Posted by: AtlasMD

January 24, 2017

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What’s Holding You Back from Opening Your DPC Practice? (After You Read this, the Answer Will be ‘Nothing.’) Part 2.

What's Holding You Back from Starting Your DPC Practice?

“Hmm, Direct Care sounds amazing. I’d love to do that.”

Ever said or even thought those words? Do you fall into any of the categories we talked about here? So why haven’t you started your practice yet? Maybe this Direct Care thing is new to you. Maybe you’ve heard about it but don’t know where to start. Or maybe you’re just scared to take the leap. In part two of this two-part series, we’re flattening the road ahead so there’s nothing but a clear path from you to the front doors of your Direct Care practice.

It all boils down to two things:

Before we get into all the details, there are two things you should keep in mind at all times.

First, you have to do the work. You have to get your hands dirty, do the research, make the phone calls, ask the questions and launch the website. You have to put in the extra man hours to get this thing up and running – just like any other small business. The great part about Direct Care is that you don’t have to worry whether it’s sustainable or not. The model is built on a foundation that provides a quality service people are more than happy to pay for because it saves them time, money, and adds value to their lives. Once you have your brick and mortar foundation laid, you get to do what you love and many times the rest will fall into place.

Second, it’s okay that you’re not an expert in running a business. You went to medical school, after all. But because you went to med school, you’re going to need to lean on someone else for support while getting your practice off the ground. That’s right, you don’t have to do this alone. In fact, we offer practice management consulting services absolutely free of charge. Whether you’re in the beginning stages of opening your doors or just need a little help along the way, you can call us. We’ve helped hundreds of practices open already and have several more in progress; their success is like our drug.

Okay. Have your list ready? You know, the one with all the reasons you can’t start your practice? Good. Let’s go.

Excuse #1: I have no idea where to start.

You’re considering starting something completely new – of course it’s daunting. But it’s also really exciting! The first thing you should do is finish reading this article, and then hop over to the Direct Care Curriculum, where you can learn more about every single aspect of starting your practice. There will be some biggies to check off the list over time (like finding a location and getting set up with the right equipment), and some smaller items you can work through more quickly (like naming your practice and creating a brand for it). Everyone’s first step is going to look a little different depending on where you’re starting so let’s talk about your current situation so we can map out a path forward.

  • Are you currently employed? Are you under contract with that employer? Is there a non-compete policy? You’ll want to find out how to get out of those contracts and around the non-compete if it applies.
  • Are you starting straight out of residency and starting with a fresh slate? If this is you, you have a little more flexibility and can hit the ground running a little faster. For you, give your practice a name, establish a legal business and call your realtor!

Read more

Posted by: AtlasMD

January 23, 2017

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What’s Holding You Back from Opening Your DPC Practice? (After You Read This, the Answer Will be ‘Nothing.’)

If you fall into any of the following categories, you absolutely MUST keep reading because no matter what is preventing you from taking the next step with Direct Care, there’s a solution. We’re in the mood to break down some walls. At the end of this two-part series, you will be left with nothing but a clear path to DPC. To freedom of schedule. To career satisfaction. To happy patients. And possibly to more money than you make right now. We could go on and on… Anyway, lets’ see if you fit the bill. If one of these describes you even a little bit, perk up your ears and let the rest sink in.

Retirement Can’t Come Soon Enough. You’ve Had it Up to Here.

The days of sprinting from exam room to exam are behind you. At least you wish they were. The list of rules you have to follow are getting longer by the day, and the amount of energy you spend trying to make sense of them all is getting ridiculous. You close your eyes and dream of the golf course. Or maybe a book and your La-Z-Boy. You long for the days ahead of enjoying your life again. Maybe you’ll volunteer at a local clinic just because you want to, that’d be nice. After all, helping others is part of who you are and you know retirement won’t make that go away. But this, all this nonsense about how many patients to see in a day or how to code a diagnosis so the insurance companies don’t throw a fit or the pressure to accept or not accept Medicare… this is chaos. You’ve had enough and you want out.

You’re a Seasoned Physician Facing Retirement, but You Love Your Job.

You’ve been in the field for a long time. Traditional healthcare has served you fairly well – you’ve learned to live with the paperwork and red tape. Despite the adversity you’ve faced for years, your patients love you and you love them right back. You’ve also mastered the 7 minute appointment; you are efficient and effective. Retirement has always loomed in the distance. It’s inching closer now, but hanging up your coat just doesn’t feel right. Healthcare is transforming into something you don’t even recognize, though, so you know something has to change. Secretly, you’ve always wondered what it would be like to do things your way, on your watch, at a slower pace.

You’re Mid-Career and Jaded by the System.

Residency feels like a lifetime ago and now that you’re in full swing with your career you realize it’s not at all what you thought. You spend the hours between sun up and sun down rushing from patient to patient (that sense of inadequacy is getting really heavy…), and then you’re resolved to tackling a mountain of paperwork in the hours after. You keep telling yourself this will get better once the wrinkles of the ACA get ironed out, or once the MCRA, HIPAA or ICD issues have been resolved, or maybe even once the new administration gets settled in. It feels like you’re in a holding pattern. Rush frantically through the day, and then wait for the dust of traditional healthcare to settle. More pressing, you’re still waiting to get into the groove of life where you can actually enjoy your work and your family. You’re starting to lose hope that it will ever really happen. Read more

Posted by: AtlasMD

January 16, 2017

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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

Launch Your Practice Prepared

Launch ready(1)

Have you been going back and forth between a few different EMRs but haven’t found your favorite yet? We know how you feel, which is exactly why we started Atlas.md. We wanted to share the excitement we felt when we created the EMR, which is why we’re proud to talk about the importance of trying an EMR before you launch your practice.

By trying Atlas.md for free until you launch, you can ensure that your big day will be a big deal for the right reasons.

Get an EMR that lives in your browser – no fancy software. No confusing interfaces. This is an intuitive EMR that makes client communication, billing, tracking, ordering, and filing possible so that you can make all better possible.

  • Communicate where your clients are – You can tweet, email, call, or text your clients right from Atlas.md. That means you’ll be able to communicate with your clients as soon as they need you.
  • Make managing your practice possible – With Atlas.md, you can request, file, and ship prescriptions, you can bill your patients directly, set up automatic appointment reminders, manage your clinic’s schedule with an easy-to-use syncable calendar, and keep track of patient records.
  • Pre-enroll before your launch – Pre-enroll patients before your launch so that, when you open your doors, you’ll have patient data and scheduling information in place.
  • Organize before launch – Get used to scheduling, tracking, or communicating with patients before the big day.
  • Get the lowest billing rates in the industry – Accept automated payments, credit card payments, and ACH payments. No 3rd party needed.
  • Get Validic capabilities – Sync up with your patients’ health wearables so you can explore your patients’ daily activities with one click.

Need more reasons to try Atlas.md’s? Check out our forum to see what everyone’s been talking about, or check out our features page to see what the big deal is.

Posted by: Atlas MD

February 5, 2016

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Save 40% on Insurance

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While all doctors can benefit from malpractice insurance, it’s rare to find a company that offers insurance specific to your clinic’s needs. But we set out to change all that. We’ve been working closely with a national malpractice carrier to give DPC clinics a discount.

With the support of Atlas, the Cunningham Group has negotiated for an exclusive medical malpractice insurance program with an A-rated medical malpractice insurance company.

In our own practice, we saved a total of $13K a year by working with the Cunningham Group. When you sign up for discounted malpractice insurance with the Cunningham Group, you can expect the following:

  •  An ability to save 40-60% off medical malpractice insurance.
  • An ability to work with a carrier who understands your DPC needs.
  • An ability to receive quality malpractice coverage.
  • An ability to receive coverage with an Atlas.md-endorsed carrier.

By receiving insurance through Cunningham, you’ll work with a company that is dedicated to serving your unique needs as a DPC practitioner. You’ll also work with a program dedicated to bringing DPC and concierge care into the mainstream. Once patients and business owners start to see that DPC and concierge care are very real and are a beneficial alternative to traditional practices, they’ll be more likely to participate in a DPC program.

When you’re ready to save money on your medical malpractice insurance, or if you have any questions about your options, check out the Cunningham Group today.

Posted by: Atlas MD

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.

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

The Easiest Way to Start a Business.

There’s no shortage of information. Let’s be honest; there are a million self help books, articles, blogs, tweets in the world that tell you how to be amazing. How to jump straight to the top, fix that problem, get those unattainable customers. There’s some really good advice mixed in there, but there’s also A LOT of fluff. The best way to get good at something new – fast – can be digested in three easy concepts. (A happy shout out to The Cauldron for these nuggets of inspiration.) It all boils down to preparedness.

Mistakes, Mistakes, Mistakes.

No, not making them (although that does come with the territory), but rather learning from the mishaps already committed by others. That means you watch. You evaluate what’s been done, how it’s been done, what went wrong, and how you can do it differently to avoid those same pitfalls. If you’re just starting out in Direct Care, you’re in luck. There are plenty who have gone before you to pave the road. And while most of them have succeeded, there have been a few failures to note. So get all the information you can. How, you’re wondering? So glad you asked.

Talk the Talk!

You don’t have to sit on the sidelines while you figure out your next moves. Ask questions, apply the answers in your head, and visualize the result. The answers you’re looking for aren’t hidden like buried treasure. You know those docs with clinics successfully off the ground? They want to see DPC grow, too. Take Atlas for example. We offer free training, consulting, and support to anyone who asks. While others charge a mountain of money for those same things, we don’t think you should be charged for not cutting corners on your homework. So go ahead, ask all the questions you want.

Jump All The Way In!

You’re ready now. You know what to do, you’ve done the research, you’ve thought about it all ad nauseam. So go do it. All of it.

What we’re trying to say is going all the way in with a proven DPC business model is much more effective than a hybrid model that say, for example, offers 1/2 insurance, 1/2 DPC. A hybrid clinic will probably struggle more because it’s not 100% of either model – kind of like always having one foot out the door in case it doesn’t work out. What’s more, starting with just a few services with a plan to add more (wholesale meds, labs, texting, email, etc.) later could actually hinder growth. Think of it this way. How do you expect to grow if you’re not putting 100% of the value you can offer your patients out there immediately? So wear your heart (and your services) on your sleeve, and don’t look back.

Time is of the essence when you’re making a life change such as starting or transitioning to DPC. But by wrapping your head around the ideas above, you’ll learn the ropes quicker than just dipping one toe in at a time. Much more refreshing that way, too – just ask those who have already jumped in!

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.

An Open Invitation to Be Brilliant.

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To all the docs in a traditional practice who feel trapped. To all the physicians who wrap up each day feeling exhausted, buried behind mountains of paperwork. To all those former med students who thought there would be more patient in patient care.

It’s your turn. 

Your turn to be who you always wanted to be. Provide the kind of patient care you always imagined. Run the practice you always dreamed of. Your turn to be brilliant.

Direct Care is waiting for you, and making the transition isn’t all that difficult. Truth be told, neither is starting your own practice. There are lots of people who want direct care. And lots of people who support it, too.

So before you succumb to the desire to sell tupperware, there are a few things you should know. The way it’s been doesn’t have to be the way it is. Patients want personalized medicine as much as you want to provide it. And finally, change is not only possible, but happening around the country this very minute.