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Case Study

Orchard Health: Leveraging Hint Core to Scale Employer-Sponsored Memberships



Providers seeing patients


Direct primary care members


Hours saved a week by using Hint Core


Employer sponsored members


Saved monthly on prescriptions by employers


Orchard Health provides exceptional care to patients through cost-saving partnerships with local employers

Orchard Health provides personalized preventive and acute care to over 1,680 patients — or about 35% of all residents — in Nashville, Georgia and the surrounding areas in Berrien County. Before starting Orchard Health, Dr. Jonathan Wade saw his fellow residents struggle to get into see a primary doctor, and as a result, many ended up in the ER to get care of routine issues, or issues that had escalated into emergencies because of a lack of regular care. 

Dr. Wade recognized affordable, accessible primary care was essential to his community, and so, in 2018, he and his wife Candace Wade opened the doors to Orchard Health’s first direct primary care clinic and began offering free primary care and low-fee specialty services, same and next-day appointments, and 24/7 telemedicine access for as low as $75 a month. 

To keep up with demand, Orchard Health moved to a bigger location in Nashville and hired additional staff. Dr. Wade also implemented Hint to manage enrollment, scheduling, billing, payment, medical records, and patient communication across multiple pricing tiers and membership types, ultimately freeing up his small team to focus on what matters most: exceptional patient care and significant savings for its employer partners. 

The challenge

Saving money for employer partners

From the beginning, Dr. Wade knew that he wanted to partner with local businesses, both to reduce the financial burden on patients and give small and midsize employers the ability to provide a health care benefit to employees at a low cost.

"We have quite a few small businesses and a few larger ones in Nashville, and we wanted to support them in providing a meaningful benefit to employees,”

Dr. Jonathan Wade, Family Physician & CEO

Orchard Health’s first 100 patients came through a partnership with a local employer, who was connected to Dr. Wade by an insurance broker challenging the status quo and creating unique health plans featuring DPC. Today, Orchard Health works with a number of employer sponsors, ranging in size from 20 employees and dependents all the way up to 800. About 70% of Orchard Health patients have a membership sponsored by their employer. 

“Our goal is to reduce expenses for employers by getting employees away from expensive downstream care, such as unnecessary referrals, ER visits, urgent care, and medication dispensing,” says Dr. Wade. “We consider ourselves to be what I call the ‘quarterback’ of our patients’ care, handling acute care issues and chronic disease management, and if a patient needs a specialist, getting them a quick consultation from doctors who I know in the area.”

Many members of Orchard Health have conditions that require expensive medications, such as diabetes and hypertension, the costs of medications can quickly balloon out of control for patients. “Many patients in our area just don’t have $30 to spend on a copay for medication,” explains Dr. Wade. In those cases, some employers may try to absorb the cost for employees, often causing a significant financial burden for employers. 

To reduce this expenditure, Orchard Health hired a pharmacy technician and began dispensing medications directly from the clinic, growing quickly from dispensing 100 to almost 300 medications. The results were remarkable. 

We recently ran a return on investment analysis for our biggest employer, and found, with us, they spent $1,800 to $2,300 a month on medication for employees. Compared to what they would spend with a typical pharmacy and traditional health plan, that represents savings of $50,000 to $60,000 a month.”

Dr. Jonathan Wade, Family Physician & CEO

Why Hint Core

Managing a growing practice with Hint

Part of what has made it possible for Orchard Health to run a large and growing practice at a price point that’s cost effective for employer partners and affordable for retail patients is by eliminating or automating the many otherwise manual administrative processes with Hint Core, including onboarding new employers and patients, billing for membership fees, and payment for medicines and procedures not covered by their members.

Everyone on the team is fluent in using Hint. It saves our team close to 30 hours a week, so it’s been integral in our ability to grow as a clinic,” 

Dr. Jonathan Wade, Family Physician & CEO

Orchard Health’s employer partners are benefiting too. “Employers are blown away by all they can track and see through Hint, and many have taken an active role in looking at invoices, and monitoring employee use of the benefits," says Dr. Wade.

Larger employers that have an HR system can use Hint’s employee autosync feature to automate the enrollments, terminations and demographics updates of their employees, without having to log into the employer portal and make updates manually. In that sense, Hint is yet another way that Orchard Health can show time and cost savings to their employer partners. 

As Dr. Wade puts it, “We couldn’t be where we are without Hint.”

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