Ten years ago, in response to ballooning health costs for both patients and physicians, doctors Dave Sanders and Albert DiPiero founded a single health clinic in Portland. Their clinic, Zoom, specifically targeted Millennials – aiming to help them navigate health insurance costs while providing them a high level of care. Zoom has found considerable success since opening its doors: more clinics opened, and both doctors expanded their business to an additional 30 locations.
What is Zoom? What makes it different?
Zoom is a streamlined healthcare clinic and insurance provider in Oregon and Washington state. It is sometimes compared to Kaiser Permanente, but the main difference here is that Zoom accepts many types of private health insurance in addition to offering their own. Their main target audiences are the privately insured and the uninsured who are able to pay out of pocket - groups that were largely neglected prior to the Affordable Care Act.
Another huge differentiator with Zoom clinics is the wait time. As in, there usually isn’t one. When is the last time you went to the doctor and waited less than 30 minutes? Their wait times are so short that they don’t even have magazines in their waiting rooms!
What does Zoom Provide?
Many customers describe Zoom as a “one stop shop.” Zoom sells over-the-counter medications and provides the following services: medical healthcare, dental care, chronic pain management, and appointments with specialists. Some locations even offer cooking classes, yoga, therapy, and fitness coaches.
In addition, Zoom has an emergency clinic that could be compared to an urgent care by traditional standards. It boasts the ability to diagnose and treat non-life threatening ailments. Committed to its mission of passing along savings, Zoom even challenged the Oregon legal system by lobbying to allow nurse practitioners to dispense medication – a fight they ended up winning.
Can Zoom Really Help You Save on Health Insurance Costs?
When you visit your doctor, you probably have some kind of co-pay. Depending on the care you receive that day, you may get a bill in the mail after the fact. The amount of that bill is nearly impossible to determine without spending a good amount of time on the phone with your insurance company.
At Zoom, the guesswork is eliminated because costs are posted on the wall.
The savings involved are substantial in part because Zoom makes a concerted effort to keep overhead costs low. In fact, for customers paying out of pocket, the typical cost of an emergency clinic visit is $300. Keep in mind that a common emergency room deductible for most people is around $200… prior to receiving the rest of the bill in the mail.
That is, of course, to say nothing of the health insurance costs that the patient would have to pay before even arriving in the ER to begin with. Unless your health plan is completely subsidized by the government or your employer, you’ll probably end up paying more than $300 total by the end of the month.
Zoom is successfully supplying high-quality medical and dental services to very happy customers in the Pacific Northwest. By taking a more hands-on approach to the problem of rising healthcare costs, both of Zoom’s founders are helping patients receive higher-quality care. One can only hope that this model proves itself to be stable and that they choose to expand further east.
Have you or someone you know purchased insurance or medical services from Zoom? Let us know in the comments below!