Imagine if healthcare had an easy button. No more hour-long hold times while booking appointments. No more waiting rooms. No more feeling like you're just another number on a health plan spreadsheet.
And perhaps the biggest of all: No more wishing your doctors and specialists would actually compare notes and sync your treatment plans.
Great news: Emcara Health delivers on those promises and much more. Think of it as house calls for the 21st century, serving as your healthcare navigator and consolidating all your care in one place. Oh, and it’s free to eligible members as part of their Medicare or other health plan.
Sound too good to be true? It’s not, but you’re not alone in feeling that way. When Emcara Health launched in fall 2021, many eligible members asked a lot of great questions—so many, in fact, that we decided to answer them here.
Two key ways: First, unlike what’s traditionally referred to as home health, where a nurse comes to your home to administer a shot or give you an assessment, Emcara Health brings an entire primary care team to your home.
Your Emcara provider and care team can do almost anything your doctor could on an in-office visit, including checking blood pressure and vital signs, physical exams, advanced care planning, and disease education, as well as coordinating blood work and imaging studies. They can also help you set up appointments with specialists.
Second, Emcara Health coordinates all your care, so you don’t have to. Your case manager acts as your point person. After an initial home visit with a nurse practitioner or physician assistant, your case manager will then direct a team of in-house providers to get you the care you need when you need it.
You tell your provider how you’re feeling and what you need, and they’ll make it happen. No more tracking down referrals, wrangling prescriptions, or spending hours on the phone trying to make the fractured healthcare system work for you.
“The old-fashioned house calls model of doctors and providers coming to your house helps us fill gaps and makes healthcare less fragmented and complex,” says Christopher Dodd, M.D., Chief Medical Officer at Emcara Health. “It enhances the experience as a patient in an empathetic way and gets you on the road to live your healthiest life possible.”
Navigating the U.S. healthcare system can feel like climbing a mountain. It should come with a guide—someone to escort you between primary care physicians, technicians, specialists, pharmacists, therapists, and other professionals.
Emcara Health is your guide. Our goal is to help you feel confident, secure, and in control. Once we meet with you and assess your needs, we develop a multidisciplinary care plan that includes all of the providers, referrals, and resources you need to start feeling better.
Emcara Health gives you your own team of in-house providers to make sure your primary care physician and nurse practitioner are on the same page as your pharmacist, therapist, dietitian, and other professionals you may need. Whether you want to keep seeing your current providers or meet new ones, we connect the dots and keep our eyes on the bigger picture so you can get on with your life.
“It truly is air traffic control for your health,” says Brandon Oliver, Chief Operating Officer at Emcara Health. “It’s also air traffic control for a health system that has a lot of moving parts. That added coordination is our key differentiator.”
Then keep them! In that case, your Emcara Health care team will provide extra support, communicating with your current providers to fill gaps in your care, including access to prescriptions, physical and occupational therapy, or mental health and emotional health services.
“We’re able to partner with your primary care physician to be their eyes and ears in the home and help them deliver care to you,” Dr. Dodd says. “People do not have to leave their primary care physician to be able to get care from Emcara Health.”
If improving your condition depends on accessing healthy foods or periodic transportation to brick and mortar facilities for specialized testing, our community health workers can connect you to local resources to provide those services as well.
Like patients, caregivers also benefit from our individualized approach. Our nurse practitioners will sit with you and your caregiver—whether they’re a loved one or a professional—to understand how we can help you feel better while making things easier for whoever is already looking after you.
That could mean scheduling appointments, fetching your prescriptions, or accessing local resources such as healthy meals and transportation.
“We look at social determinants of health, too,” says Carol MacLean, Vice President of Market Operations at Emcara Health. “Sometimes, our patients are not as worried about controlling their diabetes as much as where they’re going to get their next meal. We can help with that.”
If you don’t have a caregiver and would like one, our community health workers can come to your home to not only address your medical needs, but also help out around the home and keep you company.
Urgent and emergency care services are still there when you need them—in fact, your care team will arrange those visits for you.
In the past, patients in home healthcare programs would often experience significant changes to their health over short periods of time—peaks and valleys where the condition would improve and then rapidly get worse. When that happened, they’d often go to urgent care or an emergency room. But a lack of follow-up kept those patients in the cycle of peaks and valleys, disrupting their day to day without notice and lowering their quality of life.
With Emcara Health, our goal is to smooth out those peaks and valleys by staying on top of your health issues and preventing emergency room visits. If you do have to go to the ER or an urgent care facility, we’ll adjust your care accordingly to prevent it from happening again.
“We’re high-touch,” MacLean says. “We’re keeping an eye out, advocating for the patient and educating patients and caregivers. Wherever people are, we will do as many visits as we need to ensure they’re comfortable with their healthcare.”
Of course. Whether they’re doctors, nurse practitioners, or registered nurses, all Emcara Health providers are board-certified. In fact, most of our providers came to us from a traditional brick and mortar healthcare setting. Many chose in-home primary care to slow down their practice and focus on treating patients as people rather than a collection of symptoms.
“Providers are saying, ‘I want off the hamster wheel of seeing 10 to 25 patients per day,’” Oliver says. “Instead, more are saying, ‘I want to spend time caring for a small handful of patients each day.’”
Whereas a traditional physician may spend 7 to 15 minutes for an initial appointment, our providers spend an average of 90 minutes with you. We’ll do a physical, check your vitals, and conduct biometric screens to make sure we’re starting with a holistic picture of your health.
By focusing on the details rather than churning through patients, we identify and treat the small underlying causes of illness and discomfort before they become big ones.
Being identified as a potential Emcara patient means home healthcare is available to you at no additional cost through your insurance provider. Our services are paid for by your health plan, so there’s no added fees for anything we provide.
Depending on your health plan, there may be a small copay for services such as primary care physician visits, but the copay is no more than you pay when you visit a regular doctor’s office s in your network.