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The new company of the former director of CMMI will focus on value-based rural healthcare

A new company has entered the field of rural healthcare with a value-based strategy aimed at improving care coordination. The company is called Main Street Health and was founded by Brad Smith, the former director of the Medicare and Medicaid Innovation Center.

The company was formed on Tuesday through Smith’s healthcare company Russell Street Venture Capital Corporation. This is not the first time Smith has founded and led a company. He co-founded and served as the CEO of Aspire Health, a family palliative care provider, and sold it to Anthem in 2018.

Main Street Health’s top priority is to implement an additional visit program in West Tennessee with a focus on primary care. The program will pair Medicare and Medicare Advantage beneficiaries from participating primary care clinics, emergency care centers, and independent pharmacies with local health navigators.

The navigator-which can be a social worker, nurse practitioner, or pharmacy technician-will provide services to patients over the phone line, or they can visit participating sites in person. Smith will also serve as the company’s CEO, which he believes will provide continued support for patients, whether they are suffering from acute or chronic diseases.

“So if you have congestive heart failure or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and you enter [participating] In practice, the health navigator will call you regularly to check in,” Smith said in a telephone interview.[Also] If someone goes to the hospital, the health navigator may visit them in the hospital or after returning home. “

Technology will also play a key role in Main Street Health’s operations. For example, the company will extract pharmacy claims for patients in the Extra Access Program and run them through algorithms to check things like drug interactions. Smith said that this information will then be provided to health navigators who can work with participating sites to ensure that the medications provided to patients are safe for them.

The program not only provides benefits for patients, but also benefits for participating clinics and pharmacies. The navigator can connect the teams at these sites with the Central Street medical team including doctors, pharmacists, nurse practitioners, and social workers. For small clinics and pharmacies, even one more professional can have a huge impact. Smith said that having a centralized team can provide a wealth of new expertise in resource-limited care settings.

“The main thing people reported was the closure of rural hospitals, but the reality is that it’s not just hospitals,” he said. “The number of primary care doctors in these areas is also decreasing, and the number of specialists is also decreasing.”

Companies that promote value-based primary care are not new, but most of them have been relegated to cities and suburbs. Companies such as VillageMD, Privia Health, and agilon health have entered the field for many years, but Smith believes that Main Street Health’s focus on rural America has filled the gap.

“[Main Street Health] It’s a rural version [those models],” he said. “For example, the largest city we are going to…is a place called Dyersburg [in Tennessee], A population of 17,000 people.Average city [we will go to] It is 3,000 or 4,000 people. “

Main Street Health’s additional visit program will be launched in 34 clinics in eight counties in western Tennessee, and will be rolled out by July. Although it initially focused only on the elderly, in the next three years, the program will be expanded to include other populations.

Russell Street Ventures is also thinking about issues outside of Main Street Health. Although Smith did not provide any details, Russell Street may launch another company this year and another one or two in 2022.

“The common theme will be… a very specific population, and we think there is an opportunity to turn to value and provide better solutions for this patient population,” Smith said.

Photo: marekuliasz, Getty Images

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