Sutter Health Plus Newsroom

Timely information for members, brokers, employers, and the community.

One Member’s Journey with Tera— Virtual-First Primary Care

Posted by on Aug 31, 2021 in Access, Digital Health, Network


Kathy is a Bay Area resident and program manager for Oakland Unified School District who is living with a chronic, long-term condition. Over the past year, she struggled to find engaged providers who offered care options that fit her needs, including the option of traveling less to access care.

Through an open enrollment event, Kathy learned about Tera—a virtual-first approach to primary care that is in the Sutter Health Plus network. With Tera, patients receive flexible, wraparound services from a primary care physician (PCP) and a dedicated care team, including a licensed nurse, a health coach, and a nurse practitioner at no additional cost. Tera patients spend less time traveling to appointments because their PCP and care team is a video visit or direct message away through My Health Online. When in-person care is needed, Tera patients can see their care team for an in-office visit*.

To Kathy, Tera sounded like the personalized experience she was seeking. She decided to switch health plans and join Sutter Health Plus, and selected Dr. Yumi Taylor as her PCP.

“It blew me away that the Sutter Health Plus team was so engaged in helping me find the right provider. When I received the new member welcome call to ask if I received my member ID card, I was speechless. I even called friends and told them about the service provided by Sutter Health Plan. I’m from the Midwest and this really feels like a small-town family health plan,” shared Kathy.

Dr. Taylor says she and her team work to empower Kathy with information about her care options, listen to her goals, and connect her with the right specialized Sutter resources. “I am impressed at how knowledgeable, articulate, and proactive Kathy is about her care,” says Dr. Taylor. “I empathize with the challenges she’s faced in feeling heard about her condition. She is taking big steps to feel better, and our team is cheering her on!”

Since the beginning of her journey with Tera, Kathy says she’s had an excellent experience every time she’s spoken with Sutter Health and Sutter Health Plus employees. After a long, confusing year dealing with her condition under her previous health plan of 17 years, this was a big change. Kathy says her need for higher quality of care was the main reason she decided to switch to Sutter Health Plus.

“I had such an amazing experience at my first appointment! Before I met Dr. Taylor, I thought all healthcare was rushed, but she has a calm confidence, compassion, patience, and curiosity that inspires me to be more present during appointments. I feel like I’m part of a team and share in the decision-making about my healthcare. They’ve helped me to see that I deserve this high-quality care, and it has made such a powerful and positive impact on me.”

Kathy also appreciates the convenience of online connectivity through the Sutter Health Plus Member Portal and the My Health Online app. When she sends a direct message to her care team, she is impressed by how fast she gets a response.

“I love being able to message my care team and get alerts on my phone. It makes communication efficient and still feels personal, like I’m texting a friend. It’s so easy, I just open the app, send a message, and they determine the right person to reply to me. I don’t need to try and figure out which department or person I need to send a question to.”

For Kathy, being able to work with people who genuinely care about her wellbeing has restored her faith in healthcare.

“I know I have the right to high-quality healthcare and what I’m experiencing now is extraordinary. I’m so glad I made the switch to Sutter Health Plus and Tera. Now I’m getting the right care—it’s truly changed my life.”

Sutter Health Plus is privileged to serve members like Kathy, and we thank members across Northern California for choosing our health plan for access to integrated care and coverage. Bay Area members can learn more about Tera virtual-first primary care by visiting sutterhealthplus.org/lp/terapractice.

*Please note, if the Tera provider a member selects does not have an office in their local community, they may need to travel for an in-person appointment. Members may also be able to see another Sutter provider closer to home.