Posted by: AtlasMD

April 17, 2017

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Being a Doc Doesn’t Have to be Lonely!

The Student Doctor Thompson has some thoughts on what it means to be the “Good Doctor.” We’re paraphrasing here, but essentially, the “Good Doctor:”

Puts in the extra time to perfect the trade. They’re always available at a moment’s notice should anyone need their help. They have a good reputation because, well, their life is medicine. Most of my fellow residents look at the Good Doctor and hate his schedule but love his legacy. He works well beyond the age of retirement and has little to no life outside of medicine. The life of a doctor is a lonely one.

Thier friends have moved on… that tends to happen after you’ve neglected them through 4 year of premed, 4 years of med school and then residency. And even if they haven’t moved on, you have nothing left in common with them.

Whoa.

Heart-wrenching, right? But what really got us is what someone posted in the comments:

“The ‘Good Doctor’ sounds like he’d be a terrible husband and father.”

Or “wife and mother” if we’re being totally PC. But that one strikes a chord, doesn’t it? The notion that in order to do your job well as a physician means you gotta sacrifice literally everything else? Yeah, we docs love medicine, but we love other stuff, too. We love cars. We love public speaking. We love books, running, and movies. We love our families. And we don’t want to sacrifice any of those things. Good thing we don’t have to. 

Direct Care docs everywhere watched this video, immediately stood up and hollered at their computer screens: “IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE THAT WAY!” Are we right? Come on, you know we’re right.

Med school is hard. Nobody’s saying otherwise. But you’re not suffering through it just to spend endless hours filling out paperwork as part of a way to leave a legacy. You’re sacrificing now so you can help people. So we encourage you to learn more about Direct Primary Care. DPC provides you a rock solid platform and business model that literally gives you the gift of time. Time with your patients, time for yourself. Before you click off the page because it sounds too good to be true, give DPC its due diligence and read up.

* Check out the DPC Curriculum: https://atlas.md/dpc-curriculum/
* Read more of this blog: https://atlas.md/blog
* Talk to docs around the country who are doing it, and love it. https://www.iamdirectcare.com

Posted by: AtlasMD

March 20, 2017

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What Do You Love Most About Direct Care?

It’s becoming a really well-known fact that DPC works. The business model is solid; booming practices around the country are proving it. Docs who were admittedly nervous about stepping out of their traditional shells to explore what Direct Care had to offer are now emphatically shouting it’s goodness from their rooftops. It’s easy to see why. There’s a lot to shout about.

But we’re curious what you love most. What’s the thing that still gets you up in the morning, excited to go to work? What do you think about even when you’re not at the office? When your friends ask how the practice is going, what do you gush about?

Is it…

The Freedom?

You keep a limited patient panel so you have plenty of time to spend with each person. None of that shuffling in and out of appointments in record time nonsense. You set your own hours. Your time is yours, with which to do what you want. You’ve literally been given the gift of time.

The Way You Can Truly Help People?

You know it’s true. You didn’t go to school to fill out paperwork. Now that you’re utilizing DPC’s framework, you have to do less paperwork than you ever thought possible. That’s because when you clear out all the distractions, red tape, bureaucratic rules and third party interference, you’re left with the only thing that really matters: your patients. You can help them the way you know how, the way you always thought you would. You can spend extra time helping them with their ailments, following up on their progress, and coming up with proactive ways to keep them healthy. You can truly build relationships with them!

All the Savings You Get to Dole Out?

Part of helping your patients is saving them money – making their healthcare honestly affordable. You don’t have to swipe their card for a copay at each visit. You offer diagnostic and procedural benefits at no extra cost. Read more

Posted by: AtlasMD

January 6, 2017

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The DPC Myth-Buster, Courtesy of the AAFP!

When the AAFP takes it upon itself to “dispel myths” about DPC, you do a little happy dance. You also pump your fist in the air and yell, “FINALLY!”

Look, we get it, DPC carries with it a bit of an educational learning curve. It used to be that healthcare without insurance wasn’t a natural concept for many people – both patients and physicians alike. But we knew it was the better way and we’ve watched the DPC movement explode. Like any truly good product, DPC continues to sell itself. The AAFP proves it when they say things like this:

“ [DPC]…creates transactional efficiencies and reduces administrative burdens for primary care physicians.”

and

“…DPC is actually an ideal strategy to provide our nation a robust family medicine physician workforce in the long run.”

and

The normal workforce economics that naturally occur in the unregulated DPC environment mean that physicians gravitate to a panel size of 900 simply because that’s what is sustainable for healthy physician-patient relationships.”

DPC isn’t in bed with the AAFP, obviously. But we know the medical community takes what they say very, very seriously. And so the kind, bold and factual argument displayed here makes us blush with pride.

Honestly, there is so much logical goodness in this article that you might as well just read the whole thing for yourself. Well, go on then.

Posted by: AtlasMD

November 4, 2016

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These Prices are INSANE. #IAmDirectCare

There’s all kinds of talk about how much money Direct Care can save patients. You know, DPC practices who offer wholesale prices on meds, and pile on coupons on top of that. Oh, and that the cost of a monthly subscription is way less expensive than the cost of an insurance policy they may not even need. All true. All good. But have you ever seen the numbers? Like, really really looked?

Dr. Ciampi did the work using lab prices as a baseline. Called around, got some information, and laid it out. And may we just say. Whoa.

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Why Isn’t This a Bigger Deal?!

It’s just crazy when you look at the markup across the board. So why don’t numbers like this raise more eyebrows? We don’t know exactly, but we imagine it’s just what consumers have come to expect to pay. The problem feels so much bigger than they can handle, and maybe they feel like the fight isn’t theirs. Just think of all the third parties, and political motivations behind markups (do we need to remind you about the whole EpiPen thing?) But Direct Care is leading this fight in our own way. Because we look out for our patients at all costs – and that means drastically reducing their costs while providing excellent care. We don’t want to take down big pharma, stand up to big government, or face big anything else. What Direct Care does want, though, is to be the alternative that patients and doctors are searching for. That better way. That breath of fresh air. And with prices like this, who can object that we’re headed in the right direction?

Posted by: AtlasMD

October 19, 2016

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Quality of Care vs Third Parties.

Quality of Care Third parties are supposed to be helpful. But when they’re not, the result can be incredibly detrimental.

This study from The Physician’s Foundation threw out a number, associated that number with docs who felt third party elements actually took away from their ability to provide quality patient care, and that number is quite staggering.

About two-thirds (72%) said third-party intrusions detract from the quality of care.

Without generalizing too much, it’s saying that pretty much everyone agrees with the whole “direct is better” concept. Think of it this way. On some level, we all want to pour a foundation for the next generation to build upon. To leave footprints in which others may follow, right? In the epic battle between quality of care and third parties, third parties are winning. So sad. But it gets worse. This study also says nearly half of physicians polled wouldn’t even recommend this profession to their own kids. Dang.

“Enough!” Says Direct Care.

Enough with the depressing stats. Enough shattered expectations. Enough putting up with a system that breaks doctors. The story Direct Care tells is different. It’s one of hope. Passion. Freedom. Direct Care puts its foot down, and cuts out the middle man. You know, outside stuff that gets in the way of you doing your job. Direct Care essentially acts as a bulldozer for all those things. What traditional healthcare says is vital and can’t be worked around, Direct Care says isn’t more important than patient care. Forget about all the stuff that trips you up and leaves you wishing you had another 15 minutes to spend in the exam room. Or cursing at a mountain of paperwork every evening. Wait, wait. Shhh. Listen.

Can you hear them? That 72% who just heard that they don’t have to deal with third party anything if they don’t want to? They’re popping corks and throwing up confetti. They’re celebrating. Oh, we know how they feel. It’s amazing to know there’s a better way. To know that the alternative to your broken dreams are new dreams you never even imagined before. Not only helping patients on your time and their time at the same time (wrap your head around that one…) but not having to jump through hoops to do it.

Practice Direct Care. It’s the solution to third party madness, and it just might be the ticket to preserving a healthcare industry the next generation actually wants to be a part of.

Posted by: AtlasMD

June 17, 2016

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How to be the Best Problem Solver Your Patients Have Ever Worked With.

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As a DPC provider, you wear a lot of hats. You’re the doc, sure. But sometimes you’re also the nurse, pharma, scheduler, accountant, and cleaning person. All important. All over the board. So what’s the single most important thing you do? Solve your patients’ problems. It’s probably easier than you think.

How to be the Best Problem Solver Your Patients Have Ever Worked With.

Patients come see you for all sorts of things. Just when you think you’ve heard it all, you’re totally perplexed by the reason one of your patients sits in your exam room. It’s commentary you thought only existed on that Reddit thread about what should be considered medical common knowledge. (You’re searching for it now, aren’t you?)

You are, by trade, a problem solver. Honestly, when was the last time you got an email from your patient saying, “Hey doc! I feel amazing. Have some time today to chat about it?” Your patients have a lot going on in their lives, and they rely on you to be their problem solver. They rely on you to confirm their sneaking suspicion (ahem, Google) is right and their child’s skin condition is, in fact, eczema (and treatable!). Alternatively, they lean on you to advise them to stay far, far away from the internet because one minor headache doesn’t mean brain aneurism.

Okay, in all seriousness (and because we feel a little guilty for laughing at the expense of our patients!), in a world where people are drug through the mud to attain and maintain their health, you have to be their voice of reason – and that means doing one thing very, very well.

Listening.

It’s that simple. And it’s the single most important thing you can do to be the best problem solver your patients have ever worked with. They might be distressed about their condition. They might be worried about an impending diagnosis. They might be unaware a problem even exists. They might be in pain, literally. They might be confused about their symptoms. Problems come in all shapes and sizes, but no matter how they’re feeling about their health, the important thing is to get them talking so you can listen very carefully. Because the answer to your patients’ problem lies right there in between the complaint and side note anecdote of what they did last weekend.

Hopefully you’re not rushing through your day as a DPC doc (your business model is set up to give you the gift of time, after all). But if you happen to be feeling the burden of wearing all those hats at the moment, stop for a minute and remember the only thing you have to do to keep patients coming through the door is… listen. Your incredibly well-trained and compassionate mind will take over from there. Problem, solved.

DPC Gets the Spotlight in Powell, Wyoming.

Wyoming_01Quality over quantity. That’s what’s being praised via the Physician of the Year Award in Wyoming. So without further ado, a very well-deserved congratulations goes out to Dr. Tracy for earning this award. Not only is he one of the pioneers of Direct Care, he’s done it so well, in fact, that he’s being recognized on a state level. That means he beat out all the traditional docs for the title… which tells us he (and his EMR… which happens to be Atlas.md!) is doing something really right.

Not surprisingly, he’s super humble about the whole thing.

“It’s a real surprise and it is an honor to have this award given to me,” Tracy said. “There are a lot of deserving people in the state. I think about the people who have received the award in the past and it’s been for contribution in one way or another in the field of medicine making this state a better place to live and practice medicine, so it really is an honor.”

It’s difficult to break the mold of traditional healthcare. The scissors that cut red tape can get a bit heavy sometimes. And like any new business, the first years are tough. But Direct Care practices across the country are proving it can be done with the right tools… and the right outlook. It turns out that when you truly put the needs of your patients and community above all else, good things happen. Your genuine efforts to improve the lives of those around you make a bigger impact than a pile of paperwork ever could.

DPC docs aren’t in it for the accolades. But we’re certainly grateful for the positive attention awards such as this show our industry.

More Than a Million Bucks in Savings. Horn, Tooted.

Saving patients money is a huge part of what Direct Care’s all about. There are all kinds of ways DPC is geared to do it: low monthly subscription fees instead of outrageous insurance premiums, the reassuring mentality that patients only pay for what they need, and last but certainly not least is that DPC offers wholesale prescription prices – something that immediately (and very visibly) helps ease the pressure on bank accounts everywhere.

On that note, Atlas.md is having a really proud moment to the tune of more than a million dollars…

MillionDollarsAtlas.md was created by DPC docs who are literally on the front line of the Direct Care movement. They thought of everything, and their EMR is how they walk the walk. From fully supporting in-house pharmacies so it’s easier to offer wholesale prescriptions to pointing out GoodRx coupons when they’re applicable, Atlas.md helps its docs save their patients money on the regular. But just how much are we talking? This EMR has saved patients who belong to a DPC practice using it upwards of one million dollars.

The best part? That number continues to grow every single day. Just like support for Direct Care.

When Quality Metrics Ruin the Quality of Care.

Sigh. We knew this would happen… traditional healthcare is getting in the way of itself again.

Quality measurement is a good thing on paper, and not something to be ignored. But implementation of it is, well, complicated. And according to some recent studies, largely unhelpful. When you get down to the nitty gritty, we’re not convinced it does more good than harm, and Dr. Don Berwick, one of the nation’s leading champions in high quality, patient-centered care agrees.

“I have tremendous doubts about the accuracy and utility and overall wisdom of quality metrics at the individual level,” Berwick says. “When it’s a ‘falling off a log’ standard that you know everyone would want the same way then it’s good to know we’re adhering to the standard. The problem comes when we don’t get a chance to modify them to fit individual needs. Can we really be smart enough to write rules that get down to the level of what’s right for each individual patient? So we have to be really careful about these rule-based standards.”

Because it’s true that “doctors are so much more than metrics.”  In fact, a lot of docs feel metric bloat has had a negative impact on quality care. Oh, and it’s not worth the money it takes to implement, either, apparently:

In 2015 the Institute of Medicine issued its own report on the proliferation of quality measures, which found that “the growth in measurement and reporting activities results in considerable expense and requires substantial time commitment, without a matching return on investment.”

It seems that spending too much time measuring the quality is actually ruining the quality. Suddenly this is all too convoluted and you’re thinking – there MUST be a better way. Enter stage right – Direct Care. Where quality is literally the foundation on which DPC practices operate. No need for measurements. Quality just… is. It’s baked into every part of a Direct Care doc’s day – from the smaller number of patients they see, to the longer appointment times, all the way to billing transparency and acute interest in saving their patients money.

Quality shouldn’t be measured in numbers, but rather patient satisfaction. And as more and more patients opt for a truly personal relationship with their physician, Direct Care smiles from ear to ear. Because it has everything we need to show patients what quality’s really like – without any of the controversy.

Connect With LabCorp and Work Easier

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There’s been a lot to be excited about recently — your ability to accept ACH payments at a reasonable price, an opportunity to save 40% on insurance and a forum to keep you connected to other DPC docs, but now, there’s a new way to make running your practice even better.

You can now integrate with LabCorp to make tracking, requesting, and printing labs possible right from Atlas.md. This new addition will provide you and your patients with more possibilities and more flexibility. You’ll be able to do the following, right from Atlas.md:

  • Request labs from LabCorp
  • Print specimen labels directly from Atlas
  • Retrieve and integrate LabCorp results into your patients’ charts

When you’re ready to sign up, connect with your local LabCorp representative. You’ll receive an Atlas account number so that you can streamline the ordering, printing, and tracking process, right from Atlas.md. If you have any questions about this process, or if you want to reach out about your practice, feel free to connect with us by sending a note to support@atlas.md.