“Where is the NuVision Women’s Care clinic?” is the wrong question—but we’ll get to that in a moment. The real question is why was NuVision Women’s Care established in the first place?
“It came about through my own experience,” says founder Aly Bond. “Like many women, I felt like my provider didn’t listen to me. I felt shuffled through the process. There had to be a better approach.”
With the revolution in Direct Primary Care—a subscription-based form of health care delivery that utilizes modern technology—Aly saw an opening. Women’s care, ranging from birth control to fertility issues to diabetes and even mental health issues, could be addressed quickly and remotely—at the patient’s convenience.
“The average wait to get into an OB-GYN is 24 days,” Aly explains. “We can get to a patient the same day.”
The COVID-19 pandemic saw a dramatic rise in telehealth services—necessitated by government shutdowns of procedures and visits that weren’t emergencies or COVID-19 related.
“Women, in particular, fell in love with telehealth,” Aly notes.
That’s backed up by a survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation.
“Women are more likely to have gone without health care during the pandemic compared to men, and women with health and economic challenges prior to the pandemic have experienced worsening health conditions as a result of skipping health care services during the pandemic,” KFF reports. “When asked to rate the care received at their most recent telemedicine or telehealth visit, most women showed high levels of satisfaction.”
Last fall, Aly (a certified medical sonographer) teamed with Dr. Vitaly Kushnir, an endocrinologist, Jackie Sweeton, a women’s health nurse practitioner, and April Murrieta, a family practice nurse practitioner. Their combined expertise covers the gamut of women’s health issues.
Together, they formed NuVision Women’s Care—an entirely online practice, built around the DPC model, that utilizes an app to connect women to care.
“Since December, with our on-call platform, we’re in top 3% of all telehealth providers,” Aly says. “We’re on track to see more than 2,000 women this year.”
Many health issues require lab tests, of course. But NuVision is able to connect women wherever they are to qualified labs. The same goes for imaging, such as mammograms and ultrasounds.
“Based on your visit with your provider, we come up with a care plan, and we do have partnerships with nationwide labs,” Aly says. “We usually have results back 48 hours. And because your cost will be the provider’s cost—and not what you’d be billed for it—it’s about 70% less expensive than otherwise.”
Women’s mental and emotional well-being is at the top of NuVision’s priorities.
“That’s such a multi-faceted area,” Aly says. “So many things can play into a woman’s mental well-being. We look at stressors, trauma, and we also do a lot of lab testing. We make sure their medications aren’t interacting badly. We can integrate acupuncture, in addition to counseling, along with any medicinal assistance—if that’s needed. We try to see the woman as a whole, not just a diagnosis.”
There’s a particular role within this innovative new model—women’s health via the direct primary care model—a role that providers like NuVision can help fill.
“There are about 11 million women who are currently uninsured,” Aly notes. “They’re forced to go to ERs, etc. We’ve seen many women who were either uninsured or simply couldn’t get in to see a women’s health provider.”
One policy proposal offered by the Texas Public Policy Foundation is to allow Medicaid funds to be used for DPC providers.
“Most of the health care Americans need, and most of the time, can readily be handled by DPC practices—everything from seasonal allergies and colds to sports medicine for our young athletes to women’s care and hormone replacement therapies, for example,” says TPPF’s David Balat. “Direct primary care has proven itself both popular and effective in the private sector. Let’s allow the public sector—including Medicaid and the VA system—to enjoy its benefits, as well.”
For Aly Bond and NuVision Women’s Care, it’s about providing care—not just coverage—to women.
“We’re trying to break the mold and show women there are other options,” Aly says. “There’s a stigma that surrounds women’s issues, from mental health to post-partum to fertility difficulties. There’s a trust factor that has been lacking. Women have felt dismissed and not heard for far too long. We want to change that.”
For more information on NuVision Women’s Care, click here.