The Problem
Our current health care system is not designed to meet the needs of important segments of society such as low-income or homeless people. As a result, these populations routinely use the emergency room for acute care needs. ERs are unable to break the cycle because they do not address chronic disease management or primary care needs. This results in high health care costs, poor health outcomes and health disparities
Our Solution
    ​Urgent Wellness will turn medicine right side up by focusing on wellness as well as disease. Convenient community-placed, Community Health Worker (CHW) operated, telemedicine and medical vending machine kiosks, will improve the health of vulnerable populations while reducing health care costs. Urgent Wellness clinics will be placed in low-income housing projects, homeless shelters and community-based service organizations. 

Our innovative service delivery model will leverage CHWs for in-person client outreach to provide chronic disease management and mobile health education and counseling. Urgent Wellness CHWs will help triage clients’ acute needs to avoid unnecessary ER visits through telemedicine, and will help reconnect clients to primary care if their chronic condition becomes uncontrolled. Onsite dispensing of common prescription medications, point of care testing and medical supplies like home blood pressure cuffs and glucose monitors will offer convenience and increase adherence and prevention behaviors.

Customer discovery interviews with Medicaid clients throughout Washington, D.C. reveal this proposed service fills a critical gap. Interviews with potential clinic host sites exposed common pains related to difficulty fulfilling their missions serving vulnerable clients and an eagerness to host an onsite clinic. Based on stakeholder input and to increase trust and community buy-in, CHWs will be nominated by community members and trained by Urgent Wellness.
Cost Savings & Health Impact
Over the past 2 years, Dr. Spielberg led a demonstration project where several of the model components were linked and tested. 

The Urgent Wellness team is now building on lessons learned to commercialize this innovation so that it can be sustainably scaled to improve the health care outcomes and lives of many more people who are currently chronically underserved by our health care system, beginning in Washington, D.C. and eventually expanding to other markets. We are partnering with Managed Care Organizations who will also benefit from the Urgent Wellness model through significant cost savings.