Posted by: AtlasMD

January 16, 2017

Leave a comment

Hey DPC Docs! You’re Better at Sales Than You Think.

You went to med school. You speak medicine. You speak healing, healthcare and patient happiness. So if the idea of sales and selling makes you want to go jump off a cliff… yeah, we get it.

If you’re thinking about transitioning to Direct Care, or even starting fresh with Direct Care, there are two things you need to do. The first thing is call us, because we offer free practice management consulting services. Yep, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about making the transition, opening the doors of your practice, and managing it once you have patients coming through those doors. Seriously, call us. It’s free. As in, doesn’t cost you anything.

Now that we’ve shamelessly plugged our FREE consulting services, what about that other thing you need to do? You gotta wrap your head around the fact that you have business management in your future. And yes, that includes sales. If you’re still standing on the edge of the cliff, we’d like to invite you to chill out and take a step back. Sales in Direct Care looks different than it does in other industries, so throw out that used-car salesman image you have in your head. Get this: you don’t have to break down doors, beg people to become patients, or even convince anyone of anything. Direct Care has already done the heavy lifting by providing a platform to give people something they value. Your role in the whole thing is to just spread the word about it. Which you’re already doing, because it’s something you care about, so you’re naturally going to talk about it. See? That’s not so bad. Care to take another step back from the ledge now? There we go.

You Already Have the Tools You Need to Sell.

Have you ever heard the phrase “a truly great product sells itself?” That applies here, too. All you’re doing is educating people about the features and, more importantly, the benefits of Direct Care. You’re talking about your job. You’re exposing them to a better way – one that will benefit them from a bunch of different angles. Read more

Posted by: Atlas MD

January 29, 2016

Leave a comment

Download Our Direct Primary Care Survey

DPC Survey

There’s nothing that gets us as excited as sharing, and since we just launched our helpful Direct Primary Care survey, we thought you might be interested in incorporating it in your own practice. The Direct Primary Care survey will help you understand your soon-to-be patients by gauging their interest in a DPC.

If you’ve been meaning to find new avenues in which to market and focus your attention, we think you’ll like our survey. It will help you identify any issues that potential patients have with their current providers, and you’ll be able to see how you can help eliminate and improve their situation with DPC.

Uncover valuable patient data with our DPC survey. You’ll find out the following info: 

  • Whether potential patients were able to meet their previous year’s healthcare premium.
  • Whether potential patients are interested in lowering their health insurance premiums.
  • Whether potential patients are interested in having a $0 copay.
  • Whether potential patients have knowledge of other plans and opportunities available to them.

If you’re hoping to expand your practice, you can circulate this survey in your community, via Facebook and social media, via email, or at community centers. Gathering data on potential patients will help you understand the need for DPC practices in your community, of course, but it will also help generate interest in a DPC in your community.

Your Direct Primary Care practice relies on your ability to find and help new customers, and we think you’ll find this survey to be a great resource. Download our survey to start exploring your future customers’ needs. Download the Direct Primary Care Survey and start helping new patients today.>  Want more ways to generate interest for your DPC? Check out our DPC Curriculum to see what else you can do to reach new and current customers.

Three Ways Your Direct Care Practice Can Tell A Better Story. Part One: What You Do Matters.

1-WhatYouDoMattersAs a Direct Care practitioner, you’re doing so much more than practicing medicine. You’re telling one of the most important stories our country, and perhaps the world, needs to hear today. You’re telling the story of happiness. Of freedom. Of satisfaction. Of care. 

Your story paints a picture for healthcare patients. This picture isn’t abstract nor is it intangible. It’s vivid with color, the depth of its honesty and transparency reaching into their souls and telling them that better is possible.

In this three-part series, we’ll dig deep into some ways you can step outside your medical mindset and tell your patients a more engaging story. In return, they’ll keep coming back and sing your praises to

What you do matters.

Every interaction you have with your patients tells the story of what healthcare should look like. In it’s simplest form, this step is just about taking advantage of the foundation Direct Care was built on. It’s sticking to your word and putting your patients first in the following ways:

If you offer same day scheduling, make it happen.
Remember, your patients are probably used to waiting three weeks for an appointment, spending an hour in the waiting room, and then being shuffled right back out the door 10 minutes later. You can show them they don’t have to put up with that nonsense for another minute.

Respond in a timely fashion.
You’ve chosen to keep a limited patient count in order to make time for everyone. So since you don’t have back to back to back appointments scheduled 15 minutes apart, you likely have some form of downtime throughout your day. Use it to keep on top of patient correspondence. You might have six patients to deal with in one day, but they’re only concerned with one doctor… they want to know they’re just as important to you as you are to them. A simple response can go a long way to prove that.

Staff your office appropriately.
You don’t need a whole crew of people to man your DPC practice. You might be the only physician in it! But if you’re behind closed doors with a patient, who’s manning the front desk? The phones? Read more

Misinterpretation Gone Wild. The HIPAA Edition.

Misinterpretation Gone Wild. The HIPAA Edition.

We cannot breathe a sigh of relief deep enough to adequately express how glad we are to be cutting the red tape that surrounds traditional healthcare. More specifically, HIPAA. Its rules and regulations are so convoluted that people don’t know which way is up… and that leads to interrupting a private conversation in a hospital cafe reprimanding the wife of a dying cancer patient for speaking publicly about a patient. Baffled yet? Yup, so were we.

An article posted recently on the NY Times gave several instances where HIPAA was misunderstood, and the consequences could have been dire. Take Ericka Gray’s story, for example:

In 2012, Ericka Gray repeatedly phoned the emergency room at York Hospital in York, Pa., where her 85-year-old mother had gone after days of back pain, to alert the staff to her medical history. “They refused to take the information, citing Hipaa,” said Ms. Gray, who was in Chicago on a business trip.

“I’m not trying to get any information. I’m trying to give you information,” Ms. Gray told them, adding that because her mother’s memory was impaired, she couldn’t supply the crucial facts, like medication allergies.

By the time Ms. Gray found a nurse willing to listen, hours later, her mother had already been prescribed a drug she was allergic to. Fortunately, the staff hadn’t administered it yet.

Now, we get what HIPAA is trying to do: keep personal health information private. And that’s a noble gesture. But there are so many hoops to jump through just to get it right that there ends up being more ways to get it wrong. In the DPC world, we love communicating with our patients how they prefer. Read more

Announcing the Atlas Direct Care Curriculum!

LaunchMaterials

Announcing the Launch of a Tool that Teaches Everything about DPC.

We’re big believers in doing things the right way, which is why we’ve put together a comprehensive curriculum teaching about Direct Care. And since we don’t think you should have to pay for doing your homework, we’re offering the curriculum completely free of charge – just like our consulting services!

Okay, so let’s dive in. What’s this curriculum all about anyway? It covers all the most important aspects anyone considering DPC would wonder about:

• What is Direct Care?
• What Does it Mean to Cut Out the Middleman?
• Is Direct Care Right for You?
• How Much Will it Cost to Start a DPC Practice?
• What Technology Will I Need to Run a Smooth Practice?
• The Ins and Outs of Insurance in the Direct Care Model.
• Charging and Billing for Direct Care Services.
• Running an In-House Pharmacy.
• Making the Transition: How to Approach Patients About Your Decision to Switch to DPC.
• Marketing Your Direct Care Practice.
• Creating Value for Your Patients.
• Staffing Your Direct Care Clinic.

Additional Resources Galore.

Each lesson features additional resource links so you can continue your education if you so choose. Plus, we’re including our starter packet, stuffed full of templates and real life examples you can actually put to use in your Direct Care practice. We’re talking things like price comparison, Medicare agreements, conversion letters to patients, labs pricing spreadsheets and more.

Who Do You Know?

So, who do you know who might be interested in Direct Care? This curriculum covers multiple angles, including someone starting their practice right out the residency gate and someone transitioning from a long career in traditional healthcare. Send them to the curriculum where they can learn everything there is to know about Direct Care – at your own pace. All the information is available online, or you can have lessons delivered weekly to your inbox.

Less Talk. More Action!

Alright, now that you know the curriculum exists it’s time to check it out. Delve into it yourself, or pass it on to a colleague you think would benefit from Direct Care. Go, go, go!

Visit the Atlas Direct Care Curriculum. >

Be Poised to Scale Gracefully.

ScalingWithGrace

We want you to start your Direct Care practice the right way — without cutting corners or having to sacrifice quality because you think you can’t afford it. It’s why we do the things we do. You know, like offering all our consulting services absolutely free. Or traveling the country to help spread the word about DPC nationwide. Things like offering an EMR specifically built for Direct Care clinics that will do more than just meet intrinsic startup needs.

Let’s pause there for a second – that’s a really good point. When you’re starting off, you might only be thinking in terms of the near future. And that’s fine for the most part. But you’d do yourself well to expect expansion. And when you use the Atlas.md EMR, you’re making a smart short-term decision, but you’re also planning for long-term growth.

This EMR is unique because it fits a small clinic with just a few practitioners running the show. But as you grow (from two docs, to four docs with two nurses, to a second, third, tenth location, etc.) the Atlas.md EMR will scale accordingly. Let’s take a look at how that’s possible.

Calendars

Your calendar view can display just your appointments, the appointments for the entire practice, or any combination of the two. This flexibility gives you complete control over what happens within your practice walls.

Task Assignment

The ability to assign tasks to others makes it possible to communicate cross platform, cross patient, or even cross location. Task assignment coupled with notification reminders ensures you’re not letting anything slip through the cracks. Your team will actually operate as seamlessly as they appear.

Billing Reports

The billing reports you can pull for your practice break things down so simply for an accountant that it wouldn’t matter how many providers are contributing. The reports show the patient’s MRN or company name (for privacy), the amount of the payment made, processing status, the type of payment and the date. You can also filter to show a specific timeframe, and export to a CSV file anytime you need. We’ve thought ahead for you!

Read more

Direct Care is a Slow Tsunami.

Overwhelming. Unstoppable. Enveloping.
Direct Care is taking the nation by storm, but unlike a tsunami, it’s not of the destructive variety. Rather than water, the country is being steadily blanketed with a refreshing alternative to traditional family medicine. As it slowly (but oh, so surely) spreads from town to town, city to city, more and more people realize how much they truly benefit from the patient-centric healthcare model.

Docs are getting excited, too. Every time they hear from a happy patient they wonder why it took them so long to transition in the first place. But even better, all the great feedback they’re hearing just validates they’ve done the right thing – not only for their patients but for themselves as well. Their quality of life skyrockets and their passion for medicine reignites. Once they’ve transitioned, it’s hard to look back at their old lives and remember how negatively they felt way back when.

Dr. Catherine Krouse has gone Direct Care precisely because of the difficulty of that old life. “You just end up getting drained and drained and drained. And then when your cup is completely empty, then you just get guarded and angry. And then you put up walls, and that really creates barriers.” Read her full story here and learn about the newest Direct Care practice in Falmouth, Maine called Lotus Family Practice.

 So as this #slowtsunami continues to commence with many more stories just like Catherine’s, the Direct Care community expands with confidence and the staying power to make patients and physicians happy for the long haul. 

Direct Primary Care Awareness Happens in December!

Have you heard? Direct Primary Care Awareness now has its own official month, and what better time of year than when we’re already buzzing with love for, well, everything? Bring it on, December!

So, what does that mean for your clinic? It means you get to continue doing what you’ve been doing all year – promoting DPC to everyone you meet on the street, in the grocery store checkout line, and at the car wash. Okay, the car wash might be a bit of a stretch, but you catch the drift. Because Direct Care Awareness now has a month associated with it, that makes it the perfect time to hold community events and staff activities. You still have some time to plan these events and we’ll remind you when it’s not quite so hot outside but it’s never too late to start brainstorming how you can make more of an impact on those around you. The DPC Journal has some ideas to kickstart your creativity.

Here’s something to remind your patients about… 

The holidays tend to be absolutely insane. For patients, getting in to see the doc during those busy months can be nearly impossible in a traditional healthcare environment. A trip to the ER could set them back precious shopping hours, not to mention thousands of dollars. Thank goodness there’s an alternative! With many DPC physicians offering 24/7 availability, house calls and the ability to handle most “ER” type visits right in their own clinic (at no extra cost!!!), your patients can check “the possibility of needing to see the doc” right off their list of things to stress about. Make the decision to switch to Direct Care easy for them by presenting sanity during a time when sanity can usually be found flying right out the window.

What Matters More Than Features?

You can boast about features till you turn blue in the face. And you’ll probably get conversions from it. It’s important to tell your patients what you offer, but that’s not what they really want.

Truth be told, they want the same thing you do. They want the Direct Care lifestyle.

Sure, they like that you’re available 24/7, but what they really care about is that you’ll answer their text at 2 a.m. when their baby spikes a high fever. They like extended appointments, but they truly value being heard. They appreciate wholesale medication prices, but they tell their friends how their doc just keeps on trying to save them money.

So tell your patients about the features you offer. But sell them on the benefits. Luckily for Direct Care docs, backing up feature claims is built right into the business model. When you and your patient act as a team, your vision for your practice can really come to life.

We Should Aim for “Crazy and Oldschool”

If being crazy means we know our patients backwards and forwards, show up at the hospital when they’re admitted, and help fill in the blanks of their medical history when our patient is unable, then sign us up.

If being old school means our doctor-patient relationships are rock solid, cradled in trust, and wrapped in endless care, then we’re on board.

Like the experience in this story told by Dr. Dhand over at KevinMD, we’re totally up for letting DPC take us back to basics.

A couple of weeks ago I was on-call and had to go down to the emergency room to see a patient. Before I entered the room, I was told that the patient was accompanied by her long-time physician who was a bit “crazy and old school.”

“Hmm … that’s strange … why would her physician be in the room with her?” I thought to myself. When I went in to introduce myself, sure enough sat next to her was an elderly physician probably in his late 70s or early 80s. After he greeted me with a warm and friendly handshake, he told me that he had practiced medicine in the local area for the last several decades. I still continued to wonder exactly what he was doing there, and this thought persisted for the next few minutes.

However, as I got further into the interview, I quickly realized just why he was sitting by his patient’s side. This doctor had cared for the patient for at least the last 30 years, was in the process of winding down his practice, but felt compelled to come and visit his patient (with no financial incentive to do so) as soon as he heard she was being admitted to the hospital. The patient — elderly herself and hard of hearing — wasn’t able to give me a complete history. But that was OK, because her doctor knew her inside out. Every little detail.

Read the full story over here and after you do, a little personal reflection of your own might be just what the doctor ordered.