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- Tom Lee is the founder of primary care startup One Medical, which charges an annual fee and also bills your insurance.
- Lee left the CEO role at One Medical in 2017 as it started to enter its growth stage.
- Now, he’s working on a new medical clinic company called Galileo.
- Here’s the scoop on Galileo, Lee’s new primary care venture based in New York. It’s focusing on a much different set of patients than One Medical.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
When primary care startup One Medical opened for business in 2007, its goal was to upend the way people got medical care by making it easy and convenient to see a doctor.
Over the next decade, it became the primary care startup to beat. The company in 2018 raised $350 million in funding, and it’s expecting to double the number of medical clinics it operates over the next two years. It currently has 72 locations in nine cities, and is increasingly focused on signing up companies to provide care for their workers.
Courtesy Tom LeeOne Medical’s founder, Tom Lee, left the post of CEO of One Medical in 2017 as the company started to enter its growth stage. He currently serves as executive chairman.
For the past year, Lee has been quietly working on a new venture, this time geared toward sick patients in the US government-funded Medicare and Medicaid programs.
Called Galileo, Lee’s new company is just getting started. It charges an annual fee to provide some care online or through an app. The cost is $59 for basic services like prescription refills and treatment for simple ailments. Paying $139 a year also gets you doctor consultations for more complex conditions, lab tests, and referrals to specialists, according to Galileo’s website. Right now, it’s available in the New York City area.
The startup plans to have an in-person healthcare component particularly focused on sicker patients covered by Medicare and Medicaid. The company is hiring primary care doctors who have experience caring for patients in those programs, according to job listings.
"Galileo is focused on building the healthcare delivery system of the future, today. We’re particularly focused on the complex and underserved populations but also starting to offer our digital services on a limited release basis," Lee told Business Insider in a statement.
Startups and groups of doctors have been looking at new ways to deliver primary care, targeting different types of patients. One startup, Iora Health, charges employers or health plans a monthly fee to keep patients healthy through its primary care practice, particularly working with Medicare Advantage plans. Others have layered on technology or holistic approaches through models that charge individuals a monthly fee and don’t take insurance.
Some of these new models have picked up a big endorsement from the Trump administration, which is looking to move about 25% of Medicare patients (roughly 11 million people) onto plans where some doctors get a fixed monthly payment to provide care, rather than getting reimbursed for each visit or procedure.
Galileo is backed by venture firm Oak HC/FT, which led the company’s series A round. Oak Investment Partners, which later spun out Oak HC/FT, was an early backer of One Medical. Andrew Adams, Oak HC/FT cofounder and general partner who led the investment in Galileo, is also a board member at One Medical.
"Our thesis and our firm is all about containing costs and improving quality in a fantastic consumer experience that really doesn’t exist in healthcare," Adams told Business Insider. The way to do that has evolved, both for healthcare and for other aspects of people’s lives. The way he sees it, more and more is being handled by technology rather than in-person experiences. "It’s really Tom’s continued focus on lowering cost and improving quality for the US healthcare consumer."
Screenshot via Galileo appThe startup is based in New York and is hiring engineers, primary care doctors, nurse practitioners, and virtual doctors, according to LinkedIn.
"Galileo is building the future of healthcare – today. Using innovative mobile technology and human-centered design, we’re looking to improve the quality and affordability of medical care for all — including those with Medicare and Medicaid," the company says in some of its job ads via LinkedIn.
While One Medical does accept some private Medicare plans, it doesn’t take Medicaid, according to its website.
One Medical did not respond to a request for comment.
Ideally, Galileo will be able to strike up contracts with Medicaid and Medicare that will incentivize Galileo to get its patients healthier, according to the job description of a recent Galileo hire.
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