The Truth in Numbers. It’s a DPC Thing.

The Truth in Numbers. It’s a DPC Thing.

We talk a lot about the services Direct Care practices offer. We also talk a lot about how DPC docs have the time and resources to put their patients first. And then there’s the ever present mantra of how DPC cuts out the middle man, taking healthcare back to two key embodiments: quality and simplicity.

That’s all well and good, but it’s time we talked more about the numbers. They don’t get nearly enough attention, and they’re starting to feel left out. And they definitely deserve it.

Dr. Josh of Atlas MD recently talked to the Vermont Watchdog about some of the savings his clinic is able to pass along to their patients:

“I just stitched up a kid, one of our patients, who fell at the ice rink and needed six stitches in the chin. That could be $2,000 in an emergency room or $500 at an urgent care center. But I can do it for free.”

Beyond that, though, there are savings around nearly every corner.

“MRIs cost about 80 percent less than what hospitals charge. Blood tests costs $3, not the hundreds of dollars charged in the hospital system. Migraine medicines that cost more than $100 per month at a pharmacy cost just $6 at Atlas MD.”

The savings extend to companies, too. Dr. Josh explains:

“We have an employer with 17 employees in a local company. In 2013, they paid $98,000 for their health insurance. By the end of 2014, they were paying $48,000 because of how we helped restructure their plan in combination with us.”

Of course Atlas MD isn’t the only clinic who can offer these types of savings – it’s a DPC thing. Dr. Ryan Neuhofel of Neucare gives an example of the savings his Direct Care practice can offer in the way of affordability.

“I also recently managed a forearm fracture in an uninsured patient for a total cost of $45 ($10 for a splint, $25 for an X-ray, and $10 for cast a few days later).”

The savings are everywhere – even in prescription medications. We talked about that a while back, remember? Many Direct Care clinics have an in-house pharmacy which not only makes things incredibly convenient for the patient, but brings wholesale prices to the forefront. That’s right – prescription medications at wholesale prices. Oh, and if the DPC clinic can’t offer you the prescription in-house, they’ll probably send you out the door with a @GoodRx coupon for additional savings at the pharmacy.

They say there is strength in numbers. With Direct Primary Care, we also find the truth.

More Support For Subscription-Based Practices

Qliance and Atlas MD made an appearance on MainStreet, a financial blogging network. It’s worth noting that by cutting the red tape, we’ve made the “perks” of concierge medicine (24/7 access, same-day appointments, unlimited visits) affordable for a majority of Americans.

We’re glad to know they’re opining a rise in subscription-based primary care, too.

STREAM: Concierge Medicine vs. Direct Care

We found this podcast from KPCC in Southern California and thought it was worth sharing with you. But not for the usual reasons. This episode takes a critical look at concierge medicine, asking, “Is concierge medicine pushing the nation’s doctor shortage over the brink? As the practice gets more affordable, is this a way for the uninsured to still get care? Is direct a la carte pricing a better way to bill patients for medical care?”

Read more

17 Game-Changing Health Start-ups (And 5 Brought To You By Red Tape)

17 Game-Changing Health Start-ups (And 5 Brought To You By Red Tape)

Inc.com claims you can find everything you need to know to start and grow your business now. They published a slideshow of 17 promising healthcare startups and we noticed some trends: fitness is big, which makes sense. If we get more people moving, we get fewer people coming in for preventative care — heart attacks, obesity, Type-II diabetes. However, we also noticed how much inspiration for entrepreneurship stemmed from red tape.

Here are some slideshow highlights:

Read more

A Slice Of Direct Care In New York City

A Slice Of Direct Care In New York City

NY1, a 24-hour cable-news television channel focusing on the five boroughs of New York City, aired a segment covering Dr. Muney’s direct care practice in New York City. AMG Medical Group charges $89/month for unlimited free visits — opening abscesses, laceration sutures — and even arranges for insurers to pay for services. It’s a little different than what we’re doing, but a great example of splitting the difference. That’s because Dr. Muney advocates wrap-around insurance coverage like us. One of his patients is so pleased with the service that he admits he’d be willing to pay the Obamacare tax penalty if he chose to forego his current catastrophic healthcare plan.

VIEW DR. MUNEY’S SEGMENT ON NY1 (Via Physician Tools)

Great news: AMG Medical Group operate offices in all five boroughs and Long Island. The practice has ~1,500 patients currently enrolled.

John Green Breaks Down The Inefficiency Of American Healthcare Spending

UPWORTHY linked us to a fantastic video from John Green, astronomically prolific writer and thinker, who explains why healthcare is SO EXPENSIVE IN AMERICA. It’s seven-minutes long but he covers EVERYTHING. Did he mention the red tape? Of course he did. And he also mentioned a fundamental reason for Americans overpaying for EVERYTHING healthcare-related. It’s rooted our inability to negotiate the prices we pay. One thing he didn’t mention? Direct care. And to his point, we are a David up against a Goliath system. But before we turn to the government to negotiate for us, let’s consider the alternatives, doctors like us who can use our power to help patients get the care they need at a price they can afford.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, Who is Hank? Hank is John’s brother. They have amassed over 300 million views on their vlog brothers YouTube channel where they take turns explaining things to each other.

Click through for some helpful links John Green provided along with the original video… Read more

LINKS: Open Season on EMR Shortcomings

LINKS: Open Season on EMR Shortcomings

Dark Daily compiled a list of links that fire off some major EMR problems. Looks like too many messages and poor design is proving to be one step forward, two steps back for some doctors.

Read more

LINKS: Oh No, Everyone’s Worried About Doctor Shortages

First we came across an article in The Atlantic that discussed how doctor shortage could be the result of burnout caused by a lack of training in how to “deal with work pressures.” It was a stretch in our opinion, but we’re keeping an open mind. Unfortunately, we were not mentioned in the article as a force KEEPING doctors from retiring or getting out of practicing medicine altogether. Included within the article were some helpful links to leading publishers writing about doctor shortages. Thanks to the author Maureen Miller for directing us to this premium content.

Sunday Dialogue: Will Training More Doctors Improve Health Care? | The New York Times
One med student is one hundred percent behind insuring more Americans. Still, he asks, what’s the point if you can’t find a doctor. READ MORE

“How some states are addressing doctor shortages” | Yahoo News
An informative article comprised of blurbs about projected doctor requirements, current funding for programs, and other relevant info. It spans more than ten states including California, Delaware, Kansas, Kentucky, Ohio, The Dakotas and more. READ MORE

LINKS: Even With Meaningful Use, EHR Might Break The Bank

“Healthcare Observers Disagree on Cost-effectiveness of Electronic Health Record Systems” | Dark Daily
Along with the researchers at the University of Michigan, other experts have questioned EHR’s promise to deliver greater financial rewards. READ MORE

“If Practices Don’t Change, EHRs Lose Money” | Med Page Today
The average physician lost nearly $44,000 over 5 years implementing an electronic health record system, a large pilot study found, but the technology itself was just part of the reason. READ MORE

A Survey Analysis Suggests That Electronic Health Records Will Yield Revenue Gains for Some Practices and Losses for Many” | Health Affairs (abstract)
This Health Affairs abstract will require membership. However, the title alone should be cause for concern. READ MORE

“Health Insurers Spending Big Dollars to Be Players in ‘Big Data’; Trend has Implications for Clinical Pathology Laboratories” | Dark Daily
With healthcare reform not likely to increase their growth, health insurers are expanding into data management to find new ways to make money. READ MORE

“New Study Predicts that Majority Of Physician Practices Will Lose Money On Their EHR Systems” | Atlas Blog
It appears that government intervention, while useful in certain cases (for instance, monopolies), can impede the marketplace. In EMR’s case it encouraged mediocre products to be bought and sold, costing money and wasting time overall. READ MORE