Posted by: AtlasMD

August 22, 2018

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Medication Markup is Just #Crazy.

a group of people chatting They’re everywhere. Everywhere. 

At the dinner table. Around the water cooler at work. In text messages between friends… accompanied by a very cranky, red faced emoji.

They’re stories about how the markup on medication is out of this world ridiculous. They come in many shapes and sizes, but these stories are important to address. They’re the most obvious red flag that the system is very, very broken.

Take, for example, the insurance agent who recently asked for an Rx price quote for a breast cancer medicine. The patient was quoted Walgreens and CVS Pharmacy $1900 and $2200 per month…. but the Atlas MD wholesale cost $6.70. Six dollars and seventy cents. Six. Dollars. Seventy. Cents.

Yes, seriously.

It seems insane that a giant retail pharmacy would make that kind of profit, but let’s give them some grace, shall we? I mean, they have a TON of overhead costs to cover. Poor things…

Sarcasm aside, the true cost of the medicine is under seven dollars. The real problem? It’s a shell game involving the cash price for the uninsured (which is ridiculously elevated) … so that they can show a discount for insured patients.

And because of gag laws set forth by the insurance companies, the pharmacy can’t tell the patient there’s a cheaper option without being guilty of breaching their contract… and that results in a hefty fine. Legislators are working to make all this go away, but it’s happening almost too slowly to notice.

So, what we can do in the meantime to fight this injustice? The answer is simple.

Tell everyone.

Tell your patients. Tell your neighbors. Tell your dog if he’ll listen. (who are we kidding, of course he’ll listen…)

Because once they know, they can take action. And the action they’ll take will be in the direction of your DPC practice’s wholesale prices. Remember: $6.70.

Never underestimate the power of eliminating the middle man, friends. It’s the platform your practice was built on. Direct Care brings transparency to life. Maybe one day we’ll say, “Hey, remember when people used to pay thousands of dollars for medications that wholesale for under ten?” Kinda like today when we say, “Hey, remember when people thought bloodletting was a good idea for common illness?” Ugh…

So, spread the word. Show your patients the alternative value proposition you offer. Fix the problem for them, and they’ll tell everyone they know. Lather, rise, repeat!

Posted by: AtlasMD

March 27, 2018

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Get Credit for Referrals to Atlas.md!

Y’all remember Atlas’ referral program, right? It’s the thing where when you refer someone to Atlas and they sign up, you get a $300 credit for helping spread the word. It’s a pretty sweet deal, but now you don’t actually have to rely on word of mouth to get the credit. Share your account’s personalized referral link with your friends, and when they use it to sign up the rest happens auto-magically.

How to Get Your Personalized Referral Link.

Super easy. You can find your link by going to Account, then choosing Settings from the dropdown. Scroll to the bottom where you’ll see a heading for “Referral Program.” Click the link to learn more, and that’s where you can copy your URL.

Posted by: Atlas MD

February 12, 2018

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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

How To Be A Good Businessperson AND Take Your Oath Seriously.

How to be a good businessperson And a good doctor. It’s true. Sometimes doctors struggle with the idea of innovating in the space of business. Some docs used to think you couldn’t do both – you couldn’t be a good businessperson and really take your oath seriously, meaning, care about patients. The foundation of DPC allows you to flip that theory on its head! We take a very bold stance now to say that really embracing and holding true to our oath of “do no harm” must also mean do no financial harm.

We must continually push ourselves to find ways to innovate that bring value to our patients.

For example. Direct Care offers wholesale medications, so most of the time they’re somewhere around 90 – 95% off. It’s literally ten times cheaper to get your medications through Direct Care than Walmart. Take Immitrex for example. (Use GoodRx.com to price check.) Depending on your area, Immitrex is anywhere from $88 to $256 for the generic version. But the wholesale price is $6. And the patient pays $6. Let that sink in! How long did doctors struggle with patients who couldn’t afford their medications only because we complained about the system rather than find a way to fix it ourselves?

As a patient, you don’t have to be rich to like more money, but if you’re struggling financially or working a low-paying job, those savings are even more significant. That’s time back with your family – not to mention a better quality of life. Direct primary care removes all those hurdles.

Traditional healthcare had a culture of either learned helplessness, or groupthink. It has historically lacked a culture of “Innovate, Help and Build” because it always felt that a wall was built by insurance and government. If they didn’t pay for it, then by default we couldn’t do it. And us docs were so busy seeing 30, 40 even 50 people a day that we had no choice but to focus on the task at hand rather than our future ability to practice medicine. Read more

Posted by: AtlasMD

January 9, 2017

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DPC is the Answer to Both Sides of the Retail Healthcare Argument.

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You know those retail healthcare clinics, the ones tucked away in the corners of grocery stores? Research suggests that people are popping in there and spending money on treatments they don’t even need. Treatment for ailments that would probably resolve themselves. Well, okay, consider this. A patient has a rash. They bust out the browser: Google alludes to death or worse if they don’t get treated right away. So they run down the street, seek quick treatment from someone they don’t know, and consider it done. Easy? Sure. Quality care? If you’re lucky. Cost effective? Not quite.

Dr. Scott Ashwood headed up the study that was published in the medical journal Health Affairs. When asked if these retail clinics are making care too convenient, he spoke in defense of the study.

“So getting more people treated for those conditions is probably good for the patients. They feel better and they may get back to work sooner. But from a broader perspective it may not be something we want to spend more money on as a society or [as a] a health plan. We would rather focus on higher value preventive care services.”

But Dr. Andrew Sussman, president of the MinuteClinic unit at CVS Health Corp., has a different take on the situation.

“The authors describe this as new care or new costs, which I think is a step backward. It’s not excessive costs to take care of people who don’t have a doctor. In fact, we are reaching an underserved population with retail clinics.”

DPC is the Answer.

Can’t decide if you’re Team Ashwood or Team Sussman? Don’t worry, you don’t have to choose because there’s a third option in this retail healthcare situation. Direct Care. DPC provides quality care to patients who cannot otherwise afford health insurance. A low monthly subscription fee takes the place of insurance and offers 24/7 access to a doctor, wholesale prices on prescription medications, free yearly exams and so much more. DPC’s business model is built around transparency and patient-centric values. So, you get quality care for the underserved. And those patients can still be seen nearly immediately, and consulted with in unconventional, incredibly convenient ways like text message, email, phone call, and even video calls.

Direct Care makes healthcare affordable and accessible for nearly everyone. Plus, patients get so much more than a quick fix to whatever ails them. They get to build a relationship with a physician who truly cares about their health from a proactive standpoint. Who doesn’t want that?

Posted by: AtlasMD

September 21, 2016

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Insurance Agrees: Direct Care Is Catching On

insurancenewsnet01In an article from InsuranceNewsNet.com, Direct Care was the topic of discussion. DPC was shed in a positive light – and that’s the way it should be. Because that’s the way it is in real life. Yes, DPC and insurance are actually friends.

To those who don’t understand the business model, it might seem that Direct Care and insurance are at odds with each other. But that’s not actually the case. DPC finds its way around things that trip up the traditional healthcare system, and in a situation where the rules and regulations prevent the rules from being followed properly in the first place, a straight line from doctor to patient is a breath of fresh air. DPC never said insurance isn’t a good thing. In fact, most Direct Care providers actually recommend patients maintain a high deductible plan for emergency situations. It’s believed that filing fewer insurance claims will actually lead to more quality insurance claims… which in turn will lead to more claims that are actually paid by patients.

When patients pay for what they actually need rather than what they might need, everyone wins.

Know who else is winning? DPC providers like Tanya Spoon. She opened the doors to her Direct Care practice after a career in traditional healthcare and hasn’t looked back.

“My life/work balance is amazingly better,” she said. “I get to go home ever day for lunch.”

The benefits are familiar to those of us already immersed in the good life of Direct Care – but it’s fantastic to see them on InsuranceNewsNet.com.

“For providers, its an opportunity to spend more time practicing medicine. Spoon cared for about 4,000 people at the conventional primary care practice in Silverdale, carving out a few minutes for each visit. At Manette Clinic, she guarantees patients at least 30 minutes each time they see her, and she makes frequent house calls and visits to assisted living facilities.”

So now, it’s a quality win-win-win. Insurance companies win because they’re getting higher quality claims. Providers win because they get a work/life balance that is actually balanced. And patients win because they get a provider who has the time and energy to provide incredible care.

Posted by: AtlasMD

January 29, 2016

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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.

Announcing the Atlas.md EMR Referral Program!

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Refer a Friend, Receive a Discount.

Here’s the deal. By now, you know how much we love to share. Whether it’s savings, references or just plain good news, we want to tell you about it. And since us DPC folk tend to think alike we imagine you’re the same way.

Many of you have already told your Direct Care colleagues about the Atlas.md EMR – now we want to say thank you!! Introducing our brand new referral program. Now when you refer someone who signs up for the Atlas.md EMR, we’ll comp you one month toward your own account. In addition, the person you refer will receive a two-month trial period instead of the standard 30 days!

The season of giving might technically be over with, but we’re going to carry our gratitude for your support all the way through 2016.

So, spread the word and save some money! Click here for more details.

Meet Dr. Phil Baker, the Direct Care Pharmacist.

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Are you a Direct Care doc in a state where in-house pharmacies are prohibited? (Looking at you Massachusetts, Montana, New Jersey, New York and Texas…) Or maybe you’ve just elected not to embrace the in-house pharmacy aspect of DPC? Either way, this article is for you. Introducing Dr. Philip Baker of Good Shepherd Health. He’s the answer to your prayers, the alternative to dealing with local pharmacies when you want to dispense, and quite literally a seamless extension of your Direct Care practice.

Okay, so here’s how it works. His pharmacy has adopted the DPC business plan; Dr. Baker’s model offers a membership. For a low monthly fee, members are privy to wholesale prescription prices — no mark-up and no extra fees (ahem, red tape) to get wrapped up in. It’s literally a Direct Care Pharmacy! He’s got the benefit of everyone in mind as he makes pharmacy services available to those who might not otherwise be able to afford them. Some of what he offers includes:

  • Prescriptions, vitamins and supplements at wholesale prices.
  • Around the clock access to your pharmacist. Seriously, call or text anytime.
  • Prescription assistance programs to those who quality. (They’ll even do all the paperwork!)
  • They dispense 280 different medications for free to qualifying members.
  • The opportunity to work 24/7 directly with Dr. Baker on pharmacy consults. (That’s how much he cares about your patients’ care!)

Read more

Introducing Direct Career Placement on IAmDirectCare.com.

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You’re only as strong as the team surrounding you, right? Well in that case, let’s give you an advantage over all the rest! Introducing Direct Career Placement, where IAmDirectCare.com helps connect you with the DPC family that’s right for you. Because let’s face it – a brighter future is right around the corner with Direct Care. Who does Direct Career Placement apply to? So glad you asked.

Is your practice looking to add a team member?

That’s great, congratulations! You’re probably talking around, getting a feel for who’s interested. After all, choosing the right addition to your team is a decision not to be taken lightly. So why not choose from a pool of candidates who are already actively interested in Direct Care? They know what it’s about and want to join your team. They’re individuals who are qualified and can’t wait to start their career with you providing excellent patient care using the Direct Care model. Take advantage of existing DPC connections by submitting your practice information on IAmDirectCare.com – interested individuals will be able to contact you directly. You can reach out to listed individuals, too! (Bonus: when you submit your listing you’ll even receive a unique URL you can share via social media to get the word out even further.)

Are you an individual looking for a DPC family of your own?

Also fantastic! If you’re transitioning out of the traditional healthcare setting, or even transitioning out of residency, you might already know for sure Direct Care is perfect for you. Read more