Parsley Health, a start-up specializing in primary care, extends its activities to pediatrics


Parsley Health, a new type of physician practice that charges monthly fees and does not take insurance, extends its practice to pediatrics.

Parsley Health started in 2016 and now has centers in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York. The practice, founded by Dr. Robin Berzin, focuses on functional medicine, a type of practice that attempts to take a more holistic approach to treating the underlying cause of a particular disease, by considering it more holistic only on a case by case basis. case base.

For a monthly fee of $ 150, you'll receive primary care visits, nutrition plans, supplement diets, and more in-depth genetics and microbiome testing.

Read more: A doctor's office that charges $ 150 a month and does not take insurance, just collected millions to make the future of medicine

Until now, Persil only treated people aged 18 and over. This is changing so his doctors can apply the Persil model to teenagers and children who might benefit from this approach.

The pediatric practice is led by Dr. Gaby Safdieh, a pediatric rheumatologist, who joined Persil a little over a year ago. Safdieh practiced pediatrics and rheumatology as part of a fellowship at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York.

Over time, she was frustrated with the way she saw children diagnosed and treated for chronic diseases such as asthma, frequent infections, eczema, and allergies. In her debut in Persil, she met young adults between the ages of 18 and 30, with the idea of ​​one day creating a pediatric practice within the organization.

"We want to treat children at the source of the medical problem they face and prepare them for a clear path to health," Safdieh said.

Safdieh began seeing patients aged 0 to 18 as part of a small pilot project in August. The program is now open to children of current members of Parsley Health. The membership for kids and teens is $ 129 a month or $ 1,400 a year.

How it works

A pediatric membership includes five doctor visits and five health coaching sessions. Through these meetings and potentially genetic testing and the microbiome, we hope to have a complete overview of the medical history of children and adolescents, their dietary habits and physical activity, as well as other factors that may play a role in the chronic disease he lives. Monthly fees do not include prescriptions, supplements or laboratory work.

Although Persil Health does not take out insurance, it can be considered an off-network care that can be reimbursed. (In the end, Parsley's goal is to collect information on how his approach to primary care and pediatrics helps keep patients healthy and one day bring them to insurers who may want to pay Parsley for their members.)

The new Parsley Health Center in the Flatiron District of New York.
Courtesy of Reid Rolls for Persil Health

For example, as part of the pilot project, Safdieh saw a teenager treated for years for sinus infections who was taking antibiotics up to five times a year. Although antibiotics may be useful in eliminating bacterial infections, their use may, however, expose patients to side effects and a risk of development of antibiotic resistance.

Ideally, Safdieh wanted to help reduce this antibiotic consumption. She looked at the patient's history of antibiotics, stress factors, diet, and tests to better understand the insects that live in her intestine. Safdieh has been working for six months with the teenager. He has made adjustments to the teenager so that he sleeps more and enjoys more physical exercise. He also studied the use of certain supplements and acupuncture.

"Our goal in pediatrics is similar to that of adults in many ways," Safdieh said. "We want to stop frequent visits to the doctor and specialists."

To date, the American Academy of Family Physicians, which represents 129,000 family physicians, has not found sufficient evidence for doctors to use functional medicine in family medicine, although the # The organization announced in March 2018 that it would allow some training courses for doctors. how to talk to patients. The American Academy of Pediatrics, which represents 67,000 pediatricians, recognizes pediatric integrative medicine, which encompasses evidence-based treatments that go beyond Western medicine, used in conjunction with traditional care.

New models for pediatrics

Parsley is not the only one to use a subscription template for pediatrics.

Others who practice direct primary care have set up pediatric practices or see children alongside their parents. Nevertheless, the cost of direct primary care may be difficult to justify for most children, who tend to require relatively little ongoing medical care.

One Medical is a start-up medical group that aims to help patients see their doctor and also starts pediatrics. He charges $ 199 a year for same-day visits to a doctor or other health care provider and takes insurance, different from the Persil model. To date, he has opened five pediatric practices based in the New York Bay area and in New York, which is expected to increase over the next year.

The sites serve as places of care for adults and children. They will be concentrated in areas where people live rather than near the office. For example, one of the sites in New York City is Park Slope, a residential area of ​​Brooklyn.

"They are all 100% full immediately," Amir Rubin, CEO of Medical, told Business Insider. "It's a bit of an obviousness."

Zachary Tracer contributed to the reports.

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