Posted by: AtlasMD

July 10, 2017

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What is a Technology Visit?

Life happens. Your patients can’t always come to you, and you may not always be able to go to them. Thank goodness Direct Care accounts for that by way of nontraditional methods of communication . . . otherwise known as technology visits! It really boils down to convenience. At any rate, here’s a little reminder of all the ways you can be there for your patients – no matter where there is.


Quick, easy, everyone’s tied to it from their phones anyway. It’s great because email is so versatile these days. Email from your desktop, your tablet, your phone – whatever works.


It’s a no-brainer. But in a world where we’re used to typing and texting, the phone can serve as a valuable resource when your patient need to be walked through something in a pinch. Plus, hearing the sound of your voice can really help calm a sticky situation.

Video Chat

Skype, FaceTime, the EMR in-app video phone feature. It all works, and it gives you an advantage of seeing what the patient is describing in real time.


Texting is one of the most popular means of communications today. Makes sense; it’s also one of the easiest! Your patient can send a note, a picture, whatever. they need And you can respond pretty much anytime – except when you’re driving, of course. Technology makes healthcare accessible . . . but not that accessible.


If you’re using the EMR, don’t forget the vitals of all this correspondence gets tied directly to your patient’s chart. So you can talk, type or text with your patient without worrying about logging it later. Plus, having these key correspondence features already integrated into your EMR saves you big bucks by having to use a separate tool.

How are you getting creative with technology visits in your practice? Share your story in the comments!

Posted by: AtlasMD

June 29, 2017

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The Easy Answer to a Question You’re Asked All the Time: “Is there a DPC Practice Near Me?”

You’ll never get tired of answering that question, but now there’s an easier way to do it.

When someone asks you if there’s a DPC practice near them, just send them to

You’ll get popped right over to where they feature a really great map of the entire country. (We just shortened the URL to so it’s easier to say!) Zoom in, zoom out, click the dots for more information, and even see what kind of practice it is: pure DPC, on-site DPC, or hybrid DPC.

All that info – just tell ‘em to visit Again, it forwards right to, but is easier to say.

Posted by: AtlasMD

June 13, 2017

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What’s New in We’re Showing, Not Telling.


You’ve texted a patient just to see how they’re doing, right? That’s a really small thing for you to do, but it’s a really big deal to your patient. That seemingly insignificant action shows them how much you care. Proves they’re on your mind, and that when you say you want a meaningful relationship with them — you really mean it.

It’s the details that matter. So no matter how hard we have to squint or how long it takes us to get it perfect, we’re willing to put forth the effort, because we know it’s the details in these very features that show how much we care about your ability to run your Direct Care practice.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at the latest features that we’ve taken time to integrate thoughtfully, test relentlessly and show off shamelessly.

What’s New in Atlas?

Friendly Tax Tracking for Inventory
Need to pay for taxes separately for each item in your inventory? Now Atlas handles that for you so it’s one less thing you have to worry about. You’re welcome.

SMS Dashboard Widget
Now you can respond to SMS messages right from your dashboard or the patient’s chart without ever picking up your phone. We support communication however it’s easiest for you!

Importer for Lab Prices
You can already customize lab prices, but now you can upload your carefully negotiated prices in one fell swoop with our new lab prices importer tool. Learn how it all works here.

More Control over Bulk Emails
Now you can review, edit and even cancel bulk emails you’ve already scheduled to distribute. Things change, right? We know.

Export List of Patients Sent to Collections
Now you can export a full list of patients who have been added to collections right from the billing page. Freshen up on all things patient billing over here!

Heads Up On Pre-Paid Cards
Pre-paid cards can be deceptive. Even when they get approved, funds can run out a day later. We’ve added a flag to pre-paid cards so you can be more proactive in your process of receiving immediate payment.

Send Invoice Emails to Multiple Addresses
If you’ve ever needed to send an invoice email to a patient and a company… now you can. Just separate the email addresses by semicolon and you’re good to go.

Instructions Added to Current Medications Sidebar
To simplify the workflow for many of you, we’re adding instructions to the medications sidebar. The information you want, where you want it.

Email Note Attachments
Want to email a file that’s been uploaded to the patient’s chart? Now you can with just a few clicks. Mic drop.

New Macro Alert!
Enter #ins to enter the insurance information listed for the head of household associated with your patient.

Option for Credit Receipt
Now when you add a credit or write-off to your patient’s account, they’ll know about it because you can email them about it.

New SMS Notification for Custom Faxes and More Details on SMS Notifications for Rx Faxes
Double whammy alert. You can already choose to send SMS notifications on prescription faxes, but now you can do the same for custom faxes. Read the details over here. Oh, and now the text you send your patient when their prescription has been sent includes the location of the pharmacy. It’s the little things.

A Closer, Different Look at Inventory
If you’re the admin of your account, you can see who’s responsible for the inventory, update the default price markup, default tax percentage for NDC items, and default tax percentage for Non-NDC items — all from the inventory page.

Posted by: AtlasMD

June 1, 2017

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Feature Review: Setting Up Phone Services!

It’s such an integral part of so many clinics who use the EMR, but if you don’t know about it you could be chasing your tail trying to keep up with your practice. Enabling phone services through Atlas lets you control when and where patients can reach you – putting you squarely in the driver’s seat of your practice and essentially making you more available to your patients when they need you. If you haven’t already, here’s how to set up phone services within your account.

Posted by: AtlasMD

May 25, 2017

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Feature Review: Adding a New User to Your Account

Thinking of adding another user to your Atlas account? That’s great! Doing so is quick and easy, and if you have multiple people sharing one login, it’s definitely a must to keep your charts clean and organized. Setting up individual users for the people in your practice gives everyone accountability – and helps you grow with grace. If you’ve never done it before or just want a refresher, this video walks you through it, step by step.

Posted by: AtlasMD

May 18, 2017

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What ACA Repeal & Replace Really Means for DPC.

The house voted. The bill passed. The ACA is changing, this we know. Depending on who you ask, this is either a really good thing, or a really bad thing.

This bill would be a tremendous improvement from the current system.  And in its latest form, the bill balances concerns about high costs and limited choice with protections for pre-existing conditions.

The ACA and leading replacement proposals rely on refundable tax credits to help individual market enrollees pay for premiums, although the credit amounts are set quite differently.

Even before the vote, some Republican senators had expressed deep reservations about one of the most important provisions of the House bill, which would roll back the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

It Doesn’t Matter How You Feel.

Okay, that’s a little harsh. It actually does matter how you feel. But even so, let’s put politics aside, yeah? Because those of us in Direct Care need to think about the bigger picture. Which is that very soon, lots of people are going to need what this platform has to offer. They’re going to need transparency like never before. They’ll need a quality relationship with their physician to come up with a plan unique to them…one that can’t be conjured up in seven minutes. They’ll need the flexibility to make healthcare work for their family instead of having to make their family adapt to the rules of healthcare.

Will We Be Ready?

Are our practices ready for them? How can we get more ready? Take the pulse of your community. Talk to them and see how they’re feeling, what their healthcare plans are, what they’re frustrated about. Be the one who helps explain all the things they don’t have time to research and understand themselves. Tell them how the Direct Care model accommodates for the areas traditional healthcare falls short. (Hint: transparency, time, efficiency, flexibility, availability, friendliness, quality…just to name a few) And then maybe. Just maybe you’ll feel comfortable thinking about the possibility of expanding. Hiring a new doc. Opening that second practice.

There are a whole bunch of ways to prepare your practice for a fuller patient panel. If you’re curious about any of them, we’re happy to help. Because your goal is to grow at a pace you’re comfortable with, while maintaining the lifestyle you want, and continuing to provide the quality care you went to med school to master.

Posted by: AtlasMD

May 11, 2017

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Direct Care Docs Have This. Traditional Docs Don’t.

After writing and rewriting the first sentence to this article about a hundred times, we realized there is no way to sugar coat it.

Direct Care docs have time. Traditional docs don’t.

There, we said it. We feel better. Let’s talk about why time is so valuable, and why us DPC docs love it so very much.

Time is something we all wish we had more of. Are always trying to carve it out. We crave it. 

Think about all the awesomeness time brings to the party. It lets you sink in and do extensive research between patient appointments without being interrupted to jump to the next thing. It lets you listen to your patients and read between the lines of what they’re saying about their lives. Time allows you to transition: to put the thing you just did behind you, so you can be present in the thing you’re about to do.

It’s not just about medicine, though. In fact, time allows you to step away from medicine and live a life outside those four walls. When you’re in charge of your schedule and your patient expectations are well met (time naturally allows you to accomplish this), you can immerse yourself in…whatever you want. You can take your kid to story time at the library at 10 a.m. Go to the car show after lunch. Hit the gym when the rest of the world isn’t there (no more waiting in line for machines!).

We’re ramming the importance of time down your throat for a reason.

Look, we all get the same 24 hours in a day. It is what it is. Rambling on and on about all the wonderful things you can do with time feels a little ridiculous at this point. But even so, it remains to be one of Direct Care’s biggest assets. And one of the recurring things docs in traditional healthcare never seem to have enough of.

Let’s lay out some of the things docs get fed up with over time, yeah?

  • Rushing patients in and out the door. Seven minutes, people. Clearly not enough time.
  • Having that mountain of paperwork looming at the end of the day because there isn’t enough time between appointments to do it properly. Nor can anyone else do it for you…
  • Medicine becomes your entire life; you don’t have time to do the other things you love with the people you love.
  • Having to bend to insurance rules and regulations because it’s how you get paid. And who has time to sit on the phone and argue about technicalities with an insurance rep for three hours? You’re supposed to have seen 25.7 patients in that amount of time…

The list goes on, but you get the idea. Time is important. We want more. DPC offers more.

It’s a simple truth you cannot and should not ignore.

Time is like a freaking breath of fresh air. You forget how good it feels until you’ve taken one. And once you have, you wonder why you didn’t inhale deeply like this before. And you want to keep doing it over and over and over. It brings clarity.

People think Direct Care is too good to be true. We’d be worried if you didn’t think that way, honestly. A lucrative career where you set your own hours and prices. Patients you get to make a real connection with. Money you get to save people on a daily basis. Healthcare you get to make accessible to everyone. A business you get to run on your own terms. Time to do it all really well.

But it is true. It’s a reality so many docs are living out today. We can’t shout it from the rooftop because, well, nobody would hear it, ironic as that is. But we can say it over and over again from this blog in hopes that a doc somewhere who’s fed up with never having enough time is looking for a better way.

Posted by: AtlasMD

May 8, 2017

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Practice From a Place of Joy.

If you look back on your time as a healthcare professional, can you pinpoint your most inspired moments? The times when you were on fire? You know, like that time you came up with a super unconventional treatment plan that worked really well. Or when you figured out how to get alternative treatment for a patient who seriously needed help but couldn’t swing it because of insurance restrictions. Or how about that time you listened to the nagging in the back of your mind, “randomly” called your patient to check in and learned they were in the middle of a medical crisis? You really saved the day that time.

Chances are you’ll recognize a common thread in all those moments of greatness. You were practicing from a place of joy. You loved your job. You were personally invested in your patients. You thought about work even when you weren’t at the office – and not in a bad way. You did what you did because it’s what you do and who you are. Your best work, your most thoughtful treatment plans, your most careful attention to detail, and your most inspired methods of communication come when you’re happy. 

What if you’re not practicing from a place of joy?

If you’re not there, if that’s not you, you’re missing out on all the good stuff. Seriously – healthcare is exhausting, challenging and rewarding all in the same five minutes, which makes for one hell of an emotional rollercoaster. But the joy. The joy makes it all worth it. It’s the why behind what you do. Or at least it should be. If it’s not, though, all is not lost so don’t worry. You can get there. There’s a way out. You can make changes in the way you practice medicine that relieve pressure, ease tension, and actually give you something to look forward to. Just ask the traditional family doc who loved seeing patients during the day but absolutely dreaded the mountain of paperwork waiting for him after the last one went home. He transitioned to Direct Care and put all that paper right through the shredder. Or you could ask the PA who was stressed from the very beginning of her morning because her first patient ran late and she knew the rest of the day would continue to spiral out of control. She opened a Direct Care practice and now gets to spend at least 30 minutes with each patient. Thirty. Minutes.

Oh, don’t forget to ask the veteran physician who had no desire to even practice anymore because of all the insurance rules and regulations (not to mention he’s tired of keeping up with billing codes). Instead of retiring, he chose DPC. Now he works when he wants to work, with patients he truly connects with, and deals directly with them instead of a mess of third party interferers.

Strive for joy. You owe it to yourself.

You were called to this profession. You may think you chose healthcare, but the really is that it chose you. You were meant for it, and you have a responsibility to do your very best work. You have an obligation to your patients to show them what genuine, personalized healthcare looks like. So strive for the joy that inspires your greatness. Do what you have to do to give your patients real value. If that means adjusting your hours to make sure you have time for you outside the office, do it. If it means getting into the office early to do extra research on the diagnosis you saw yesterday, do it. If it means reading that novel you’ve convinced yourself you don’t have time for, just do it. When you’re happy and you know it, your patients will, too. (Yeah, go ahead. Clap your hands…)

DPC paves the way for joy.

Let’s pretend you’re in a traditional healthcare environment and you’re feeling…stuck. Frustrated. Irritated. Burnt out. Anything other than joyful. You may not have the flexibility to create joy yourself, but remember that “way out” from earlier? It’s Direct Care. Direct Primary Care is the path to joy. The path to running your practice the way you’ve always wanted to. The paved road leading straight to healthy doctor-patient relationships.

When the surefire way to cut bureaucratic red tape and practice medicine from a place of joy invites you over for dinner, you accept. It’s just that simple. (Psst. DPC is sending you an invitation right now!!!)

So have you recalled the last time you were really, really great at practicing medicine? Maybe it was yesterday and fresh in your mind. Or maybe it was so long ago you barely remember how intense that kind of rush feels. Either way, we hope you crave more of it.

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 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 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.