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Zócalo Health Launches Virtual Care Platform for Latino Communities

Analysis  |  By Scott Mace  
   October 20, 2022

The Seattle-based provider is now offering same-day telehealth appointments for a flat-rate membership fee in California and Texas.

A Seattle-based virtual care provider aimed specifically at the Latino population has expanded to California and Texas.

Zócalo Health, which launched in Washington earlier following a $5 million seed funding round, offers virtual care visits and care navigation services in what the company calls "an improved and long overdue healthcare experience built on trust, relationships, and culture."

Latinos experience disparate barriers to healthcare access, especially in primary care, where the average wait time to see a doctor is 24 days. This long delay, combined with fewer in-person appointments, high-deductible plans, and high out-of-pocket fees, results in many Latino patients avoiding treatment, using informal networks (family/friends), or waiting for hours in expensive emergency rooms to seek care.

The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic impact exacerbated health inequities for the Latino community, particularly when it comes to accessing high-quality primary care and preventative services.

Members can access various services and care options familiar in primary care settings, including evaluation of mental health conditions, preventative and lifestyle needs, chronic disease management, and more specific health conditions, as well as urgent care.

Zócalo Health's primary care model employs community health workers (CHWs)--known in the Latino community as promotores de salud. They're hired from the community to foster patient engagement and community health.

Company officials site research showing the crucial role of CHWs in connecting patients to local resources and care. They work one-on-one with members to coordinate care with a team of physicians, nurses, and mental health therapists, and connect members to useful resources across the community.

Once a relationship has been established with Zócalo Health, members have 24/7 access to care and can receive individual guidance on personal health goals and needs. 

"As a kid, I remember the long waits in the community health clinic to see a doctor who often did not speak Spanish," Zócalo Health CEO Erik Cardenas said in a press release announcing the virtual care service. "I had to act as a translator for my mom about my own care and help her navigate next steps. I felt guilty that my mom had to take time off from work for my appointment and pay for any prescriptions or additional care needed. For my family, no work meant no pay, so a doctor’s visit was a heavy burden on everyone."

Zócalo Health memberships start at $40 per month or at a discounted rate of $420 a year when paid in advance. The provider has plans to expand to other states in 2022 and later.

Scott Mace is a contributing writer for HealthLeaders.


Latino communities often face barriers to healthcare access, with an average wait time of 24 days to see a primary care doctor.

Zócalo Health is targeting this social determinant of health by hiring community health workers from the Latino community and using them to forge connections with their patients and help access virtual care services.

The healthcare provider offers memberships starting at $40 per month or $420 per year, and plans to expand to other states.

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