Traditionally, there are three financial barriers to starting your practice — the office, the technology and the management. But Atlas Md-style of direct care addresses each of them.
The physical space of the physician’s office has changed drastically in recent years. A single doctor with a laptop or tablet in a patient room can be the entire practice now. If need be, physicians can rent space from other practices or systems with available space, or create office space in their own home, a time share medical space or a non-medical office building. Under certain circumstance, telehealth alongside house calls could entirely eliminate the need for office space.
Of course, if you want to start adding EKG machines, gurneys, scales, etc., you’re going to want to invest in your own office. However, the power of direct care is that with ingenuity you can start developing your skills as a doctor, and earn revenue, and over time transition into opening your own practice. And in the future, as direct care clinics become more widely available, it will become common to apply for a position within a small company, and gain substantial subscribers over the course of a year, much like Dr. Michael did when he on-boarded here at Atlas MD.
Practice Management (PM) and Electronic Medical Records (EMR) software has always been a big investment for practices, independent, affiliated or otherwise. But with direct care, you won’t need any of those overpriced machines that have made billions of dollars of additional revenue for corporations like General Electric. Between hardware, software, training, and maintenance, the costs for implementing the PM/EMR programs could be a significant barrier to starting a practice – or even changing vendors. But with Atlas.md EMR, direct care’s first dedicated EMR and Practice Management software, you can get started for free. Signing up is as easy as joining Facebook, and navigating the software is intuitive. In fact, Dr. Josh, Doug and Michael all use the same software while practicing direct care here in Wichita.
The administrative burden, and pace of change in the industry can give physicians the sense that they can’t handle it all on their own. But this isn’t true. Direct care proves that lean practices can deliver exceptional care. Atlas.md EMR includes tools to help you manage your schedule, book appointments, fulfill invoices, request labs and much more. In the end, if you’re willing to get your hands dirty and answer some phone calls, send some emails, and adopt current trends in social media, you’d be surprised how much you can do yourself.
To be clear — it is tough out there, especially for the independents, and especially in primary care, which encompasses pediatrics, family medicine, OB/GYN, internal medicine and geriatrics. But physicians have options — a lot of them — and we have a lot of tools at our disposal that make it possible to practice on our own terms. For those ready to cut the red tape, it’s a great time to practice medicine independently.