masked woman driving an older woman who has a mask on

A new healthcare company, ArchWell Health, plans to provide holistic primary healthcare services to Medicare-eligible seniors in medically underserved neighborhoods across the United States. The firm’s formation reflects both a move in the industry toward providing customized services to seniors at home and the growth of risk-based care models, industry experts said.

In an announcement made on Tuesday, ArchWell outlined its plans to launch 15 centers this fall, with each facility having six times fewer patients per panel than the current national average and physicians who are specially trained to care for seniors. Moreover, services will include transportation, 24-hour service and access to same-day appointments, specialty and ancillary services, on-site prescription medications, social workers and nutritionists.

“Seniors often have complex medical and social issues, and a holistic approach to care will help address their individual needs,” said Michael Lipp, M.D., chief medical officer at ArchWell.  “The centers will be safe gathering places for seniors to connect socially and participate in activities such as exercise classes. We know how important social connection and staying active can be in this population.”

“Our goal is to establish long-term relationships to monitor and respond to physical and emotional needs for achieving the best quality of life,” added Carl Whitmer, co-founder and CEO.

The new company’s mission makes sense given market forces, two industry observers told McKnight’s Home Care Daily

Robert Kramer headshot
Robert G. Kramer

“The launching of ArchWell is part of a growing trend that focuses on customizing care for Medicare-eligible seniors, serving as a slimmed-down version of Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly  (PACE) models, which provide adult-day services at community centers for dual eligible (Medicare and Medicaid) seniors, while also providing a beefed-up version of a traditional doctor-office visit in that it offers seniors educational opportunities,” explained Bob Kramer, co-founder and strategic adviser to the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care and founder and fellow at Nexus Insights.

Kramer predicted more custom-care-for-senior models to come, “with slight differences, but with all of them  targeting the same demographic.”

Anne Tumlinson, CEO at ATI Advisory, noted that the ArchWell concept is part of a drive toward home health companies taking on risk.

Anne Tumlinson
Anne Tumlinson

“The growth in models such as ArchWell,” observed Tumlinson, “is likely due to an increase in the ability to contract with Medicare Advantage plans for these risk-based contracts and also the advent of the CMS demonstration program, Direct Contracting, which now gives the primary care providers an opportunity to align financial incentives under risk-based payment for the sizable portion of their population that does not enroll in Medicare Advantage.”