White Paper

The Secret To Delivering Primary Care—The Way It’s Meant To Be

The shift in healthcare towards value-based care is already under way, and it’s long overdue.

The fee-for-service model has turned primary care into sickcare.

Health providers and patients are in need of a new primary care model that’s uniquely designed to improve patient experience and outcomes as well as care team satisfaction.

This model would flip the current standard of healthcare upside down by allowing providers and care team members to spend more time on each appointment and deliver care the way they expected to when they opted for a career in healthcare.

How do we know it’s possible?

Because it already exists. At Vera Whole Health, we call it advanced primary care.

White paper contents (click blue bullets to jump to sections)

From sickcare to healthcare

The COVID-19 pandemic has further exposed the weaknesses of the fee-for-service healthcare model. Changing societal expectations have already caused major shifts in how healthcare is delivered.

But patients need more than telehealth sickcare; they need care that considers the full picture — the biological, psychological, and social factors that impact their health.

It’s time for a new model of care that improves patient outcomes by addressing the things that impact their everyday lives — loneliness, behavioral health, food insecurity, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, and other social determinants of health.

The shift from sickcare to healthcare starts at the heart of primary care: a provider-patient relationship that builds trust based on time and understanding.

See what care teams are saying about working at Vera:

Never has there been a better opportunity to do so much good for so many people by moving beyond treating medical conditions to treating the whole person.
The fee-for-service model forces primary care providers to be gatekeepers to the specialty care system

Care takes time

A fee-for-service model rewards high volume, surface level care. This contributes to heavy patient loads, leaving primary care providers without enough time to get to know each patient and help them the way they want to. Primary care providers are stuck performing referral triage, sending patients to higher-cost specialists instead of practicing medicine to the top of their license.

Primary care providers have the ability to manage most of the complex chronic illnesses that Americans face — such as diabetes, heart failure, obesity, and hypertension — which consume up to 85% of all healthcare spend.

A value-based approach gives primary care providers time to listen to their patients. Lighter patient loads mean longer visits that allow providers to connect with patients in a more meaningful way.

When providers can take the time to listen to patients, they build the necessary knowledge and trust to care for each patient’s whole health.

Caring for the whole person

Listening paves the way for providers to open dialogues with patients on all aspects of their health: biological, psychological, and social.

  • 88% of physicians indicate that some, many, or all of their patients have a social situation (poverty, unemployment, etc.) that poses a serious impediment to their health.

    Case in point, the pandemic has shed light more than ever before on inequalities determined by race and ethnicity, as shown by the CDC’s data on age-adjusted COVID-19 hospitalization rates:

    • Non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaska Native people were about 5.3 times more likely to be hospitalized than non-Hispanic white people.
    • Non-Hispanic Black and Hispanic or Latino people were about 4.7 more likely to be hospitalized than non-Hispanic white people.
  • This data highlights the need for a biopsychosocial approach to care that is not only more effective but also more equitable.

  • Providers and care teams build trust with each patient through empathetic listening. Once the foundation of trust has been built, they can empower patients to take ownership of their health. This is what unlocks positive behavior change.

  • Vera’s key differentiation is the recognition that the trust necessary to develop the member-provider relationship is earned, and the core skill that Vera care teams use to earn that trust is empathetic listening.

Do you want to practice healthcare at the top of your license? Are you yearning to improve the health outcomes for your patients? Advanced primary care may be the model for you.


Maybe equity is … recognizing that the outcome has to be equal And for that to happen, we need to have a different process for different people based on different factors: race, gender, culture, or geography. We have to become a little bit more aware of people’s needs.

Dr. Sarat Raman, Vera Medical Director

You have to meet somebody where they’re at. You have to help them recognize victories and use that to fuel movement … at Vera, we help people change behavior by esteeming through empathetic listening.

Ryan Schmid, Vera Whole Health CEO

Advanced primary care:
value-based by design

Vera’s advanced primary care model is the engine for a health revolution that improves patient outcomes and decreases total costs. Primary care providers are able to practice at a higher level — the way they always hoped to. Here’s how our model empowers healthcare professionals like you to deliver care differently:


Primary Care Access

Our goal is to connect patients with quality care, and our model ensures you have enough time to provide that care.

  • Availability

    Patients can access same-day or next-day acute care appointments as well as wellness and preventive exams. We’re also building a diverse workforce to help ensure access is equitable. You can get all of your patients the care they need, when they need it.

  • Longer appointment times

    Our teams focus on value, not volume, of appointments. You’ll have time to learn your patients’ unique needs, uncover root issues, and create individual care plans. Our goal is primary care that treats the whole person.

Having the opportunity to have a 30-minute or hour-long visit is an amazing opportunity to really dive as deep as we need to with that patient. Dr. Sarat Raman, Vera Medical Director


Increased Control

We empower you to guide your patients’ health journey through care coordination and sophisticated informatics.

  • Care coordination

    When you need to refer your patients, you and your team will coordinate their care with high-value specialists. You’ll guide referrals, integrate specialist orders into each patient’s care plan, and follow up with patients for complete care.

  • Informatics

    Beyond 1:1 care, you’ll have access to informatics that help you learn about the broader population you serve. Using insights from claims data and population health data, you can provide extra support to high-risk groups. You’ll be empowered to intervene in meaningful ways.



Our innovative care team model creates a positive environment for providers and a gateway to healthy behavior change for patients.

  • Collaborative care team

    Care teams create a work environment where each person has a voice. Together, you’ll collaborate on patient care plans, outreach, and care coordination. High-functioning care teams improve experiences for patients and practitioners.

  • Health coaching

    Your care team will include a Vera whole health coach who helps patients work on long-term health goals. Together, your team will empower your patients to make sustainable lifestyle changes. Health coaches help unlock this behavior change.

Anyone can tell someone what to do, but listening to a person, empowering them to create their own change, and increasing their self-efficacy is the key to lasting change. Cheridan Bryant, Health Coach


Improved Quality

Patient and provider satisfaction both matter. That’s why high-quality care is always at the heart of what we do.

  • Patient satisfaction

    Our model is uniquely designed to improve the patient experience while building trust between patients and providers. Our patient NPS (net promoter score) is 87.

  • Provider satisfaction

    Our care teams have the time, resources, and support they need to provide patients with a high standard of care which leads to high care team satisfaction.


Realigned Incentives

We work to realign the incentives of payers and providers around health outcomes instead of around payment.

The model that we have in place is good for the providers and it’s good for the staff. We have time to talk with patients, and we have time for self-care …when a doctor or a nurse practitioner feels rested and rejuvenated, they’re better able to provide clinical care.

Joe Gardner, MSN, ARNP, PHCNS

And it works

We’ve observed the results. The advanced primary care model leads to overall cost savings, high patient satisfaction, and improved patient health outcomes.

Patient Net Promoter Score (NPS)

Case study: Seattle Children’s experience scores

1-year results of Vera whole health coaching

Case study: City of Kirkland cost savings

Join a team dedicated to patients' whole health

If you feel like you’re working in a healthcare system that doesn’t prioritize patient outcomes the same way you do, it’s time for a new model.

The root of the problem isn’t provider shortages and it’s not burnout. The problem is sickcare. Rather than treating today’s inefficient system as a baseline for the future of primary care, we need a solution that makes whole person care possible.

The advanced primary care model:

  • Empowers you to care for every patient’s whole health — including biological, psychological, and social factors
  • Allows for longer appointments, so you can take time to listen to each patient and build trust
  • Turns the current standards of healthcare upside down by prioritizing patient outcomes and provider satisfaction

It’s time to disrupt the way things have been done for decades. Value-based care is the future of healthcare. The advanced primary care model allows you to practice healthcare the way you always wanted to — putting patient experience and outcomes first.

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