Revolutionizing Primary Care: Oak Street Health and Interwell's Innovative Approach

Ben H.

Hatched by Ben H.

Aug 25, 2023

3 min read


Revolutionizing Primary Care: Oak Street Health and Interwell's Innovative Approach


In an effort to provide comprehensive and accessible healthcare to end-stage kidney disease patients, Oak Street Health and Interwell Health have joined forces to launch OakWell, a groundbreaking joint venture. By offering primary care directly in dialysis centers, OakWell aims to enhance patient outcomes, increase kidney transplantations, reduce hospitalizations, and ultimately lower the total cost of care. This article delves into the details of this innovative approach, highlighting its potential to transform the healthcare landscape.

The Need for Convenient and Comprehensive Care:

Patients undergoing in-center dialysis treatment often spend more than 12 hours per week in a dialysis center. This extensive time commitment poses a significant challenge to accessing primary care services, as patients may struggle to find the time and energy to visit separate healthcare facilities. Recognizing this need, Oak Street Health and Interwell's OakWell initiative seeks to bridge this gap by bringing primary care directly to the dialysis centers themselves. This approach ensures that patients receive the comprehensive care they require without adding additional burdens to their already demanding treatment schedules.

Expanding Access through Strategic Partnerships:

To kickstart this groundbreaking initiative, OakWell plans to partner with dialysis centers in Chicago, Houston, and Dallas-Fort Worth. By strategically selecting these locations, OakWell aims to provide primary care services to a large and diverse population, reaching patients who may have previously faced barriers to accessing comprehensive healthcare. By leveraging the existing infrastructure and resources of dialysis centers, OakWell can seamlessly integrate primary care services into the patients' treatment experience, optimizing convenience and improving overall health outcomes.

The Impact on Patients and Healthcare Systems:

By integrating primary care within the dialysis center setting, OakWell holds the potential to revolutionize the care experience for end-stage kidney disease patients. This innovative approach not only addresses the logistical challenges of accessing primary care but also has the potential to improve patient outcomes. By closely monitoring patients' health conditions, OakWell's primary care providers can proactively address any emerging issues, reducing the likelihood of hospitalizations and enhancing overall quality of life. Furthermore, by increasing the focus on kidney transplantations, OakWell aims to provide patients with a potentially life-saving option, promoting long-term health and well-being.

Actionable Advice for Healthcare Providers:

  • 1. Embrace Collaboration: The success of initiatives like OakWell relies heavily on collaboration between healthcare providers and organizations. By partnering with various stakeholders, healthcare providers can leverage existing resources and expertise to deliver comprehensive care to underserved populations.
  • 2. Prioritize Convenience: Recognizing the time constraints faced by patients undergoing extensive treatments, healthcare providers should prioritize convenience when designing care delivery models. By bringing primary care services to patients, rather than asking patients to seek them out, providers can ensure that individuals have easy access to the care they require.
  • 3. Focus on Holistic Care: Integrated care models, such as OakWell, emphasize the importance of holistic care that addresses all aspects of a patient's health. By incorporating primary care into specialized treatment settings, healthcare providers can deliver comprehensive, patient-centered care that optimizes health outcomes and enhances overall well-being.


Oak Street Health and Interwell's OakWell initiative represents a significant step forward in the provision of primary care for end-stage kidney disease patients. By bringing primary care services directly to dialysis centers, OakWell aims to improve patient outcomes, increase kidney transplantations, and reduce the overall cost of care. Through strategic partnerships and a focus on convenience and holistic care, OakWell has the potential to revolutionize the healthcare landscape and set a new standard for integrated, patient-centered care delivery. As healthcare providers, embracing collaboration, prioritizing convenience, and focusing on holistic care are essential steps towards improving patient outcomes and transforming the healthcare experience for all.

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