By Mary Ann Azevedo, Contributor, San Francisco Business Times
The UpTake: Tech firms have long been famous for the perks they provide employees. Some, like Uber, are carrying that mentality a step further by providing concierge medicine, and One Medical Group is on the spot to take advantage of the trend.
February 22, 2015 – In the competitive Bay Area (California) hiring landscape, employers are constantly looking for new perks to attract top talent.
One new benefit being offered by a growing number of employers is access to One Medical Group. The concierge primary medical care practice has 30 offices across the Bay Area as well as in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and Boston. It counts Uber Technologies, Adobe, Fitbit, and NBCUniversal among its 100-plus enterprise customers.
Tom Lee, M.D., a co-founder of Epocrates, started One Medical Group in 2005 and has grown it from a single downtown San Francisco medical office to one of the hottest medical group models in the country.
“You can only offer so many yoga classes, massages or free lunches,” said Jennifer Walsh, senior vice president and benefits practice leader at Woodruff-Sawyer & Co. “One Medical is appealing because it simplifies things for employees.”
Having raised a total of $117 million in funding, One Medical Group only started its enterprise group about 18 months ago, said Sandeep Acharya, vice president of strategy and new business at the company.
“Ours is a differentiated benefit,” Acharya said. “We’re one that you can add that is both a nice experience for the patient and improves the quality of health care.”
One Medical Group is in-network with all major insurance carriers and is a member-supported practice. Individuals pay an annual membership fee ranging from $149 to $199. Companies pre-buy memberships on behalf of employees at a discounted rate, paying a flat fee as a company.
The company’s aim is to make it more convenient to see a doctor when you need to, where you need to. Patients can conduct video chats with providers via Google Helpouts. Its mobile app helps a patient find the nearest available appointment. The app also allows a patient to address recurring, less acute issues such as allergies through a questionnaire reviewed by its nurse team. The time saved appeals to companies hoping that will result in more productivity and better health for employees.
While there are other concierge services such as PinnacleCare and MDVIP, Acharya contends many of those models are more high-end, charging up to thousands of dollars per year.
“The market is so big we’re not really concerned with direct competitors and more about executing on our own model,” Acharya said.
Greg Golub, CEO of San Mateo-based Sequoia Benefits, began offering One Medical to his staff of 80 at an employee’s suggestion.
“It’s been fantastic,” Golub said. “A number of them (who) have said they haven’t gone to a doctor in many years (said One Medical) allows them to get in so quickly.”
San Mateo-based Doximity Inc. began offering all-employees-paid annual subscriptions to One Medical in 2014.
“One Medical has at least one office conveniently located near nearly all of our employees — in San Francisco, Burlingame, Palo Alto and New York, for example,” said Vinci Sam, Doximity’s director of human resources. “As a network for physicians online, we wanted to support an innovative group of doctors that is redefining how a primary care practice should function to patients.”
John Zervakos, senior vice president of Willis North America, agreed that offering One Medical seems to be a new innovative perk among companies — particularly in the Bay Area.
“So many employers here in Silicon Valley and the Bay Area have high concentrations of employee populations on big campuses and have developed things such as on-site clinics,” he said. “But offering access to One Medical gives employees who telecommute, for example, another convenient option closer to home. It’s the perfect alternative to an on-site clinic, and I expect it will only gain in popularity.”
One Medical Group Profile:
- HQ: San Francisco
- CEO: Tom Lee
- Funding:$117 million
- Employees: 150 physicians, 500-plus staffers
- What it does: Concierge primary care services in six U.S. markets
- Clients: More than 100, including Uber, Adobe, Fitbit, Pinterest and NBCUniversal