Calyx Reflects on its First Year


Dr. Abhas Gupta, CEO & Co-Founder of Calyx Health

A year ago, I wrote my first Alameda Sun article outlining Calyx Health’s mission to build the healthcare system that seniors deserve and our country urgently needs. At the time, I was confident that if we controlled what happened within each clinic’s four walls, we could achieve our mission.

Instead, I’ve learned that a multitude of other factors—the electronic medical records (EMRs) clinics use, the billing practices of our partners, or the misperceptions propagated about seniors’ health insurance options, to name a few—conspire to enrich individuals at the expense of patients and health system value.
Making a meaningful, sustainable difference in healthcare—both improving seniors’ outcomes and bending the cost curve—means many things, including helping people make educated decisions about their insurance, working with payers to deliver better health plans, building an entirely new technology stack to monitor patient health during and in-between visits, and addressing other social determinants of health, like housing, transportation, and food insecurity.
Changing healthcare is hard. The path ahead is certainly not easy, but here’s why we know it’s worth doing:
Spending more time with patients lets us better advocate for them. Our patients have a spectrum of belief systems regarding life, happiness, and medicine. The added time we are able to spend with every patient in value-based care allows us to respect and accommodate these belief systems, whether finding alternative screening methods (that subsequently uncovered advanced disease in at least one patient), understanding family dynamics that inevitably complicate with disability, or interceding to avoid high-risk procedures that don’t align with patients’ wishes.
Well-designed technology supports both our patients and clinicians. For all its merits, the shift to electronic medical records has also detracted from the patient experience and placed a tremendous administrative burden on clinicians. Current systems are simply not built for value-based care, where management between visits matters just as much as during. As a result, we are rebuilding the entire primary care technology stack from scratch, so physicians can spend more time engaged with patients and patient care continues beyond the office.
Trusted advisors are needed to help seniors navigate health insurance. Upon analyzing our patients’ insurance last year, we saw that 4 out of 5 Alameda seniors could benefit from a different health plan. So, we launched Calyx Advantage and during the 2018 Annual Enrollment Period, we helped Alameda seniors save $57,000+ annually. We have subsequently expanded Calyx Advantage to support seniors throughout the year as well as the clinics that care for them.
As we reflect back on our first year, we'd like to say thank you Alameda for welcoming us with open arms. There are countless memorable stories that happen every day in our office; your experiences and stories inspire us to build faster, aim higher, and never lose sight of our mission—to build the healthcare system seniors deserve and the country urgently needs.

Calyx Health, a doctor’s office exclusively for Medicare seniors, is located above Trader Joe’s in the Alameda South Shore. To schedule an appointment, call 402-1471 or visit click here.

Shaily Gupta