As workers are called back into the office and tech giants cement their downtown Austin presence, companies seek new models to care for employees.
It’s why some have teamed up with Crossover Health, which has health centers and clinics providing primary care for employees and their families.
The San Clemente, California-based company is planning to open a new health center on Brazos St. in April 2023. Crossover plans to hire about 15 staff for the site to serve 5,000 to 7,000 people at maximum capacity.
They declined to say which companies will use it, but their current partnerships include Amazon, Microsoft, LinkedIn and Meta, which is moving into the Sixth and Guadalupe tower next year.
Founder and chief business development officer Nate Murray finds that some employers are frustrated with healthcare options and buying into the open market. With Crossover, downtown employees will have quick access to primary care services, mental health, physical therapy, health coaching and care navigation.
“You're seeing more— we call them activist employers— stepping up and saying, ‘You know what, I'm done waiting for insurance companies to change, I'm going to start to pick off some of these really important aspects,’” Murray said.
Murray and Katie Higgins, chief revenue officer at Crossover, talked about how Crossover moves away from the fee for service model to avoid transactional visits. Instead, Crossover aims to prioritize preventative care, with Higgins noting that primary care visits have declined in recent years.
“You look at the increase in chronic diseases and other health issues, and it all comes back to not having that foundational primary health relationship with their physician,” Higgins said. “That is the message that we feel most passionate about, that we work with our providers to make sure that they are inspiring their members that they care more. And that I think that is the first step to fixing this industry.”
On a visit to the site of the coming health center, the Crossover team kicked off the remodeling of the space. They tagged the walls with aspects of healthcare that they dislike and want to avoid in their new center, including matters like endless paperwork, long waits, and complexity.
With eight shared health centers across Texas, California and New York and 33 private, on-campus clinics in 11 states, Crossover says they were attracted to Austin because of its employers making it an exciting place to be.
“As we look for those employers who are willing to do things out of the box, and think differently about problems, this density of innovation is an exciting place for us to be able to invest in,” Higgins said.
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With major entertainment events slated for October, the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport is gearing up for a busy month.
Artists and music lovers are set to pack into Zilker Park for The Austin City Limits Music Festival in the coming two weekends. Following that, Formula One will bring racing fans to the Circuit of the Americas.
For those two events, the airport is anticipating high passenger days with 30,000 or more people departing flights.
ABIA recommends arriving at least two and a half hours in advance for domestic flights on those days. For ACL, it's expected on both Sundays of the festival along with the Monday and Tuesday after. The F1-driven high passenger days are expected on Oct. 20-21 and Oct. 23-26.
\u201c#AustinCityLimits visitors, you\u2019re in for a weird and wild ride \ud83e\udd18\u262e\ufe0f \n\nFlying in or out of our airport? We got firm and fun tips for you: https://t.co/RawVRalOXN\u201d— Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) (@Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS)) 1664894083
F1, especially, could draw in loads of travelers as the three-day event saw 400,000 attendees last year. ABIA warns that highways leading to the airport may see even higher traffic than usual around the event and that travelers should plan their route accordingly.
Bailey Grimmett, a spokesperson for ABIA, said travel numbers come in 24 hours in advance. So, it's hard to predict if the airport will see travel volumes at the same levels that have happened around previous F1 races or if it'll top ACL's flight traffic.
Still, she says historical knowledge points to a chance for it.
“We've had that Monday after F1 break the record for single busiest in airport history," Grimmett said. "So context clues I would say yes, but I can't confirm that. But the historical background points to that."
In anticipation of the high volume of flyers, the airport received additional TSA officers for security screening through the end of October. To prepare even further, the Department of Aviation and partners hosted a job showcase and hiring fair to address the continued labor shortage the airport has experienced.
Relief from hectic travel days is on the horizon with November likely to see a slowdown.
"I don't anticipate it will be as busy as October just because we don't have as many events going on," Grimmett said. "Thanksgiving is kind of our primary holiday that we see a lot of passengers coming in and out of the airport."
Elon Musk has proposed once again to buy Twitter for $54.20 a share.
The news that Musk is offering to carry on with the $44 billion buyout was first reported by Bloomberg. Now, a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission shows Musk made the proposal in a letter to the tech giant on Monday.
The New York Stock Exchange temporarily halted trading in Twitter stock twice Tuesday, first because of a big price move and the second time for a news event, presumably the announcement of Musk's renewed offer.
While the per share offer price on this latest proposal remains the same as the original offer, it’s unclear if Musk has made other term changes or if Twitter would reject it. According to other reports, a deal could be reached this week.
The stock closed at $52.00/share Tuesday, indicating market uncertainty around the $54.20 offer.
After Musk informed Twitter of plans to terminate the original agreement in July, Twitter sued. A trial has been expected in Delaware Chancery Court on Oct. 17.
With the proposition of a buyout on the table again, it revives the question of whether Musk might move Twitter from San Francisco to Central Texas.
He’s done so with some of his other companies. Tesla’s headquarters in southeast Travis County had its grand opening earlier this year and tunneling business The Boring Company moved to Pflugerville. At least two other Musk companies, SpaceX and Neuralink, have a Central Texas presence without being headquartered here.
Technology journalist Nilay Patel this afternoon voiced concerns that owning Twitter and Tesla together could be problematic for Musk, as his Tesla manufacturing facilities in Germany and China are both in countries that have disputes with Twitter over content moderation and censorship.
Telsa shares fell after the Twitter news became public, before rallying to close up, at $249.44.
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