It doesn’t take long for the true colors of healthcare’s current condition to shine through.
“I’ve only been in practice for a year and I’m already disillusioned,” said Levis. “I think we spend more of our time doing paperwork than we spend taking care of people. I’m here to explore this concept of direct primary care and learn about its viability.” – Erika Levis, M.D., of Pleasant Hill, Iowa
Levis, along with nearly 40 other family physicians from around the country recently gathered for a workshop to learn everything they could about Direct Primary Care. Many of them had questions about how they could make the model work for them. They quickly learned they had options – that the model is flexible and with some hard work and research, they could make their practice exactly what they’d always dreamed of. Angela Kerschner, MD is already taking advantage of this versatility.
“I’m working on my business plan right now so I can open my own DPC practice,” Kerchner told AAFP News. Her plan is to fashion an integrated model of care that would include services such as acupuncture and massage therapy, all of which would be available under the same roof for one fee.
Another bi-product of this workshop was that many of the physicians learned they’re not alone in wanting a change. But like any responsible doc looking to build a sustainable future, they’re doing their research, too. George Payne, M.D. spoke up about just such matters.
He said the prospect of spending more time with patients was appealing, but he also was interested in reducing expenses. “About 35 percent of our overhead is spent on dealing with insurance claims; the whole process is catering to the insurance company, not the patient,” said Payne.
After being in the field for only a year in any career, you shouldn’t be looking for an our. But healthcare is what is, right? If you’re a DPC provider, you disagree. Because you know it can be so much more. That’s why it’s so invigorating to hear how this workshop ended.
At the end of the long day, Grundy ask for a show of hands. “How many people are going to move to the DPC model?” he asked.
Nearly every family physician present shot a hand in the air.