In Atlas.md, you can set specific pricing tiers so that your patients’ subscription automatically updates as they grow older. It’s one less thing you have to keep track of. And more free time for you to spend with patients. Or do research. Or plan dinner. Or golf. Or whatever. Learn (or remind yourself!) how to set up a new pricing in this video. Bookmark the corresponding support article if you feel like it, too.
It’s becoming a really well-known fact that DPC works. The business model is solid; booming practices around the country are proving it. Docs who were admittedly nervous about stepping out of their traditional shells to explore what Direct Care had to offer are now emphatically shouting it’s goodness from their rooftops. It’s easy to see why. There’s a lot to shout about.
But we’re curious what you love most. What’s the thing that still gets you up in the morning, excited to go to work? What do you think about even when you’re not at the office? When your friends ask how the practice is going, what do you gush about?
You keep a limited patient panel so you have plenty of time to spend with each person. None of that shuffling in and out of appointments in record time nonsense. You set your own hours. Your time is yours, with which to do what you want. You’ve literally been given the gift of time.
The Way You Can Truly Help People?
You know it’s true. You didn’t go to school to fill out paperwork. Now that you’re utilizing DPC’s framework, you have to do less paperwork than you ever thought possible. That’s because when you clear out all the distractions, red tape, bureaucratic rules and third party interference, you’re left with the only thing that really matters: your patients. You can help them the way you know how, the way you always thought you would. You can spend extra time helping them with their ailments, following up on their progress, and coming up with proactive ways to keep them healthy. You can truly build relationships with them!
All the Savings You Get to Dole Out?
Part of helping your patients is saving them money – making their healthcare honestly affordable. You don’t have to swipe their card for a copay at each visit. You offer diagnostic and procedural benefits at no extra cost. Read more
It happens. Patients don’t always stay with you forever. Sometimes they move far far away. So, what do you do with their patient file? Well, after you’ve helped them find another DPC doc in their new area, of course, you’ll want to keep your patient list completely up to date by archiving it. It’s quick and easy, and helps keep you organized. And if they ever come back, you can bring their file back to life just as quickly.
For more information on how to archive and unarchive a patient in Atlas.md, check out the full support article over here.
What’s Holding You Back from Opening Your DPC Practice? (After You Read this, the Answer Will be ‘Nothing.’) Part 2.
“Hmm, Direct Care sounds amazing. I’d love to do that.”
Ever said or even thought those words? Do you fall into any of the categories we talked about here? So why haven’t you started your practice yet? Maybe this Direct Care thing is new to you. Maybe you’ve heard about it but don’t know where to start. Or maybe you’re just scared to take the leap. In part two of this two-part series, we’re flattening the road ahead so there’s nothing but a clear path from you to the front doors of your Direct Care practice.
It all boils down to two things:
Before we get into all the details, there are two things you should keep in mind at all times.
First, you have to do the work. You have to get your hands dirty, do the research, make the phone calls, ask the questions and launch the website. You have to put in the extra man hours to get this thing up and running – just like any other small business. The great part about Direct Care is that you don’t have to worry whether it’s sustainable or not. The model is built on a foundation that provides a quality service people are more than happy to pay for because it saves them time, money, and adds value to their lives. Once you have your brick and mortar foundation laid, you get to do what you love and many times the rest will fall into place.
Second, it’s okay that you’re not an expert in running a business. You went to medical school, after all. But because you went to med school, you’re going to need to lean on someone else for support while getting your practice off the ground. That’s right, you don’t have to do this alone. In fact, we offer practice management consulting services absolutely free of charge. Whether you’re in the beginning stages of opening your doors or just need a little help along the way, you can call us. We’ve helped hundreds of practices open already and have several more in progress; their success is like our drug.
Okay. Have your list ready? You know, the one with all the reasons you can’t start your practice? Good. Let’s go.
Excuse #1: I have no idea where to start.
You’re considering starting something completely new – of course it’s daunting. But it’s also really exciting! The first thing you should do is finish reading this article, and then hop over to the Direct Care Curriculum, where you can learn more about every single aspect of starting your practice. There will be some biggies to check off the list over time (like finding a location and getting set up with the right equipment), and some smaller items you can work through more quickly (like naming your practice and creating a brand for it). Everyone’s first step is going to look a little different depending on where you’re starting so let’s talk about your current situation so we can map out a path forward.
- Are you currently employed? Are you under contract with that employer? Is there a non-compete policy? You’ll want to find out how to get out of those contracts and around the non-compete if it applies.
- Are you starting straight out of residency and starting with a fresh slate? If this is you, you have a little more flexibility and can hit the ground running a little faster. For you, give your practice a name, establish a legal business and call your realtor!
What’s Holding You Back from Opening Your DPC Practice? (After You Read This, the Answer Will be ‘Nothing.’)
If you fall into any of the following categories, you absolutely MUST keep reading because no matter what is preventing you from taking the next step with Direct Care, there’s a solution. We’re in the mood to break down some walls. At the end of this two-part series, you will be left with nothing but a clear path to DPC. To freedom of schedule. To career satisfaction. To happy patients. And possibly to more money than you make right now. We could go on and on… Anyway, lets’ see if you fit the bill. If one of these describes you even a little bit, perk up your ears and let the rest sink in.
Retirement Can’t Come Soon Enough. You’ve Had it Up to Here.
The days of sprinting from exam room to exam are behind you. At least you wish they were. The list of rules you have to follow are getting longer by the day, and the amount of energy you spend trying to make sense of them all is getting ridiculous. You close your eyes and dream of the golf course. Or maybe a book and your La-Z-Boy. You long for the days ahead of enjoying your life again. Maybe you’ll volunteer at a local clinic just because you want to, that’d be nice. After all, helping others is part of who you are and you know retirement won’t make that go away. But this, all this nonsense about how many patients to see in a day or how to code a diagnosis so the insurance companies don’t throw a fit or the pressure to accept or not accept Medicare… this is chaos. You’ve had enough and you want out.
You’re a Seasoned Physician Facing Retirement, but You Love Your Job.
You’ve been in the field for a long time. Traditional healthcare has served you fairly well – you’ve learned to live with the paperwork and red tape. Despite the adversity you’ve faced for years, your patients love you and you love them right back. You’ve also mastered the 7 minute appointment; you are efficient and effective. Retirement has always loomed in the distance. It’s inching closer now, but hanging up your coat just doesn’t feel right. Healthcare is transforming into something you don’t even recognize, though, so you know something has to change. Secretly, you’ve always wondered what it would be like to do things your way, on your watch, at a slower pace.
You’re Mid-Career and Jaded by the System.
Residency feels like a lifetime ago and now that you’re in full swing with your career you realize it’s not at all what you thought. You spend the hours between sun up and sun down rushing from patient to patient (that sense of inadequacy is getting really heavy…), and then you’re resolved to tackling a mountain of paperwork in the hours after. You keep telling yourself this will get better once the wrinkles of the ACA get ironed out, or once the MCRA, HIPAA or ICD issues have been resolved, or maybe even once the new administration gets settled in. It feels like you’re in a holding pattern. Rush frantically through the day, and then wait for the dust of traditional healthcare to settle. More pressing, you’re still waiting to get into the groove of life where you can actually enjoy your work and your family. You’re starting to lose hope that it will ever really happen. Read more
If you’re thinking about transitioning to Direct Care, or even starting fresh with Direct Care, there are two things you need to do. The first thing is call us, because we offer free practice management consulting services. Yep, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about making the transition, opening the doors of your practice, and managing it once you have patients coming through those doors. Seriously, call us. It’s free. As in, doesn’t cost you anything.
Now that we’ve shamelessly plugged our FREE consulting services, what about that other thing you need to do? You gotta wrap your head around the fact that you have business management in your future. And yes, that includes sales. If you’re still standing on the edge of the cliff, we’d like to invite you to chill out and take a step back. Sales in Direct Care looks different than it does in other industries, so throw out that used-car salesman image you have in your head. Get this: you don’t have to break down doors, beg people to become patients, or even convince anyone of anything. Direct Care has already done the heavy lifting by providing a platform to give people something they value. Your role in the whole thing is to just spread the word about it. Which you’re already doing, because it’s something you care about, so you’re naturally going to talk about it. See? That’s not so bad. Care to take another step back from the ledge now? There we go.
You Already Have the Tools You Need to Sell.
Have you ever heard the phrase “a truly great product sells itself?” That applies here, too. All you’re doing is educating people about the features and, more importantly, the benefits of Direct Care. You’re talking about your job. You’re exposing them to a better way – one that will benefit them from a bunch of different angles. Read more
If you’re using the Atlas.md EMR, you already know you’ll get email reminders to update your password every now and then. You can click the link right in that email to hop straight over. Should you need to update your password any other time, for any other reason, there are a couple ways to go about it. This video walks you through how to update your password in case you need a quick refresher. Or in case you’re just in the mood to watch a cool video.
You know those retail healthcare clinics, the ones tucked away in the corners of grocery stores? Research suggests that people are popping in there and spending money on treatments they don’t even need. Treatment for ailments that would probably resolve themselves. Well, okay, consider this. A patient has a rash. They bust out the browser: Google alludes to death or worse if they don’t get treated right away. So they run down the street, seek quick treatment from someone they don’t know, and consider it done. Easy? Sure. Quality care? If you’re lucky. Cost effective? Not quite.
Dr. Scott Ashwood headed up the study that was published in the medical journal Health Affairs. When asked if these retail clinics are making care too convenient, he spoke in defense of the study.
“So getting more people treated for those conditions is probably good for the patients. They feel better and they may get back to work sooner. But from a broader perspective it may not be something we want to spend more money on as a society or [as a] a health plan. We would rather focus on higher value preventive care services.”
But Dr. Andrew Sussman, president of the MinuteClinic unit at CVS Health Corp., has a different take on the situation.
“The authors describe this as new care or new costs, which I think is a step backward. It’s not excessive costs to take care of people who don’t have a doctor. In fact, we are reaching an underserved population with retail clinics.”
DPC is the Answer.
Can’t decide if you’re Team Ashwood or Team Sussman? Don’t worry, you don’t have to choose because there’s a third option in this retail healthcare situation. Direct Care. DPC provides quality care to patients who cannot otherwise afford health insurance. A low monthly subscription fee takes the place of insurance and offers 24/7 access to a doctor, wholesale prices on prescription medications, free yearly exams and so much more. DPC’s business model is built around transparency and patient-centric values. So, you get quality care for the underserved. And those patients can still be seen nearly immediately, and consulted with in unconventional, incredibly convenient ways like text message, email, phone call, and even video calls.
Direct Care makes healthcare affordable and accessible for nearly everyone. Plus, patients get so much more than a quick fix to whatever ails them. They get to build a relationship with a physician who truly cares about their health from a proactive standpoint. Who doesn’t want that?
When the AAFP takes it upon itself to “dispel myths” about DPC, you do a little happy dance. You also pump your fist in the air and yell, “FINALLY!”
Look, we get it, DPC carries with it a bit of an educational learning curve. It used to be that healthcare without insurance wasn’t a natural concept for many people – both patients and physicians alike. But we knew it was the better way and we’ve watched the DPC movement explode. Like any truly good product, DPC continues to sell itself. The AAFP proves it when they say things like this:
“ [DPC]…creates transactional efficiencies and reduces administrative burdens for primary care physicians.”
“…DPC is actually an ideal strategy to provide our nation a robust family medicine physician workforce in the long run.”
“The normal workforce economics that naturally occur in the unregulated DPC environment mean that physicians gravitate to a panel size of 900 simply because that’s what is sustainable for healthy physician-patient relationships.”
DPC isn’t in bed with the AAFP, obviously. But we know the medical community takes what they say very, very seriously. And so the kind, bold and factual argument displayed here makes us blush with pride.
Honestly, there is so much logical goodness in this article that you might as well just read the whole thing for yourself. Well, go on then.