Posted by: Atlas MD

May 6, 2024

Why Big Business Simply Can’t Cut It In Healthcare

Big healthcare is big business. And with a market cap topping $4.5 trillion, everyone wants a share of the profits. This is why the recent forays of retail giants like Amazon, CVS, and Walgreens in the healthcare sector aren’t surprising in the least.

While this might seem like a logical transition as big corporations find ways to expand, what’s not logical (at least at first glance) is that they… kind of suck at the whole healthcare thing.

To date, these retail giants have spent billions buying up primary care chains hoping to tap into the massive healthcare pie. But despite their colossal investments, each company has ended up with the same results — disappointment, unstaunched money hemorrhaging, and tsunamis of retrenchments.

With seemingly endless resources to tap into, why can’t these giants cut it when it comes to healthcare, especially when DPC clinics nationwide are continually lowering costs, increasing quality of care, and providing more access to patients everywhere?

Let’s find out.

The Big Business Approach

The clue to pinning down exactly why big businesses can’t hack healthcare lies in their approach.

Instead of starting from the ground up, connecting with communities, and building trust along the way, the corporate method is to acquire as many primary-care chains as possible and gain direct access to millions of patients. 

The numbers are pretty crazy. Amazon scooped up One Medical for $3.9 billion, CVS acquired Oak Street Health for $10.6 billion, and Walgreens sunk over $6 billion into VillageMD

These have been anything but smooth, and the plug-and-play approach proved that trying to enter the healthcare market without patient consideration is complex and costly.

The results speak for themselves:

The DPC Success Story

So if the big business approach of “buy now and integrate later” doesn’t work, what makes DPC so successful, especially with fewer resources, staff, and patients?

There are a few different things to consider:

  • Lower overheads. Without the need to process insurance claims, DPC clinics can operate with lower overhead costs. This allows them to invest more in patient care and pass savings on to their patients.
  • Focus on prevention. Because DPC physicians focus on preventive care, they reduce the need for specialist and hospital care, which leads to healthier patients and lower overall healthcare costs.
  • Simplicity. DPC eliminates the complexity of insurance billing by charging patients a flat monthly fee. This can significantly reduce overhead costs and the hassle for both providers and patients. It also makes healthcare costs predictable, which patients really value.
  • Flexibility. DPC clinics are smaller and more nimble than large corporations. This means they can quickly adopt new technologies and practices that improve care and efficiency way faster. This flexibility is a significant advantage over lumbering big business healthcare models.
  • Patient first. The DPC model emphasizes the patient-doctor relationship, one built on care, community, and trust, rather than just the bottom line.

Simply put, DPC offers a simpler, more patient-centric approach, designed to reduce costs at every step of the healthcare journey.

Big Healthcare Is Struggling. DPC Has Never Been Healthier.

The above stories highlight how the attempt to graft complex healthcare services onto existing commercial infrastructures misses a crucial piece of the puzzle — patient care.

While scale and profitability are necessary from a business perspective, they clash with the personalized nature of effective healthcare delivery.

On the other hand, Direct Primary Care exemplifies how healthcare can thrive when it is built from the ground up, focusing primarily on patient care rather than profit margins. 

By eliminating the middlemen and nurturing a relationship between patients and physicians, DPC shows what’s possible when healthcare sticks to its roots — providing quality, accessible, and affordable care with an uncomplicated, patient-focused approach.

Posted by: Atlas MD

January 26, 2024

How AI Is Liberating Doctors From Tedious Administration Work

There’s no question that the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) is in the process of revolutionizing healthcare. Whether it’s reading medical images, X-rays, and scans, making sense of huge amounts of data to help diagnoses, or creating treatment plans, the scope of what AI can do in a medical context is staggering.

While this pace of change can seem intimidating, it’s actually a game-changer for doctors seeking to focus on their true passion – delivering quality patient care.

This is the whole reason we built – to reduce tedious administrative tasks and free up more time for you to do what you love. 

AI is just another tool allowing us to do this. Whether it’s summarizing transcripts, creating SOAP notes, or using AI macros, our goal is to have you doing as little “work about work” so that you can spend as much time being a doctor as possible. 

In the day-to-day of running a medical practice, this means getting rid of tedious administrative tasks that would otherwise take hours to churn through.

The reverberation of this trend has been felt across all industries burdened by excessive administrative work – status updates, cross-departmental communication, and everything else that isn’t part of the core, professional raison d’etre. 

It makes sense that the deployment of AI would mean fewer humans doing this type of work  – and it’s already taking place.

Recently, ResumeBuilder surveyed 750 business leaders using AI and found that 37% of them said the technology had replaced at least some workers in 2023. 44% of them said that AI would be the cause of layoffs in 2024. 

For some, this might be a cause for alarm, but for others, it’s the necessary and inevitable streamlining of tasks that exist around actual work. 

How does this relate to your own work as a doctor?

Think about how your day-to-day used to look when you worked at a hospital. Endless forms, red tape, suffocating paperwork – the opportunity cost of this work (as opposed to seeing patients) is enormous. 

Traditional healthcare has turned doctors from complex clinical thinkers into clerks and typists. Not that there’s anything wrong with those professions – it’s just not the reason you went to a decade of medical school.

At face value, AI tools mean liberation from the mundane tasks that accompany every patient visit. 

It means you’ll spend more time with a stethoscope in your hand than a pen and paper.

It means less time doing clerical admin, and more time helping the world.

Posted by: Atlas MD

December 20, 2023

Health Systems Are Substantially Increasing IT Budgets in 2024: Here’s Why DPC Isn’t

In March, the US administration released its National Cybersecurity Strategy to expand health IT spending and defend critical health infrastructure from cyberattacks. 

The reason? 

Because countless hospitals, both large and small, and other healthcare facilities, were the victims of increasingly large-scale data breaches. 

According to the 2023 Mid-Year Horizon Report, there were 327 data breaches reported to the US Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights in the first half of 2023 alone.

This trend shows no sign of slowing as we move into 2024; there’s been a substantial surge in digital health and information technology investments, with more than 85% of health systems increasing their budgets in response to cyber threats.

One study based on a survey of 144 provider executives by the Healthcare Financial Management Association, found an average increase of 18.3% in digital and IT budgets from 2019 to 2023.

This heightened focus on cybersecurity and technology demonstrates the pivotal role that technology plays when providing effective healthcare, but it’s not ubiquitous among all healthcare players.

There’s a noteworthy exception in the industry:

DPC Clinics: A Different Approach

Unlike traditional healthcare providers who need to constantly invest more in cybersecurity to keep their data safe, most DPC clinics don’t have this concern.

Doctors launching DPC clinics enjoy a distinct advantage – a model where security, digital EMRs, and other digitalization aspects are not just addressed but continually maintained and upgraded. 

This contrasts sharply with the scenario painted by the figures quoted above, where the majority of healthcare providers are grappling with budget constraints and cybersecurity threats.

The membership fees paid by doctors to DPC platforms contribute not only to the security of their systems but also to ensuring that their EMRs are as modern as possible.

By entrusting the responsibility of maintaining cybersecurity and digitizing EMRs to a specialized platform, DPC clinics can direct their focus and resources toward the thing that matters most –  providing quality patient care.

This model not only ensures a secure and digitized foundation from the beginning but also provides ongoing value through continuous maintenance and improvement. 

In a rapidly changing healthcare landscape, DPC clinics leveraging innovative solutions blaze a path forward – one where security and digitization are not burdens but integral components of a seamless healthcare experience.