Posted by: AtlasMD

April 28, 2017

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DPC Docs Aren’t Worried About Getting Paid for Desktop Medicine.

It’s all about the money, honey.

Not really, but this recent study from content.healthaffairs.org found out that physicians in a traditional healthcare environments spend about the same amount of time face-to-face with patients as they do providing desktop medicine – doing things like “communicating with patients through secure portals, responding to online requests for refills or advice, ordering and reviewing tests, and sending staff messages.” But they typically only get paid for office visits – because that’s what they can bill for.

“While working on progress notes could be considered pre- or post-service efforts, desktop medicine activities not linked to a face-to-face visit are not reimbursable under typical fee-for-service contractual and regulatory arrangements,” the [study] authors wrote. “Many of those activities — such as care coordination and responding to patients’ email — are of high value to the delivery system and to patients, so the staffing, scheduling and design of primary care practices should reflect this value.”

It’s getting harder and harder to get reimbursed for providing quality healthcare. Thanks a lot rules and regulations. Maybe that’s why docs feel pressured to squeeze an insane number of patients through their doors each day. So even if a doc spends the time to get the quality part right, she’s not getting paid for it. And one’s passion for his career and love of medicine can only go so far.

Direct Care Takes the Pressure Off of Getting Paid.

Those rules and regulations probably had good intentions, sure. But they’ve gotten so far out of hand and off track and wrapped up in themselves they wind up not making a whole lot of big picture sense. By eliminating all the third party nonsense that can cause such wonky-ness (if that’s not a word, it should be), Direct Care doctors have a solid payment structure already built into their business foundation. They don’t have to worry about what they’ll get reimbursed for. What insurance will cover, what billing code covers what. They deal directly with patients.

Plus. Time spent in the Atlas.md EMR can be as productive as time spent face-to-face with patients. In fact, depending on the patient’s needs it can even be more productive. When the doc can respond to text messages, emails, video chats, etc. directly from the EMR, they’re available for patients in the best way possible – on the patient’s terms.

There’s no pressure to spend a certain amount of time on one thing or another. There’s no mountain of paperwork looming at the end of the day. There’s no perpetual struggle to get paid based on what someone else thinks you’re worth.

There’s just you, and your patients. 100% of the time.

Posted by: AtlasMD

November 4, 2016

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These Prices are INSANE. #IAmDirectCare

There’s all kinds of talk about how much money Direct Care can save patients. You know, DPC practices who offer wholesale prices on meds, and pile on coupons on top of that. Oh, and that the cost of a monthly subscription is way less expensive than the cost of an insurance policy they may not even need. All true. All good. But have you ever seen the numbers? Like, really really looked?

Dr. Ciampi did the work using lab prices as a baseline. Called around, got some information, and laid it out. And may we just say. Whoa.

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Why Isn’t This a Bigger Deal?!

It’s just crazy when you look at the markup across the board. So why don’t numbers like this raise more eyebrows? We don’t know exactly, but we imagine it’s just what consumers have come to expect to pay. The problem feels so much bigger than they can handle, and maybe they feel like the fight isn’t theirs. Just think of all the third parties, and political motivations behind markups (do we need to remind you about the whole EpiPen thing?) But Direct Care is leading this fight in our own way. Because we look out for our patients at all costs – and that means drastically reducing their costs while providing excellent care. We don’t want to take down big pharma, stand up to big government, or face big anything else. What Direct Care does want, though, is to be the alternative that patients and doctors are searching for. That better way. That breath of fresh air. And with prices like this, who can object that we’re headed in the right direction?

What’s New in Atlas.md?

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A few new buttons go a long, long way in the latest feature release. Now you can do things like run a full report of earnings per doctor, export your inventory to CSV, and send shipping tracking information to your patients via email or SMS. We’d say the EMR just got a whole lot cooler, wouldn’t you?

Billing Report: View Charges by Type and Per Physician
Now when you’re pulling your monthly reports, you’ll have another helpful metric to analyze. The newest feature is the “Earnings per Doctor” report in Billing Reports, which does exactly what it says. This detailed report will break down each doctor in the clinic’s earnings into the following categories: subscriptions, labs, prescriptions, misc, shipping and total earnings. Just one more way to help you understand your clinic a little better. Read more about billing reports over here.

Inventory: Export to CSV Button
We know each clinic works differently, which is why we’re giving you more flexibility when it comes to managing your inventory. With this new Export to CSV feature, you can export your inventory as a CSV to be easily read by Excel or any other spreadsheet application. Here’s how. Read more

ACH Is Here and It’s Easier Than Ever To Accept Payments

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There’s a new way to accept payments through Atlas, and it’s going to make things even better for you and your patients. We’re excited to announce the launch of Atlas.md’s ACH acceptance.

Here’s the scoop. By now you know that you can accept credit and debit payments. And that’s been great. But ACH is a way for you to accept payments directly from your customers’ bank accounts. If you remember, back in November, we lowered your transaction payments from 2.5% to 2.1%, but this new addition makes it even cheaper to accept payments from your patients.

The cool thing about ACH (besides the convenience) is that the charge per transaction is only going to be 25¢, which is less than the current 2.1% + 30¢ per transaction for credit/debit card payments. While it does take about 7 days for your patients’ funds to go through, this can add a bit more flexibility to your payment acceptance options.

Accept Multiple Types of Payment

ACH acceptance is a win-win: it lets your patients send money directly from their bank, so they have less to worry about, and it allows your clinic to accept payments without paying high transaction fees. And it’s a win-win that includes no learning curve.

To accept ACH payments, just follow some simple instructions:

  • Go to the patient billing page, and then add a new bank account.
  • Enter your patient’s name, account number, and routing number.
  • You’ll receive a confirmation message that the bank account has been added and needs to be verified.
  • The customer will get an email with details about the process and a link that they can use to complete the verification.

That’s it! Go ahead and get set up with ACH today or read some more specifics about how ACH works here.

ACH Is Coming to the Atlas.md EMR!

To everyone who has asked (or silently wondered) if we can do direct withdraw through the EMR using a credit or debit card, we have great news! We’ve been accepted into our payment processor’s private beta for ACH, which means the real thing is right around the corner. We’re already working on integration logistics; before you know it you’ll have additional options to make your patients’ lives more convenient. We’ve only just begun development but we’ll let you know when a firm launch date evolves.

Here are some resources that talk a little more about what ACH entails:

What if Restaurants, like Hospitals, Refused to Share Their Prices?

Remember that post about what would happen if restaurants billed like hospitals? Well, in another similar yet oh-so-different comparison, we see what happens when the billing process is stuck under the table like gum. In “What if Restaurants, like Hospitals, Refused to Share Their Prices?” by KQED, we learn that Americans hold a serious grudge against the hospital billing process. There’s seemingly no better way to express our frustration than putting our angst side by side with something we love – food.

It all started with this analogy shared on Twitter:

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Christina Farr, the author of the post (and this article) said she was “floored by the volume and breadth of responses, which ranged from laugh-out-loud funny to downright depressing.” At the end of the day, though, it lights a fire under our… well, you know, to tell more people about DPC. Because as incredible as it sounds, DPC docs (and patients!) don’t have to worry about wonky billing practices, misleading costs, networks, or any other billing shenanigans for that matter. 

Billing with DPC is structured just like the rest of of the model – it’s based on an open patient-doctor relationship built on trust. Patients know what they’re being charged before they’re charged. Not only is it a totally transparent process, but it’s reliable and consistent.

We’re not ones to walk away from a problem, but this is one issue we’re thrilled to sidestep in lieu of something better.