Kaya Health: Empowering Patients and Providers

by | Apr 2024

WE ALL know the routine. You have an appointment at 10 a.m. to see your doctor for a six-month checkup, so you arrive 15 minutes early to update paperwork, and then you wait. An hour later, a nurse calls your name and then leads you into a room where they check your weight and blood pressure. They ask a ton of questions as they busily scrawl your answers on your chart before they rush off to call the name of the next patient. Another hour or so passes while you read and reread the posters hanging on the walls of the tiny examination room. 

When you hear the doctor slide your clipboard from the bin on the outside of the door, you’re suddenly filled with anxiety. The doctor quickly skims your chart as they enter the room. The clock is ticking, and every question you plan to ask slips from your mind. As you book your next appointment with the receptionist, your head is spinning. What was it that the doctor prescribed for you? Which specialists are you going to be referred to this time?

As a board-certified doctor with a degree in family medicine, Dr. Andrew Anderson wanted to change the status quo. Nine minutes is the average time allotted for each patient to spend with their doctor at larger clinics, but at KAYA HEALTH (KH), Anderson spends an average of 37 minutes, and patients have his cell number and email address in case a need arises after hours. This open communication allows medical needs to be assessed and identified quickly, which prevents further complications and specialty referrals, and reduces the cost to patients by curbing visits to the emergency room. At KH, there are no insurance companies to haggle with, as patients pay a monthly subscription fee. 

Anderson said, “KAYA HEALTH has been a labor of love! It is a practice that started out of desperation and hope for something better. There was a time in my career where I had 20 minutes per patient, and that worked. But, as insurance payments flagged, the physicians were asked to see more patients in the same amount of time. 

‘‘It wasn’t good for the patients or the doctors. And, hoping to be the change I wanted to see in the world, I started a new type of practice that allowed both the patient and the health care provider to thrive. Because of this, we have been recognized as the highest-rated family medicine office in the state of Virginia.”

The monthly fee is $90 for one person, $155 per couple, and $195 for a family of up to 5 people, with an additional fee of $15 for each additional child. This fee covers the cost of nearly unlimited office visits, annual wellness exams, well-child exams, sports physicals, basic office procedures, and treatment of acute illness or minor injuries. Subscribers have the guarantee of seeing their chosen provider, and they can book appointments with zero wait times for the same day or the next.

“Our monthly subscription covers everything a really good family doctor’s office typically provides, and then a little bit more. We do nearly all in-office procedures under the monthly fee and have worked very hard to decrease the cost of other needed services. For example, our labs are, on average, over 85% cheaper than other local offices. Ultrasounds through our office are between 50% to 80% cheaper than doing them elsewhere in town. 

“Having a subscription model allows us to answer to our own consciences and not to insurance companies. We genuinely care about our community and have painstakingly created a practice from the ground up to take the best care of each of our neighbors.”

This subscription model has been so well received that Anderson placed a cap on the number of patients he could effectively manage and hired two more providers, Certified Nurse Practitioner Dianne White and Board-Certified Family Nurse Practitioner Sierra Sanford, who were both listed in the top 10th percentile. White’s patient list filled quickly, but Sanford is currently accepting new patients. The team offers primary care, sports medicine, psychiatric care, hormone therapy, and will soon offer pediatrics. 

Anderson emphasized, “We also focus on creating a practice where health care professionals can escape the crumbling health care system, of which they have become collateral damage. By providing a place where doctors and nurses can actually take care of their patients the way they want to, our patients receive the best care — not just what is paid for by insurance companies — and our providers live their best life serving them.” GN 

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