Posted by: Atlas MD

March 16, 2022

Leave a comment

Help Employer Groups Put Employees First With Atlas Consult

It’s no secret that employers can save enormous amounts of money by shifting their employee healthcare away from the fee-for-service model and towards direct primary care.

Since traditional providers get paid for every patient they see, it’s in their financial interest to manage chronic conditions rather than curing them. Not to mention that when they do see patients, the appointments are rushed, with symptom management being the primary concern rather than diagnosing the root cause of a condition.

In fact, primary care doctors actually avoid addressing root causes and often refer patients to specialists to protect them from liability claims.

These specialists, it goes without saying, are prohibitively expensive, all of which funnels back into a company’s bottom line, driving up healthcare costs and driving down profits.

But what if there was a system that allows an employer to get the best of both worlds for their employees? Preventative, direct primary care with a physician, and affordable access to specialists when they require an outside consultation?

Save more with Consult

That was exactly our thought when we built Atlas Consult. We wanted to create a way for doctors to consult specialists whenever they need a second opinion about a diagnosis that requires expert advice – but without the exorbitant price tag.

Deployed at scale, the increased savings for employer groups, over and above the savings from switching to DPC, are huge. It means that employers can keep their workforces healthy at a fraction of the cost of traditional healthcare and that employees have access to specialist medicine and healthcare when they need it – prioritizing prevention, rather than intervention.

The best part about Consult is that it’s a continually expanding database that gets more powerful with each new specialist that enrolls. It’s constantly growing, meaning that access to specialist knowledge increases every day.

It’s beneficial for all parties involved – doctors who want a second opinion, specialists who get paid for remote consultations, patients who receive better care and better outcomes, and employers who save massively while putting the health of their employees first.

Posted by: AtlasMD

August 15, 2018

Leave a comment

The Smallest Improvement Will Make the Biggest Difference in Your DPC Practice.

Doctor in white coat and stethescope around neck waving with one handImprovements don’t have to be big to be earth shattering.

Your value proposition as a DPC provider is the equivalent of a very long list by this point. There is no shortage of options to pick from when it comes to improving on a traditional healthcare environment. But for the sake of argument, let’s pick the moment your patients sashay through your door. What happens then?

Your waiting room doesn’t even resemble that of a traditional setting, true. But your patients’ experience isn’t determined purely by aesthetics. It’s in the personality. That’s right. Human contact.

And here’s the thing. A little goes a long way. A very, very long way. Eye contact. A simple greeting. A how’s your day going (don’t forget to listen to the answer). A little guidance on what’s going to happen next. They may seem like obvious things to you, but when a patient comes into your clinic they probably don’t know what to expect. Comfort, yes, but kindness and attentiveness, too? Whoa. Empathy is the name of the game.

Even though you’ve lived and breathed DPC for a while now, your new patients might take a little convincing that things really are as good as they seem. So while your waiting room may have all the amenities like iPads, k-cup coffee makers, a fresh scent and the absence of another human soul with whom to make awkward eye contact, don’t forget that they’re not used to this. The first impression you make goes beyond the comfort of your waiting room and straight into human interaction.

So pay attention to the small things, like a friendly smile. We bet you’ll get one in return. And then? Let the patient-doctor relationship really commence.

Posted by: Atlas MD

February 12, 2018

Leave a comment

Educating the Next Generation: Inviting Med Students and Residents into Your DPC Practice.

When DPC first introduced itself to healthcare, there was a lot of patient education involved. Nobody knew what it was, how it worked, if they could even trust it.

Things have changed quite a bit since 2010, haven’t they?

There are Direct Care practices opening up every day across the country – each serving their community in a unique, personal, transparent way.

Sure, in the grand scheme of things there’s still a long way to go, but Direct Care is finding its way into the homes and hearts of millions of Americans. Which means our duty as practicing DPC providers is not only to our patients, but to the next generation of providers as well. There are any given number of traditional healthcare environments a med student or resident can walk into and get a glimpse of. We need to make sure we open our doors to them as well. But we have to take it a step further. Read more

Posted by: AtlasMD

September 5, 2017

Leave a comment

Go Ahead, Treat Your Patients Slowly.

Treat Patients SlowlyWe humans can’t help but shove as much as possible into one minute. One hour. One day. We’re rewarded for doing it, too. Society says that the more you check off your list, the more productive you are. And by default, then, the more productive you are, the more successful you are. So, we rush. We search for ways to skip steps and still get the same result. We fill downtime with more stuff in the name of said productivity.

We load up our arms with more grocery bags than we can carry because we simply refuse to waste time making two trips.

We pull out our phones at red lights so we can jump on the email that came through five seconds ago. Or check Facebook…

We give patients seven minutes of our time. And we spend four of those thinking about what’s waiting for us in the next exam room.

Where has that gotten us? Actually, it’s making us sick. Read more

Posted by: Atlas MD

August 31, 2017

Leave a comment

Marketing Your DPC Practice – How Everyone Else Does it.

Marketing Your DPC PracticeThe best marketing strategy is a good business model. It’s a value proposition. Think about it this way: it’s really easy to sell a great product, and it’s really difficult to sell a not-so-great product. Start from the beginning! DPC’s high-value proposition often looks like this: unlimited visits, no copay, free procedures, wholesale meds and labs, up to 95% off and cheaper insurance – that is a huge value proposition that you can sell – no matter what you do, your patients are going to be happier. You’ll find more foundational tips on marketing your DPC practice over in the marketing course of the DPC Curriculum.

You’re Better at This Than You Think. Honestly.

Even though the idea of telling the world all about the great things you have to offer might make your stomach churn, rest assured you already have the skills needed to sell and market your practice. (We wrote all about that over here.) Marketing and sales is largely about having a conversation. Talking to people and answering their questions. You already have the answers, and with knowledge comes confidence.

It’s Time to Walk the Walk.

So once you have that foundation laid, you can do some external marketing. That all sounds good in theory, right? If you’re curious about what that actually means, here are some ideas on places to start networking right in your own community. Read more

Posted by: AtlasMD

May 8, 2017

Leave a comment

Practice From a Place of Joy.

If you look back on your time as a healthcare professional, can you pinpoint your most inspired moments? The times when you were on fire? You know, like that time you came up with a super unconventional treatment plan that worked really well. Or when you figured out how to get alternative treatment for a patient who seriously needed help but couldn’t swing it because of insurance restrictions. Or how about that time you listened to the nagging in the back of your mind, “randomly” called your patient to check in and learned they were in the middle of a medical crisis? You really saved the day that time.

Chances are you’ll recognize a common thread in all those moments of greatness. You were practicing from a place of joy. You loved your job. You were personally invested in your patients. You thought about work even when you weren’t at the office – and not in a bad way. You did what you did because it’s what you do and who you are. Your best work, your most thoughtful treatment plans, your most careful attention to detail, and your most inspired methods of communication come when you’re happy. 

What if you’re not practicing from a place of joy?

If you’re not there, if that’s not you, you’re missing out on all the good stuff. Seriously – healthcare is exhausting, challenging and rewarding all in the same five minutes, which makes for one hell of an emotional rollercoaster. But the joy. The joy makes it all worth it. It’s the why behind what you do. Or at least it should be. If it’s not, though, all is not lost so don’t worry. You can get there. There’s a way out. You can make changes in the way you practice medicine that relieve pressure, ease tension, and actually give you something to look forward to. Just ask the traditional family doc who loved seeing patients during the day but absolutely dreaded the mountain of paperwork waiting for him after the last one went home. He transitioned to Direct Care and put all that paper right through the shredder. Or you could ask the PA who was stressed from the very beginning of her morning because her first patient ran late and she knew the rest of the day would continue to spiral out of control. She opened a Direct Care practice and now gets to spend at least 30 minutes with each patient. Thirty. Minutes.

Oh, don’t forget to ask the veteran physician who had no desire to even practice anymore because of all the insurance rules and regulations (not to mention he’s tired of keeping up with billing codes). Instead of retiring, he chose DPC. Now he works when he wants to work, with patients he truly connects with, and deals directly with them instead of a mess of third party interferers.

Strive for joy. You owe it to yourself.

You were called to this profession. You may think you chose healthcare, but the really is that it chose you. You were meant for it, and you have a responsibility to do your very best work. You have an obligation to your patients to show them what genuine, personalized healthcare looks like. So strive for the joy that inspires your greatness. Do what you have to do to give your patients real value. If that means adjusting your hours to make sure you have time for you outside the office, do it. If it means getting into the office early to do extra research on the diagnosis you saw yesterday, do it. If it means reading that novel you’ve convinced yourself you don’t have time for, just do it. When you’re happy and you know it, your patients will, too. (Yeah, go ahead. Clap your hands…)

DPC paves the way for joy.

Let’s pretend you’re in a traditional healthcare environment and you’re feeling…stuck. Frustrated. Irritated. Burnt out. Anything other than joyful. You may not have the flexibility to create joy yourself, but remember that “way out” from earlier? It’s Direct Care. Direct Primary Care is the path to joy. The path to running your practice the way you’ve always wanted to. The paved road leading straight to healthy doctor-patient relationships.

When the surefire way to cut bureaucratic red tape and practice medicine from a place of joy invites you over for dinner, you accept. It’s just that simple. (Psst. DPC is sending you an invitation right now!!!)

So have you recalled the last time you were really, really great at practicing medicine? Maybe it was yesterday and fresh in your mind. Or maybe it was so long ago you barely remember how intense that kind of rush feels. Either way, we hope you crave more of it.

Posted by: AtlasMD

October 19, 2016

1 Comment

Quality of Care vs Third Parties.

Quality of Care Third parties are supposed to be helpful. But when they’re not, the result can be incredibly detrimental.

This study from The Physician’s Foundation threw out a number, associated that number with docs who felt third party elements actually took away from their ability to provide quality patient care, and that number is quite staggering.

About two-thirds (72%) said third-party intrusions detract from the quality of care.

Without generalizing too much, it’s saying that pretty much everyone agrees with the whole “direct is better” concept. Think of it this way. On some level, we all want to pour a foundation for the next generation to build upon. To leave footprints in which others may follow, right? In the epic battle between quality of care and third parties, third parties are winning. So sad. But it gets worse. This study also says nearly half of physicians polled wouldn’t even recommend this profession to their own kids. Dang.

“Enough!” Says Direct Care.

Enough with the depressing stats. Enough shattered expectations. Enough putting up with a system that breaks doctors. The story Direct Care tells is different. It’s one of hope. Passion. Freedom. Direct Care puts its foot down, and cuts out the middle man. You know, outside stuff that gets in the way of you doing your job. Direct Care essentially acts as a bulldozer for all those things. What traditional healthcare says is vital and can’t be worked around, Direct Care says isn’t more important than patient care. Forget about all the stuff that trips you up and leaves you wishing you had another 15 minutes to spend in the exam room. Or cursing at a mountain of paperwork every evening. Wait, wait. Shhh. Listen.

Can you hear them? That 72% who just heard that they don’t have to deal with third party anything if they don’t want to? They’re popping corks and throwing up confetti. They’re celebrating. Oh, we know how they feel. It’s amazing to know there’s a better way. To know that the alternative to your broken dreams are new dreams you never even imagined before. Not only helping patients on your time and their time at the same time (wrap your head around that one…) but not having to jump through hoops to do it.

Practice Direct Care. It’s the solution to third party madness, and it just might be the ticket to preserving a healthcare industry the next generation actually wants to be a part of.

Posted by: AtlasMD

August 29, 2016

Leave a comment

How Direct Care Challenges the System: EpiPen Alternatives

According to Business Insider, the EpiPen pricing-surge scandal brings out the worst parts of our government and healthcare system.

Challenge accepted.

People everywhere are stressed out about this $600 EpiPen fiasco, but Direct Care isn’t getting caught up in the drama. Instead, DPC docs will happily offer their patients a cost-effective alternative like this prefilled syringe case – for 18 bucks. Turns out that when you look beyond the deep pockets and greedy politics of it all, there actually is another way.

So, rather than moan and groan about the inefficiencies of traditional healthcare, why not do something about it? This is another chance for the Direct Care movement to prove what it can do without all that red tape. We can continue to go above and beyond to make healthcare effective and affordable. Because we love our jobs. And our patients.

Even though government may be trying to help by passing laws that encourage schools to stock epinephrine in order to receive certain grants, things are never that simple when there are so many moving parts. Hence, the resulting increase in demand is one of the many things that lead to a dramatic increase in price.

Sigh.

Well, once again, thank goodness for Direct Care. Where we’re always searching for a better way. And we won’t stop until we’ve found it. In fact, the docs at Atlas are working with Wichita State University’s Innovation department to develop a product similar to the prefilled syringe case mentioned above that’s an even better fit for EpiPen syringes. See what freedom can do?

Posted by: AtlasMD

July 14, 2016

Leave a comment

Consistently Delivering the “Different”

ConsistentlyDeliveringTheDifferent01

“The road to success isn’t productivity, it’s differentiation.” – Tony Crabbe

That statement is invaluably true – especially for DPC professionals. Your patients aren’t coming to you because you’re the same as everybody else. In fact, they’ve chosen you for the exact opposite reason. You’re gloriously different. The other guys force patients into the mold they’ve created – restrained by long waits, life-sucking insurance battles, and reduction to nothing more than a chart to be shuffled in and out the door as fast as possible.

But you, you’re different. You have something completely unique to offer. You understand the value of putting a patient’s healthcare back in their hands. You put emphasis on actual quality healthcare instead of getting all tangled up in quality metrics. But you already know why you’re doing what you do. So how can you continue to delivery the different? Let’s look at a few ideas.

Communicate Consistently.

There’s something to be said for giving your patients freedom and space, but they want and need to hear from you. Sometimes that can be your office, but other times it needs to be from you. An email, a phone call, a text, and even a video chat. The sort of personal communication that says over and over again how much you truly care. That you’ll go above and beyond for them. That they can rely on you to have their best interest at heart. This kind of communication isn’t always easy, but it’s different from what they’re used to, and it will set their expectations very high. Which is exactly what you want. Read more

Posted by: AtlasMD

June 17, 2016

Leave a comment

How to be the Best Problem Solver Your Patients Have Ever Worked With.

ImageForProblemSolving01

As a DPC provider, you wear a lot of hats. You’re the doc, sure. But sometimes you’re also the nurse, pharma, scheduler, accountant, and cleaning person. All important. All over the board. So what’s the single most important thing you do? Solve your patients’ problems. It’s probably easier than you think.

How to be the Best Problem Solver Your Patients Have Ever Worked With.

Patients come see you for all sorts of things. Just when you think you’ve heard it all, you’re totally perplexed by the reason one of your patients sits in your exam room. It’s commentary you thought only existed on that Reddit thread about what should be considered medical common knowledge. (You’re searching for it now, aren’t you?)

You are, by trade, a problem solver. Honestly, when was the last time you got an email from your patient saying, “Hey doc! I feel amazing. Have some time today to chat about it?” Your patients have a lot going on in their lives, and they rely on you to be their problem solver. They rely on you to confirm their sneaking suspicion (ahem, Google) is right and their child’s skin condition is, in fact, eczema (and treatable!). Alternatively, they lean on you to advise them to stay far, far away from the internet because one minor headache doesn’t mean brain aneurism.

Okay, in all seriousness (and because we feel a little guilty for laughing at the expense of our patients!), in a world where people are drug through the mud to attain and maintain their health, you have to be their voice of reason – and that means doing one thing very, very well.

Listening.

It’s that simple. And it’s the single most important thing you can do to be the best problem solver your patients have ever worked with. They might be distressed about their condition. They might be worried about an impending diagnosis. They might be unaware a problem even exists. They might be in pain, literally. They might be confused about their symptoms. Problems come in all shapes and sizes, but no matter how they’re feeling about their health, the important thing is to get them talking so you can listen very carefully. Because the answer to your patients’ problem lies right there in between the complaint and side note anecdote of what they did last weekend.

Hopefully you’re not rushing through your day as a DPC doc (your business model is set up to give you the gift of time, after all). But if you happen to be feeling the burden of wearing all those hats at the moment, stop for a minute and remember the only thing you have to do to keep patients coming through the door is… listen. Your incredibly well-trained and compassionate mind will take over from there. Problem, solved.