Posted by: AtlasMD

May 5, 2017

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How Do You Spend Your Pajama Time?

Pajama time. You’ve heard of it, right? It’s the time most traditional docs spend at home catching up on paperwork from the day. You can just picture it. The rest of the house is asleep, the clock on the bedside table reads some insane hour, and even though all the doc wants to do is snooze after a long day, she’s propped up on a pillow shuffling papers around by nightlight.

DPC docs still have pajama time, but it looks a liiiiitle different. There may be PJ’s involved, but that’s about the end of the list of similarities. Instead of checking off boxes and pouring over paperwork to make sure billing codes are spun the right way and hasty patient scribbles (ahem, notes) are properly transcribed, DPC docs do something else entirely.

They build their business. They schedule Facebook or Twitter posts, write articles for their blog, outline their next marketing campaign strategy. Things that add value to their practice and spread the word about what they have to offer. Or maybe they do some extra research on a treatment plan they’re scheming for an unconventional patient. Or maybe they respond to a text message from a worried mother whose two year old has a rising fever.

We don’t know about you, but if we had to choose, DPC PJ time seems like the waaay better option. Just sayin’.

Posted by: AtlasMD

April 28, 2017

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DPC Docs Aren’t Worried About Getting Paid for Desktop Medicine.

It’s all about the money, honey.

Not really, but this recent study from content.healthaffairs.org found out that physicians in a traditional healthcare environments spend about the same amount of time face-to-face with patients as they do providing desktop medicine – doing things like “communicating with patients through secure portals, responding to online requests for refills or advice, ordering and reviewing tests, and sending staff messages.” But they typically only get paid for office visits – because that’s what they can bill for.

“While working on progress notes could be considered pre- or post-service efforts, desktop medicine activities not linked to a face-to-face visit are not reimbursable under typical fee-for-service contractual and regulatory arrangements,” the [study] authors wrote. “Many of those activities — such as care coordination and responding to patients’ email — are of high value to the delivery system and to patients, so the staffing, scheduling and design of primary care practices should reflect this value.”

It’s getting harder and harder to get reimbursed for providing quality healthcare. Thanks a lot rules and regulations. Maybe that’s why docs feel pressured to squeeze an insane number of patients through their doors each day. So even if a doc spends the time to get the quality part right, she’s not getting paid for it. And one’s passion for his career and love of medicine can only go so far.

Direct Care Takes the Pressure Off of Getting Paid.

Those rules and regulations probably had good intentions, sure. But they’ve gotten so far out of hand and off track and wrapped up in themselves they wind up not making a whole lot of big picture sense. By eliminating all the third party nonsense that can cause such wonky-ness (if that’s not a word, it should be), Direct Care doctors have a solid payment structure already built into their business foundation. They don’t have to worry about what they’ll get reimbursed for. What insurance will cover, what billing code covers what. They deal directly with patients.

Plus. Time spent in the Atlas.md EMR can be as productive as time spent face-to-face with patients. In fact, depending on the patient’s needs it can even be more productive. When the doc can respond to text messages, emails, video chats, etc. directly from the EMR, they’re available for patients in the best way possible – on the patient’s terms.

There’s no pressure to spend a certain amount of time on one thing or another. There’s no mountain of paperwork looming at the end of the day. There’s no perpetual struggle to get paid based on what someone else thinks you’re worth.

There’s just you, and your patients. 100% of the time.

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

April 12, 2017

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Feature Review: Have You Tried Video Calls Yet? (Plus a Challenge.)

We’ve been dying to ask – have you tried video calls yet?? If so, fantastic! If not, we’d like to challenge you to challenge yourself to serve your patients in a new way. You might not be totally comfortable with video, and we get that, but it’s not like you’re doing Facebook Live or anything. This is just a secure conversation between you and your consenting patient that takes place over video so you can see them clearly. (Don’t rely on their panicked description of how bad that cut is. See it for yourself!)

So it’s like FaceTime, or Skype — but better! Why is it better? Because using the app’s video call feature automatically records the vitals of the call in the patient’s activity stream, showing that the conversation took place, how, when, and its duration. That’s one less thing you have to notate later; five minutes you’ve freed up to do…well, whatever you want!

This video walks you through how to initiate the call, but you can also read through the details over here in this support article.

How have video calls worked for you in your practice? Hop over to the forum and share your story! It’s a great way to get new, creative ideas on running your practice. Plus, you’ll be helping others benefit from your experience. Win-win!

Posted by: AtlasMD

March 28, 2017

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Free Practice Management Consulting. Yup, We Do That.

You’re on an adventure. You might be just starting out. Or maybe you’re already into the woods. Your adventure is thrilling, satisfying, and a little bit scary.

The fun parts are fun. Really fun.

But do you ever wish you had a sounding board during the scary parts? Someone to help you weed through the tough stuff until it, too, becomes fun? Someone to bounce ideas off of to make sure you’re headed the right direction? Or get you unstuck from a problem you didn’t even know existed? Someone who knows how to help you reach your goal because they’ve helped other DPC practices do the very same thing?

It’s practice management consulting. It exists. It’s available to you. It’s free. Get all that?

It exists because we’ve done the leg work…and we’ve seen how helpful relying on the experience of those who have gone before you truly is.

It’s available to you because you’re passionate about Direct Care. We are, too.

It’s free because nobody on this end is interested in anything other than your success…and we don’t think you should have to pay for doing things right.

So, let’s talk about what practice management consulting really is, and what makes it so valuable to you. Aside from the fact that others charge hundreds of dollars for this information, and you’re getting it for free…

What’s Practice Management Consulting?

Practice management consulting is exactly what it sounds like – help managing your Direct Care practice. In every way, shape and form. You went to medical school and now you’re running every aspect of a business. It makes perfect sense that you don’t know everything there is to know about everything! It also makes perfect sense that you’ll need or want some help along the way. So whether it’s the accounting part you’re struggling with, or the marketing and sales part, or maybe the HR part, practice management consulting addresses even the smallest aspects of all of it. Read more

Posted by: AtlasMD

March 23, 2017

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Feature Review: Creating a New Pricing Tier

In Atlas.md, you can set specific pricing tiers so that your patients’ subscription automatically updates as they grow older. It’s one less thing you have to keep track of. And more free time for you to spend with patients. Or do research. Or plan dinner. Or golf. Or whatever. Learn (or remind yourself!) how to set up a new pricing in this video. Bookmark the corresponding support article if you feel like it, too.

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

February 28, 2017

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Feature Review: What To Do With Old Patient Files

It happens. Patients don’t always stay with you forever. Sometimes they move far far away. So, what do you do with their patient file? Well, after you’ve helped them find another DPC doc in their new area, of course, you’ll want to keep your patient list completely up to date by archiving it. It’s quick and easy, and helps keep you organized. And if they ever come back, you can bring their file back to life just as quickly.

For more information on how to archive and unarchive a patient in Atlas.md, check out the full support article over here.

Posted by: AtlasMD

February 8, 2017

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Feature Review: Adding a New Location

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!

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