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Why One Medical Is One Of The Most Innovative Companies Of 2017

Started by a doctor, this membership-based company is tapping into design and technology to improve the primary-care experience.

Why One Medical Is One Of The Most Innovative Companies Of 2017
[Illustration: Bigshot Toyworks]

To identify the ways that a doctor’s office can be improved, One Medical founder and CEO Tom X. Lee, an internist, spent the early days of his primary-care practice serving in a variety of roles, from physician to accountant. He hit on a membership model that adds high-touch services to a high-tech foundation—allowing him to cut the administrative costs of traditional care by two-thirds, he says. One Medical, which now has 54 offices nationwide, a 46% bump over 2015, offers a template for a health care system in flux. “We’re doing more for less,” says Lee, “and always reengineering our processes.”

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1. Flexible Care

Stylish offices with shorter wait times and last-minute availability are One Medical hallmarks. Last year, it doubled its pediatric outposts. “[The company] expands to meet patients where they are,” says Lee, who also offers consultations with nutritionists, acupuncturists, and the like.

2. Technology Backbone

Lee was early to adopt electronic health records and patient-physician video chat via the One Medical app. In 2016, he acquired the health-coaching app Rise to assist in preventative care. “[Our] virtual business allows people to get high-quality care without co-pays and deductibles,” he says.

3. Lower Costs

One Medical’s reliance on virtual care, including electronic messaging and prescription renewals, keeps overhead low, so it can reinvest in innovation. It also cuts the average cost of care for employers by 4.5%. More than 1,000 companies offer One Medical’s services to their employees.

This article is part of our coverage of the World’s Most Innovative Companies of 2017.

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