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: Atlas MD

January 29, 2016

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Download Our Direct Primary Care Survey

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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

Why Transition to DPC? This Cardiologist Says ‘Practice Enjoyment and Quality.’

Who says DPC doesn’t work with specialties?

Making the switch from practicing invasive cardiology in a traditional healthcare setting to practicing Direct Primary Care was an easy decision for Dr. Kahn in Detroit. His new world doesn’t involve insurers, ICD-10, or billing fees. But it does involve a whole lot more happiness as of October 1! But let’s take a quick look at his “before:”

Generally, I was seeing more complex cases of heart disease compounded by obesity, metabolic disorders, and poor lifestyle. Trying to manage or at least give advice to patients was getting more complex and time consuming. In addition, the advent of advanced labs with inflammatory, oxidative, and genetic markers was taking more time to analyze and offer advice. Phone calls for pre-authorization first for invasive procedures, then for nuclear procedures, and now for just echocardiograms waste more and more time during the day. They say that if you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life. I was finding that what I was doing was starting to feel suspiciously like work.

He describes his activity with some of his patients as “the four minute smile” because he had to dart in and out of appointments that quickly just to stay on time. Unfulfilled and well, rushed, Dr. Kahn knew there had to be a better way. But he didn’t want to just follow suit of others around him who had thrown in the towel on medicine. Instead, he created his own solution and in turn his own opportunities.

So what does his “after” look like? We can’t wait to find out, but we imagine he won’t be sorry to leave “the four minute smile” in the dust.

The New ICD Billing Codes Have Launched… But We’re Still Celebrating!

Some establishments are still scrambling to make ICD ends meet. Some are just trying to recover from the bumps in the road uncovered during the October 1 launch. But Direct Care practices around the country reported smooth sailing so far – and even had some time to show off their support for DPC!

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We’ll continue to celebrate freedom from red tape and billing codes – you can, too! We’re still offering #IAmDirectCare T-shirts so you can wear your support all year round. We even heard some patients wanted shirts! Now that’s a party. Get yours over here, and see how Direct Care looks on you!

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Cheers to happy docs and happy patients.

Medical Economics: The Rise and Fall of the Patient-Centered Medical Home.

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On paper the idea of a patient centered medical home (PCMH) sounded great. But it’s gotten so bogged down with red tape that the only thing sticking to it is doubt. At least that’s the case for PCMH early adopter John L. Bender, MD, who recently contributed his perspective to Medical Economics.

“This year I am considering not maintaining PCMH recognition. It is basically a marketplace decision. The payments from insurers to maintain my care coordinators on payroll, to continue externally reporting from my large data registry, and all the other trappings of robust PCMH just are not sufficient.”

Dr. Bender is well aware of the rise of Direct Primary Care, but he has his doubts about that, too. He warns that you don’t want to be the first, or the last to adopt a new payment model. We might argue that at this point you’ll be neither, indeed. The payment structure is working brilliantly for DPC clinics around the country, and continues to adapt to the flexibility needs of patients. Maybe its success is partially to blame for its “cult following!”

But there’s another point Dr. Bender mentioned that we’d like to address. “Whether DPC will create a reduced standard in the delivery of healthcare quality remains to be seen, and the concern for quality is perhaps the largest hurdle DPC must overcome.”

We’ll go ahead and speak on behalf of the DPC community when we say – Challenge Accepted! We know DPC presents a lot of opportunities for us, as healthcare providers, to live the life we want while providing the kind of care we always imagined – while at the same time avoiding bureaucratic policies that seem to do little more than add paperwork to the stack at the end of the day. And we didn’t go to medical school to fill out paperwork…

So we’ll press on in hopes of proving to Dr. Bender that quality is the very pinnacle of what we wake up to do every day. We make ourselves available to our patients nearly 24/7, and via nearly every communication outlet available (Skype chat, anyone?). We’ll continue to make house calls as needed, and go above and beyond to save our patients money at every turn of the bend, including on medications and procedures. We’ll develop relationships with our local medical communities to negotiate the best deals possible on external procedures like labs. We’ll continue to use our spare time to sit extra minutes with patients during their appointments, do extra research to help with their preventative care, and further spread the concept of Direct Care to everyone who will listen. We’ll continue to walk patients through their invoices line by line if they want, explaining exactly where each cost comes from (they’ll continue to not be surprised, though, because they typically know the cost in advance!).

We hope not only patients, but other physicians considering a transition to Direct Care will continue to see the value in our business model. It might seem too good to be true, but there are practices all over the country who are living proof of its validity.

Atlas MD Podcast 23 – Addressing the Scalability of Direct Care.

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In the latest podcast episode, the high school sweethearts of Atlas MD discuss what they’ve been up to lately, address the scalability of Direct Care, and make a connection between ICD-10 and Fight Club. You’ll be glad you listened!

Listen here! Atlas MD Podcast 23 >

Is Direct Care scalable? Yes!!
As you grow, adding a new doc to your practice can do more than just open you up to helping more patients. It also frees you up for a little extra vacation or weekend coverage and gives you access to instant second opinions! But you have to make sure your new addition is the right fit, or you’ll be backpedalling from day one.

Is your practice ready to add a new location? That’s fantastic! In this episode, Drs. Josh and Doug address how Atlas MD is adding an additional location, what to look for in new space opportunities, and answer common questions about the scalability of Direct Care.

A little fight can go a long way…
As you know, we recently launched our Direct Care Curriculum, where we share the knowledge we’ve amassed over the past ten years – for free. This isn’t just for everyone who’s already heard about Direct Care and wants to learn more… we’d like to challenge that particular group, though. We know you know people. Those people are stuck in their traditional healthcare setting and honestly they don’t see a way out. They’re facing a career change, or retirement — but that’s not what they really want. So reach out to those people. Help them use the fight they have left in the best way possible. Direct Care is waiting to give them the invigorating career they always thought they’d have.

The biggest mess you’ll ever avoid…
The launch of ICD-10 is right around the corner, and we’re hearing a collective sigh of relief from DPC practices around the country as they sit back and watch the madness from the sidelines. Those same practices are wearing their support for Direct Care. Are you? Check out www.IAmDirectCare.com/dpc-holiday to learn more! Oh, and don’t forget to tag your social media posts #IAmDirectCare!!

See you next time!

Listen here! Atlas MD Podcast 23 >