Free Nights: Part of Our Commitment to Affordable, Accessible Care

August 11, 2020

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Imagine living in constant fear of getting sick. In fear of catching a cold, because it could lead to pneumonia—and pneumonia could land you in the hospital. And what if a hospital visit cost you the equivalent of several months’ rent, or more?

For those without access to insurance, this is the reality.

At ZOOM+Care, we believe that healthcare should be affordable, complete, and accessible to all—but we acknowledge there’s still a long way to go. Obstacles, such as cost and lack of insurance, prevent many from getting the basic medical care they deserve. That’s why, on July 10th, we’re bringing ZOOM+Care Free Nights back. Starting at our MLK clinic, we’ll offer complimentary visits the second Wednesday of every month, from 6-9 PM.

Free Nights are our way of giving back—they’re part of our commitment to making healthcare affordable and radically accessible. Through them, we support care for uninsured members of our community, and for those who do not otherwise have access to healthcare services.

We know you probably have some questions about how our Free Nights work, so we sat down with our Chief Medical Officer Dr. Vanderlip to give you some answers. Discover more below.

Hey Dr. Vanderlip! July 10th is the big comeback of ZOOM+Care Free Nights, and you’ve played a huge role in getting them back up and running. Can you tell us why Free Nights are so important to you personally, and to ZOOM+Care as a whole?

ZOOM+Care’s mission is to bring better access to high-quality healthcare services to everyone. But healthcare is expensive, and we have to operate a sustainable business. For some people, the cost of our services is prohibitively expensive. We care about everyone in our community, and this is an opportunity for us to showcase that commitment. Personally, I’m very proud of the system we have and the value of care we provide—this allows us to extend it to even more folks.

How do Free Nights fit into the overall mission of ZOOM+Care?

We want to make access to healthcare simple and delightful for everyone. This is our chance to advance that mission to those who don’t have health insurance, or those temporarily caught in a transition between insurance.

I’ve heard you mention that Free Nights are not a “cheaper, lighter version of ZOOM”— they’re essentially the full ZOOM+Care experience. Can you tell us a little more about that?

That’s right! The experience is essentially the same as any other ZOOM+Care clinic visit, with the absence of online scheduling. Each person is set up with a ZOOM+Care account if they’re new to the system, given a time slot, and seen by one of our ZOOM+Care providers in the exact same way as if they were scheduling a regular ZOOM+Care visit. We focus on one problem at a time and try to knock it out of the park. Most of what we would do is available for free, including our on-site medications and bedside tests. If we order lab tests that take some time to return, we communicate as typical through a person’s ZOOM+Care account and help to arrange appropriate follow up within ZOOM+Care or community partners, exactly the same way we would do it in a typical ZOOM+Care visit.

This is important to note—we are bringing virtually the same exact experience to anyone, regardless of their ability to pay.

 How does ZOOM+Care staff Free Nights? Do providers volunteer their time, or...?

We care about our providers and value their time— they are reimbursed for their time in our free night the same as if they were seeing patients during the day. On occasion, we may provide some extra incentives to sweeten the pot and thank them for taking additional time away from their personal lives to help us meet the needs of our broader community. I’m talking about pizza. [laughs]

Is there anything we can’t treat on ZOOM+Care Free Nights?

We don’t diagnose or treat STDs. We also don’t provide x-rays. Also, in general, if we don’t do it at regular ZOOM+Care, we can’t do it at free nights. For instance, ZOOM+Care doesn’t prescribe narcotics (opioid pain medications).

Are there any eligibility requirements for Free Nights, or are they open to everyone?

You have to have a valid photo ID to set up your ZOOM+Care account. It also helps if you have an email address so we can connect with you later regarding follow up or lab results.

What is the primary goal of ZOOM+Care Free Nights? Do you see its mission expanding in the future?

The goal is to expand our services to more folks in the community. I see this expanding as far as we can sustain it. I’m thankful that I work with an amazing team who shares my passion for getting our model of care to everyone—our internal excitement to reboot Free Night is unparalleled! I’m confident it will remain a stable fixture of our service offerings for some time.

Want to learn more about what a free visit at Zoom entails? Check out our Free Night FAQs.

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