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.
You’re Wrapping Up Residency and Ready to Hit the Ground Running.
You’re almost done! You did it. You’ve worked 90 hour weeks for so long that you think working less will feel like slacking off. You’ve seen how everyone else does it, and now you’re ready to spread your own wings and fly. Except you’re a little afraid of your wings getting clipped by all the damn rules. You might have some job opportunities lined up, but you’re still looking for that perfect situation. You know, the one where you have flexible hours, get to spend a ton of time with patients, can communicate with them via email or text or video chat or whatever, still have time for a life of your own and don’t have to deal with third party interference. Also, you’d like to avoid paper cuts at all costs. You might be a newbie, but you already know how much you despise pointless paperwork. Where’s the application for that job?
You’re a Nurse, PA or Support Staff Who Cares About Patient Care.
You help. It’s what you do. In some capacity or another, you help physicians do their job better, which directly helps patients. It pains you to watch the doc’s legs being cut out from underneath them, though. You watch their face fall when they realize they can’t help a patient because of insurance red tape. You do your very best to have the patient ready and waiting in the exam room because you know the doc is strapped for time. It’s not because they’re running late (although that’s also likely) but because that’s how the schedule is designed. It doesn’t make sense to you and you’re tired of feeling like a failure even though you’re doing your very best. You’ve heard about Direct Care, and wish there’d be room in a practice like that for you.
Is This You?
Some of the scenarios above are depressing – it’s true. But there’s no way to sugar coat it. Being unhappy in your job, the job you painstakingly chose to dedicate your life to and worked so hard for, is depressing. If you’re reading this, though, it’s very obvious you’re looking for something different. More importantly, you’re looking for something better. And that’s amazing. Now it’s time for the good news. Direct Care is the answer you’ve been looking for.
You Know About Direct Care, Right?
Direct Care is the, well, direct approach to healthcare. The Direct Care model breaks free from insurance, which means physicians deal directly with patients rather than insurance companies. No copay, no third-party mess, just an open honest relationship between doc and patient. The lists of features and benefits of Direct Care are long enough to write a book, so we’d like to direct you over here to the DPC Curriculum to learn more about all that in case you’re new to the concept.
Let’s Pretend You’re Not New to the Idea.
Let’s say you’re familiar with DPC. You’ve heard about it on the news, listened to a keynote speaker talk about it’s advantages, and maybe even know of someone who’s opened their own practice. Awesome.
Now lets take it one step further and say you’ve actually considered going down this path yourself. Maybe it’s just been a private thought. Maybe a fleeting moment of wondering. Or maybe you’re a little further down the road. Maybe you’ve talked to your spouse about it. Have scratch notes of a business plan, or sketches of your practice’s logo.
What’s stopping you?
Why haven’t you said it out loud? Why do you stop yourself every time you think of mentioning it to your spouse? Why did you throw away those napkin business plan notes? Why haven’t you taken the next step and indulged the dream of what your life would look like from a Direct Care point of view? There are a bunch of answers you might give here. Maybe it’s your financial situation. Maybe it’s all the contracts you’re in that you can’t get out of. Maybe you think the market is saturated. Maybe you’re just plain scared to do it on your own.
In part two of this series, we’re going to clear that debris. Your reasons for not pursuing Direct Care will become mere excuses. No more excuses. It’s time to break down the wall that’s preventing you from seeing how successful you can be with Direct Care. If you still choose not to chase the Direct Care dream after this, you’re only reason will be, “I don’t wanna.” And that’s fine. We think you’re a little bonkers, but it’s fine.
Check back tomorrow. Until then, make a list of all the things preventing you from starting your own Direct Care practice. And get ready to cross them off.