Mary Wulfers raised a serious question after reading about ObamaCare Exchange enrollees who can’t find doctors.
She asks, Who wants to see a doctor who is being forced to treat them?
Her husband is a primary care physician and, together, they opened a cash-only practice this year. It took two years of planning, but the couple decided to cut the red tape, and offer affordable, actual care to hundreds of patients.
And, get this, Mary’s husband is 61 years old. He could have easily retired, but the joy and reward of running a cash-only practice has kept him in the practice pool.
How many other doctors in the same position as her husband would have thrown in the towel?
The fact remains: we complain about the doctor shortage, and we complain about the misery of being a doctor, and we even make lists linking the two phenomenon.
But until doctors step out of the bureaucratic trap, there will not be enough doctors treating our nation.
The benefits of doctors like Mary joining are movement don’t stop with just the immediate.
Every time doctors prove that they A) can provide excellent care, B) can do so without insurance, and C) can operate profitably, something incredible happens — fee-for-service docs gain hope — hope that there is an alternative to the less-than-satisfying status quo medical profession.
Every doctor who instead of quitting, opens a direct care practice, is actually decreasing the doctor shortage.
One commenter writes to Mary:
“Ms. Wulfers, I am actively seeking doctors, group practices, clinics, labs, facilities that want to operate outside the existing ‘health care’ framework. In other words, cash-basis like most of the other products and services I buy. There are MANY people seeking the same.
“Your husband is making a great business decision that will reward him financially and, in my opinion, professionally. I believe this will be the direction that many who stay in the health care field will move.”
It’s true. We’re tracking the demand on our I Want Direct Care wesbite.
And here’s an email we received from Mary recently.
Last week was wild. Mike saw 25-30 patients, plus they dispensed their first meds successfully and printed out the labels, etc. All that worked without a hitch. Our poor nurse has been earning her pay, that’s for sure. Mike had 2 shoulder injections and 1 suture removal all in one day. He is a happy doctor again! I’m so happy to see the skip in his step. We’re ironing out some of the rough edges and learning the software as we go along. Lisa has been a tremendous help, and she is so kind about everything. I was able to send out invoices, and learned that we hadn’t activated any of the credit cards, LOL. I kept receiving phone calls from concerned patients who wondered when they were going to see the charge on their credit card account. Finally realized that something was wrong; of course Lisa had the answer. All this is remedied now. ctually, it was good for me to review all the accounts. Didn’t really take that long and now I know for sure they’re all set up correctly. Also made a list of the yearly payers (quite a few, actually) all the quarterly payers and all the credit card payers. We’re already making a profit; Mike is astonished, I’m not. His “old” patients are fantastic! They’re so happy and excited for him and the new practice, it’s very humbling. I knew many people loved my husband, just didn’t understand how much! We have been given cake, pie, zucchini walnut bread, plants, flowers, cards, lunch, had 4 individuals volunteer to work in our office; this past week has been overwhelming in so may ways, all good. Today was the first day in over a month that we did not go into the office. Mike will be making his first house call tomorrow and is quite excited. He spoke with the patient today to let them know he’d be by and they’re very excited as well. You are truly right about the fact that this style of practice is good for doctors and for patients. Mike has already helped patients in ways that wouldn’t have been possible within the system and they appreciate it very much. Thanks for being there when we were looking. You’re ahead of your time and we’re fortunate to have found you and Doug when we did.
Thank YOU, Mary. You speak kindly of Atlas MD. But trust us, the real impact is on the patients who have and will receive excellent, affordable care because you and your husband made the transition to Direct Care.