. So, um, you’re right to say that we hire for brand fit and, and that makes it a little challenging sometimes because there are perspectives in healthcare that don’t line up with the way we wanna do things, but by and large, we’ve found lots and lots of great providers, uh, across all disciplines who, who come in and join up and are really excited about our mission and, and do a great job living it out every day.

Stan (07:21):
So basically what you’re delivering is primary care. What have you learned about the state of primary care? And again, from your vantage point of coming in as a convenience store in a gas station, what works in primary care and what’s broken in primary care and, and are you taking people away from their regular doctors or providing something their regular doctors can’t provide, or these people don’t have doctors?

Patrick (07:49):
Yeah, this is fantastic. And this, this is probably one of, one of the most important parts of, of this enterprise to me. Uh, you know, my background is, is as an academic internist. And so I, I highly value continuous care and chronic disease management that looks like getting people the exact care. They need to keep them moving along. Their health continuum, urgent care does not play a specific role or should not play a specific role in directly managing those chronic problems. But what we can do is fill the gap where primary care can’t, which is providing availability for same day care for acute problems. So our intention in Medwise at, uh, every one of our clinics always and everywhere is to meet the need of the patient today and then connect them with the longitudinal resource that they need to provide ongoing care. We require our providers to send, uh, referrals to primary care for those patients who don’t have one.

Patrick (08:36):
And to make sure that we send the note back to the primary care provider for anyone who does our, our hope is not to take anyone away from primary care, but to, to fill the gap where primary care is overloaded and do the stuff that we can do from a same day visit standpoint, uh, and then get them right back into the system of care where they belong. So, uh, I think that the primary care community is a tremendous community of providers who care deeply for their patients. And, uh, was just two weeks ago in Washington, DC speaking at a conference with primary care leaders from around the country. And I’m excited about all the innovation that’s happening there, but the reality is the workforce is too small. And so what we do is we fill a space that can mean that someone can be seen today instead of having to wait for the next available appointment. We definitely do wanna respect though the, the idea that we need to get ’em right back, where they belong, whenever we’ve taken care of the acute issue.

Brice (09:23):
And Stan, I, I wanna jump in and just say, um, you know, I don’t think it’s surprised us, but it was more affirmation, uh, that in many of the communities that we have opened up, our urgent cares is that we are the access because it is very limited, whether that be that they just can’t get in. And that, that, that the sheer numbers of, of providers in the, in the PC’s, uh, primary care space are, are low, or if it is actually a desert and a couple of our locations, there just isn’t a facility located quick enough, uh, for somebody to be able to get to that. And so, uh, we love being, uh, the access point for those folks, but to Patrick’s point, our, our goal from, you know, taking care of ’em that day is to connect them right back where they are. And so we’ve had to, uh, work hard, which we enjoy in making good relationships within the communities with local healthcare, uh, groups and organizations that can help, uh, these folks, uh, get what they need after they, they have visited us in the clinic.

Stan (10:17):
Yeah. And it’s interesting, you know, a commentary on the state of healthcare is I hear from people all the time that the only time they can’t get in to see their doctors, when they’re sick and need to see their doctor right away. Um, what have you learned about, you know, people say that 20% of healthcare is determined by the physician, the advanced practice practitioner, the healthcare they receive, 80% of health is determined by social determinants of health. People have transportation, food, security, nutrition, financial security, shelter, safety, and so forth. What have you guys learned about the impact of social determinants of health from your vantage point?

Patrick (11:00):
This is, this is another, just, just fantastic question. I’m, I’m not just trying to compliment your question, Stan. They’re just really that good. Um, the social determinant of health piece is, is just a, a major part of everything that we do. And it’s, it’s easy to miss it if you’re not looking. Um, but, but in reality, it it’s so obvious. It’s, it’s hard not to look. I, I think that the thing that’s been most striking to me is the diversity of issues, that social determinants of health place in the lapse of our patients across the region. So whether we’re talking about a clinic, that’s in a more urban area where we see people who are experiencing homelessness and take care of folks who are in the midst of mental health emergencies, or whether it’s in a more rural place where, uh, someone lacks insurance and just has to scrap together the cash to try to have a visit, to take care of an acute injury sustained in, in the courts of their normal life.

Patrick (11:47):
Um, we see a lot of ways that need manifests and where we can help plug people into resources. Um, we are, uh, very fond of the two 11 system in Tulsa and very, uh, proud of the community resources that are available for our patients and recognize that there’s lots of ways we can serve as a bridge to get people connected, whether it’s connection to domestic violence, um, resources, or whether it’s connection to food, security resources, or mental health, uh, uh, resources in the community. We wanna make sure that we’re bridging people into those spaces and finding the ways that those issues impact their overall health. Before I left to watch you, one of my last academic projects was on, uh, the integration of design thinking and clinical decision making. And, and I think that when we take a user experience, focus and ask the question, what’s really happening on the business end of this for this patient, we can very often find a root of causes that isn’t, what’s obvious upfront.

Patrick (12:39):
So the person who comes in and just feels kind of off, if you take that extra five minutes and spend, spend some time with them, you might find insecurity of the types that that you’re discussing right now. And, and we might be able to connect them to resources that actually fix the real problem, as opposed to just, you know, trying a, a bandaid type solution that works today. Now we’re in urgent care. We’re not ultimately a, a comprehensive community health center. And so we wanna know where those places are so that we can plug people right into the community network of folks who are experts at taking care of that. We can help with what we can help with today and make sure that we get ’em plugged into where they need to be for tomorrow. And we’re proud to do that and proud to be part of that system.

Stan (13:15):
So for folks that, uh, may be listening that are not in our community, two one is our local community connection. What kind of people answer the phone there for you?

Patrick (13:25):
You know, uh, there’s a variety of folks and, and I would be, uh, lying if I said I’m certain, but I know that the people who answer have expertise in, in social services and in the type of resources that, um, the folks need in our clinics every day. So I, I can’t say for sure that they’re all social workers, but they’re all people who’ve been trained to be in tune with what are the real needs of the person on the other end of the call. And, and we’re thankful for the help they give us every, every time we call

Stan (13:51):
What would be the, in, in a typical day, in a typical one of your centers, how often would a provider be connecting with a social resource like that? I mean, is it once a week, once a day, once an hour?

Patrick (14:06):
I, I, I would predict that a couple times a day, one of our providers plugs people into a community resource at all of our clinics. Now there are some clinics that are in neighborhoods where those resources are, excuse me, in higher need. And that may happen once an hour, uh, as you said, but I, I would bet that across the network, every day, a couple people are plugged into something in, in the Tulsa community to help make sure that we can access the issues that are really at the root of the need, as opposed to just sort of treating what’s going on right now.

Stan (14:36):
So in the 17 months of your operation, give us a sense for where you had to make a course correction deviating from what you initially planned due to all the exigencies that happen in healthcare, that we plan to do it this way, but we’re, we, we wound up doing it that way.

Brice (14:58):
That’s good. And, uh, I probably should ask how much time do you have cause, uh, the lessons learns and how many mistakes did Bryce make and, and the, the, those numbers are off the charts. You know, some that come top of mind, uh, from a, a positive standpoint where, um, creating an entire business plan before the pandemic had hit, um, understanding what we thought would be the expectation of providing urgent care and then realizing at some point, um, many of our clinics were just a COVID testing site at, at best. The volumes were just so high. Um, the supply was so low, and so we learned and failed many times that just supply chain management and, and needed to put resources there. Uh, but one of the positive things there was understanding how we could provide a, a curbside visit and jumping into that really quickly.

Brice (15:42):
And so, um, capitalizing on, um, you know, the parent company of quicktri and how they jump at a need. Uh, we were able to, um, learn quickly what was appropriate and we, what we could handle from the curb and, um, uh, essentially move our, our, uh, waiting room, uh, or exam rooms, you know, to the car outside, which was so much easier and could help, uh, better flow the traffic when it was just a COVID test. Um, as far as some of the other things, uh, you know, that, uh, that, that definitely, uh, made some mistakes and learned and moved in a different direction, um, you know, managing, uh, from afar and, and looking at what, uh, onsite needed to be play in play. Um, you know, we wanted to, to use as many quicker people as we could that came over, but when they didn’t have clinical expertise and, and I’m not talking about providers, uh, certainly we did not, ask a gas station person to, to treat a patient.

Brice (16:36):
Uh, but what I mean by that was just understanding the, the basic terminology, um, and, and how to help, um, best, um, you know, we, we real quickly have a adjusted and then readjusted again, I think we’re on like version seven at this point of what a clinic manager, uh, really needs to be. And, and that’s been, um, you know, uh, enlightening as well as I think that, um, you know, if, if you can take a pulse from our teams, they feel the value now that the, the, that the frontline management that’s helping them is somebody who actually can help them and can jump in and do things. And so we we’ve, uh, gone back and added more clinical components, um, definitely where that, that has been, uh, helpful to the teams. And then, um, you know, more efficient for us, uh, back at the office

Stan (17:21):
Did, in order to fill those needs, did you have to find more people from healthcare and teach them for the lack of a better word, convenience store management? Or did you teach convenience stores management, some of the clinical aspects of managing clinics?

Brice (17:37):
Yeah, I, I think, uh, the answer there is, is both. I, I think that, um, you know, I love when, when, uh, I hear Patrick talk about, you know, if there’s something good at QuickTrip, we should try there and then adjust. And then on the other side, there’s, you know, uh, people, myself that don’t have any business talking about clinical things, but just learning and understanding, um, how complex, uh, things are, the regular, the regulations, and, um, you know, what’s in place and, and, and where I need to yield, uh, completely to resources and, uh, experts. And so in both spaces, I think we’ve taught, um, you know, some very high, highly clinical experts, uh, how to adjust to kind of management 1 0 1 and treating people a little bit differently. Uh, and then equally we’ve, we’ve, um, taken some quick folks and, and let them understood, understand that, um, you know, there is some complexity that we should stay away from.

Patrick (18:26):
You understand, I think across all of America right now, it feels like one of the key problems is we don’t use words the same way. And I think this has been like, we will have a word and it’ll have multiple definitions that need different things to different people. And this, uh, experience of, of letting the quick trip lingo and the healthcare lingo merge together has been one where we’ve really gotten to be honest with each other and say, Hey, I’m saying this, I don’t think you’re hearing me. And that goes both directions. And it’s been a, a tremendous opportunity to say, let’s, let’s like set all of our preconceived notions aside and have a conversation about what do we really need here. What’s really happening here. And how can we find the, the sort of Northeast point where we move on both axes and get to a better solution together.

Patrick (19:06):
And that that’s been tremendous. It’s been a ton of fun to see how, um, I can adapt to thinking, uh, in ways that I never would’ve imagined, and then where we can’t sacrifice, cuz there’s principles that are just common in the clinical space. Um, and at some point, you know, a cocktail conversation would be all the stories of times that’s happened that we don’t have time in a podcast to do it, but, uh, there’s, there’s been lots of really neat experiences where we’ve had aha moments and said, oh, I’m saying this, but you’re hearing that. Let’s like, let’s reset it and start over and define the words together. I think that’s healthy for any management team. Uh, but it’s been really neat to have it be two things. So seemingly different where you can find alignment pretty quickly if you’re willing to look

Stan (19:45):
So in the past 17 months and, and going back to your 1 0 1 comment, have you developed a kind of an education facility for onboarding and a acculturated employees into this unique space in your corporate culture in your corporate enterprise? I should say.

Patrick (20:04):
Yeah, absolutely. You know, I, I, I’ve mentioned that I really enjoy thinking and teaching on these topics. And so we’ve built a manager development program that is unique to Medwise QuickTrip has one that’s fantastic and, and our new managers avail themselves of that. Um, but we also have conversations that are, Medwise specific about our value system, about hiring, about team dynamics, about leadership and influence and so on. And, and it’s a lot of fun to get to work with people from a wide variety of backgrounds, uh, in the room, you may have somebody who was a medical assistant, excuse me, a medical assistant with us in the beginning and is now a manager and across the table from them, you have somebody with 20 years of experience as a provider, and we’re having a conversation about goal setting and feedback together. And there’s lessons that come from both of those individuals. And we get to work together to, to understand how to do that better. We’ve also moved into a new office space and, and that office space has plenty of room for training and we get to use that and, and have a lot of fun with it.

Stan (20:58):
Do you find that when folks come over from the convenience store gas station side, that some of them just say, Hey, this, this role isn’t for me, or does there tend to be pretty good retention of employees in that situation?

Brice (21:13):
Yeah, so it, it is, uh, definitely been, um, uh, a challenge for us to communicate two quick trip, what this role looks like, um, in an eight hour shift that a quick trip, you know, they’re gonna see two hun 2000 customers. Um, and, uh, you know, we’re, we’re thrilled with 40 patients a day in a 12 hour, uh, shift at bed wise. Um, so the initial kind of shock for a quick tripper coming over is that they number one aren’t on their feet, um, and that, uh, they’re going to be taxed, um, out of complexity in, in thinking and processing. Um, I think we all could agree that the, uh, you know, the us, uh, healthcare, uh, system, when it comes to insurance is, uh, difficult to understand it best. And so teaching somebody to, uh, sit down and go slow and make sure that they click this button and, um, enter this information and copy that is more important than running around and wiping counters down and stocking something and, and greeting people, um, the, the synergies or crossovers that, uh, work well are still just being, uh, aware and smiling and, and being honest and, and genuine in how you communicate.

Brice (22:26):
Um, but definitely the, the work pace and, um, the, uh, you know, uh, the complexity of, of thought is drastically different. And so, uh, you know, we, we, um, often say, I can’t tell you which job is harder because one, you, you go home and you’re probably can’t think of anything diff more difficult than co-insurance deductibles, copays and all of that. And the other one goes home and their feet hurt really bad because they, they literally ran for eight hours. Um, but that’s what we’re really seeing is how do we better communicate to QuickTrip with their coming over, um, that it’s gonna be a, a drastically different job cognitively, right?

Stan (23:07):
So if policy makers are listening to this podcast, tell us from your 17 months of experience, what are the one or two things you really want them to know about healthcare?

Patrick (23:19):
Yeah. Uh, I’ll jump in and say, I can’t do enough to plug for the value of primary care. Um, not that I want, uh, to do anything that would harm our business, but also, uh, I, I just see enough in the community where there are these longitudinal chronic problems that need to be addressed. Uh, at some point they may not have to be addressed today, and they may not be causing anyone, any physical discomfort, but we can see the impact of poor access to primary care across all our network. And, and I, I just would love for a nationwide movement for more access to primary care, to be a reality. Um, as I mentioned, I was at the primary care for America meeting earlier this month. And, uh, I think if, if, if regulators across all spectrums could get the notion that we need to design primary care to produce the outcomes we want that system to produce, I think that’d be a real win for everybody. Um, I think from an urgent care standpoint, I, I am appreciative of the, um, notion that we’re able to fill in that gap and figuring out how we can continue to operate at the top of our license while keeping people in the pipeline of, of their, uh, chronic care management. I, I think those are the things that, that occupy my thoughts that, and I, I would love for, for folks to focus on

Brice (24:31):
Bryce thoughts. Well, man, I can get myself in a lot of trouble here, but I’m glad I don’t wear the old hat. Um, you know, I, I agree with what Patrick’s saying is that, you know, what Medwise is designed to do is, is to help them. And so anyone who is a, a policy maker that is making it even harder for your members, uh, to gain access to us, uh, whether that be the confusing, uh, things that I mentioned a second ago about what really is my out of pocket expense. And I don’t understand, uh, but also to, um, you know, um, creating a good relationship with entities like ourselves. We’re not the only ones out there that want to hear the feedback that somebody would have about the types of care we’re providing. Um, not that he doesn’t have enough to do already, but for Patrick to get on, um, and explain to these policy makers about what we do and what we don’t do, uh, I think would drastically help them understand the value that we add to each one of our communities.

Brice (25:22):
Um, one of the things that I was really proud of in a conversation that Patrick and I had early on when he first came aboard, um, was, uh, you know, his, his understanding that, um, uh, one of our true competitors in this space is the lack of care. And so if these policy makers understand that they have members who are not getting care, because there isn’t the availability, uh, there are obviously some financial issues or just lack of understanding. Um, if we can improve that, then obviously what they’re doing as a policymaker, uh, will, will be improve, you know, will improve and, um, you know, wrong podcast, but you’ve, uh, asked before, and I know you still work with the quit, your books there too. Um, creating a health plan that makes it easy for people to get the preventable, uh, the low ACU acuity treatment that is needed to stay away from ER and complicated stuff. It should be something all of us are working to do. And so, um, if I camera was on and I’m looking at a policy maker saying, please understand what we do and how we can help you keep people away from the really scary stuff that causes all of us stress and problems, and that Medwise is here, uh, to be a solution in that space. And so let’s work together to try to get that, to, to get those goals achieved.

Patrick (26:35):
I think, you know, I think Bryce, that’s a great point. And, and I, I sort of started the thought that I’ve, I’ve talked about with you for sure, in the past, um, a second ago, but I want to dig in a bit here and say, systems produce the outcomes they’re designed to produce. And if you look at the American healthcare system and you look at the outcomes that we’re producing, some, some phenomenal, and some really not phenomenal, um, you can start to say, there are obvious places for tweaks that could allow for the system to be improved from a design standpoint, to generate the outcomes that you want. I, I, I am a firm believer that lack of access is a function of a few things. One is actual physical access, whether there’s an appointment when you need it, another function is how difficult it is to interface with if he, if healthcare were as easy to interface with as Amazon, uh, you know, the world would look a lot different in terms of the health outcomes we generated.

Patrick (27:25):
And then, and then another still is, uh, just the, the overall pleasantness of the human side of it. This is not as simple as purchasing dog food on Amazon. This is much more complex, much more personal, much more intimate. And when it doesn’t feel like the system respects that level of intimacy, you start to see people exhibit the exact behaviors you, you would expect. And so I, I, I think that, um, if policy makers and regulators and, and payers, and the like all recognized that we are operating a system that produces exactly the outcomes it’s designed to produce, then, then we could start to say, okay, what, what are the, what are the levers to pull that, let us start to see an improvement in the outcomes we care about. Um, and, and we, we can make meaningful change that way.

Stan (28:08):
Okay. One last question for each of you, and this is, this question cannot be answered in the COVID context, think of this outside of COVID, which has had a material effect on all of us in the last almost gosh, getting onto three years. What is the one thing you wish you knew at the beginning of this, that, you know, now that would’ve changed what you did from the beginning? What’s that one thing,

Patrick (28:39):
You know, that’s a phenomenal question and thinking of just one thing, um, I, I wish that I had the insight into the ways that people experience high variability in their work. Sorry, let me say that differently, high, uh, variability in the expectations associated with work and had been able to better understand how to smooth out that experience in a way that, that makes it less unpleasant. That’s a really, that gave me a second to think while I was kind of talking that through. But I think that even if you subtract COVID out, there’s so much that changes day to day in the work of urgent care, that it can feel almost like whiplash. And there are levers that can be pulled to help people feel like there’s the kind of consistency that we all crave. And if we pull those levers, um, it, it makes it a much smoother experience for our employees. And, and I wish that I had understood

Brice (29:40):
That sooner. Uh, and I’m not gonna pretend like I have it mastered now. So I I’ll say that one thing I wish I still knew how to, how to handle, uh, I, I, I appreciate Patrick giving me time to think. And, and, uh, several things come to mind. I think most importantly stand to answer is, uh, just the difficulty that it is of, uh, registration capturing, uh, payment, and then clearly, and transparently getting a patient to understand what it looks like. Um, again spent lots of years in the old job of making that simple for the members that we managed. Um, but general Americans, uh, you know, just don’t, we just don’t understand, um, what’s going to happen when I have a visit and that confusion, uh, is not their fault at all. It’s truly, you know, who we are as providers of care now that we, it is nearly impossible to make things transparent.

Brice (30:33):
If someone is paying cash only we can make that really simple. Uh, but insurance makes it very hard. And so, uh, I wish that I would’ve known that’s even harder than I thought it was and had even some more headway to say, let’s continue to work on it the way anyone communicates what’s what’s going to happen. Seems like with, um, nine exceptions to the rule and asterisks, and it still won’t come out. Right. And it, I, it’s so frustrating, um, to want to help, uh, many people understand what’s going to happen from the state of a, or, you know, from, from a billing standpoint. Um, and then knowing altogether that that is actually something that we can’t do. And so reminded daily that we can’t say this because we’re not certain, um, it is so much harder than I thought it was. And I thought it was hard. Uh, and I, and I, I, I want to, and will continue to work to help both our teams and our patients be on the same page where we can be, and also then still have to unfortunately provide vague responses, uh, that keep everyone safe because the truth is, uh, still, currently, uh, we really don’t know exactly what something costs in healthcare.

Stan (31:43):
Gentlemen, thank you very much. My thanks to Bryce Hayek, executive director of Medwise urgent care and Dr. Patrick Aguilar, who is the chief medical officer for Medwise urgent care gentlemen, good luck, ed. We’ll touch base in the future. And we’ll hope that hospitals and clinics don’t start selling gasoline and pretzels. Thanks for listening and a special thanks to zero studios for sponsoring this podcast. Zero health worked with mid-sized self-insured employers to help them save up to 50% on their healthcare by connecting employers and healthcare providers in healthcare marketplace. And at the same time, providing a great benefit to employees, learn more on the web@zero.health, or send an email to info zero.health.

Narrator (32:30):
We hope you’ve enjoyed the time with our very own doctor Stan for 360 degrees of healthcare with Dr. Stan Schwartz, a part of zero studios tune in subscribe and review our podcast to keep current with the ins and outs of the medical and healthcare industry from the inside out.

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