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Sustainable Healthcare: Unlocking the Potential of Primary Care

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We just raised $40 million with Generation Investment Management to give independent primary care practices like yours the chance to lead the way.

I know it hasn’t been easy. 

Your practice has survived so much this year. You’ve done the hard work of adapting to telehealth, PPE, and curbside care to keep your patients safe and your office running during COVID-19. While the average primary care practice struggled with a 51 percent drop in patient visits, we saw our community keep the drop under 30 percent, even at the spring peak, and avoid the layoffs and practice closures everyone predicted. Running a small practice is not easy, especially during a global pandemic. But it matters so much. Thank you. I’m excited to share some good news with you today that will help make 2021 easier.  

As you may know, I grew up in a small primary care practice. My dad moved our family to the U.S. so he could have the freedom to deliver high-quality personalized care to his patients. It’s a practice that is still open today, and still busy, in a small suburban town. He’s deeply committed to helping his patients avoid COVID-19, painstakingly providing extensive education and detailed prevention advice. Over and over again, he’s put care of his patients above himself. He knows the tailored, personalized care he provides to the community matters. A few years back, he even filed a Freedom of Information Act request to get hold of the total cost of care for his patients to prove it. 

We saw the power of a strong physician-patient relationship to successfully prevent, treat, and heal, and we wanted to scale that for everyone.

When I founded Elation Health with my brother Conan, we also did it in pursuit of a vision for universal, high-quality, personalized primary care. We saw the power of a strong physician-patient relationship to successfully prevent, treat, and heal, and we wanted to scale that for everyone. We left our careers in academia and consulting to build technology that would make life easier in practices like our dad’s. Almost every investor told us this would be too hard, likely similar to how people told you to pursue a high-paid specialty instead of primary care.

Our new partner, Generation, knows about going against the current, too. For more than 16 years, they’ve been the leader in “impact investing” — using their fund to support sustainable innovation in energy, lending, technology, and now healthcare that makes a positive difference in the world. They spent more than a year researching primary care, and in the process, they got to know Elation, and we got to know them. They get it. In their letter to our team, Generation wrote: 

“We believe that unlocking the potential of independent primary care practices is a critical enabler of population health outcomes and right-sized cost. We see the EMR as the critical piece of the puzzle…By focusing on the provider and delivering them a delightful user experience, Elation has built unprecedented customer advocacy with its users.”

We all know that primary care is the path to a sustainable future in healthcare. And that primary care deserves better, purpose-built technology for that future. Now, we have $40 million to make it happen. 

There are countless statistics and studies that show why physician-led organizations and independent community-based primary care represent the future we want for American medicine — a future where doctors can truly make the best decisions for their patients, where patients can trust their doctor to be in their corner, where quality primary care prevents unnecessary procedures and avoidable hospitalizations. 

We don’t need more studies; what we need is a path forward. We need more primary care practices, more physician-led organizations, more doctor entrepreneurs — now more than ever. It’s time for providers like you who have done the hard work of navigating these decades of regulatory pressure and this past year of pandemic challenges to get a leg up. 

Here’s what I see for our future together:

  • A complete solution that is purpose-built for your primary care practice’s success
  • Clinical-first technology that frees you to deliver excellent care to your patients, whether during a visit or between visits, virtual or in-person, proactive or reactive
  • Modern APIs and seamless interoperability with the healthcare ecosystem so you can innovate care and follow your patients wherever they go
  • Win-win relationships between you and those who pay for care — getting credit for the work you do and paid fairly for the value you create
  • Confidence that your practice will thrive in the rapidly evolving healthcare system

I know it’s still not easy. In my dad’s practice today, he needs to creatively manage his supply of PPE; he needs to safely bring his medical assistant back into the clinic; he needs to safely move my mom, his practice manager and biggest source of support, back into their home; and he needs help preparing to be part of one of the world’s largest vaccination efforts next year. We can’t help with everything, but we are going to be building technology for his practice and yours that will make 2021 a lot easier than 2020. We are committed to working tirelessly as your partner and to building a future where you and your practice will thrive. 

Healthcare is changing rapidly. COVID-19 has accelerated significant shifts in how care is delivered, and we know a “new normal” is ahead. Primary care in particular is being asked to evolve — towards being proactive, longitudinal, team-based. We are here to help you navigate these changes and successfully lead the way ahead.

Thank you for your trust in Elation. It is because of you — putting care of your patients first — that we are here today as the most-trusted platform for independent primary care in the U.S. We’re just getting started. 

-Kyna Fong