Posted by: AtlasMD

October 14, 2016

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Recommended Reading: The Official Guide to Starting Your Own Direct Primary Care Practice.

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Tired of being a pawn in an administrator’s game? Sick of ICD-10 coding? Would your rather stick a needle in your eye then hear another lie about quality metrics?

Maybe it is time you open your own DPC practice. Well, you came to the right place. Here is the book you HAVE to get first.

It’s The Official Guide to Starting Your Own Direct Primary Care Practice. Get it here. > 

The Reviews Are In!

Let’s listen in to what people are saying about Dr. Farrago’s book, The Official Guide to Starting Your Own Direct Primary Care Practice.

  • “Smart, funny, and dangerously true, it’s a DIY manual for getting back to the “why” you went to medical school: to take care of frickin’ patients.” – Zubin Damania
  • “His book will help any physician transition into direct primary care.” – Vance Lassey, MD of Holton Direct Care
  • “It is a very valuable resource, packed with practical advice on nearly every aspect of starting a Direct Primary Care practice. Dr Farrago’s wit, wisdom, and enthusiasm shine through on every page.” – Dr. Michael Garrett, M.D. of Direct MD Austin
  • “DPC saved my life, thank you for this book.” – JPC
  • “Looking for some top notch advice from someone who is actually practicing Direct Primary care? You need to read this book.” – Luke

Posted by: AtlasMD

October 12, 2016

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Feature Review: Two-Step Authentication

Security is more important than ever, right? Atlas takes it incredibly seriously, and you should know your options for keeping your account protected. For example, two-step authentication is a great way to go that extra mile. This video talks about why two-step authentication is a good option for increased security, and how to enable it in your account.

Posted by: AtlasMD

September 29, 2016

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What’s New in Atlas.md? Workflow Adaptation!

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Healthcare entities can get big. Really big. So big that it can feel truly impossible to navigate the EMR it runs on. You wind up with a massive system where certain departments only use certain pieces of it. And you don’t dare touch those buttons over there for fear of the whole thing imploding. Most EMRs don’t feel natural.

Atlas.md is different. Because it’s built for a special kind of practice that operates on a special kind of business model. Direct Care cuts the red tape that says things are so complicated that they can’t be simplified. Atlas knows there’s a better way. Atlas is the better way.

In this feature release, we’ll show you all the ways Atlas adapts to your workflow. Your EMR is an extension of the work you do. It’s a part of who you are. So let’s dig into how features like note drafts, email attachments, and the ability to waive patient lab fees are going to make your day better.

Chart Drafts Centerchart-drafts

Have to step away from charting to speak to a patient? Take your time; your note will still be there when you get back…whenever that is, and from whatever device you pick it up from! Learn more about the new Draft Center over here.

No Immunizations? Be More Specific, Please.

Refusing a vaccine is a lot different than being allergic to it… and now you can note the details in a free text field on the enrollment form.

Choose Specific Auto-Charge Dates

You’ve always been able to control when your patients are charged for your services, but now you can be even more specific with the options you provide them. Read the details right here.

mass email attachmentEmail Attachments to Mass Emails

Emailing from within Atlas gets fancier with the ability to add attachments to mass emails! Need a refresher on how to email everyone at once? Catch up here.

Billing Attachments

Because your patient information comes in many shapes and sizes, now you can attach files to your billing notes to keep everything organized. Get the details.

Assign Inbox Files as Custom Labs

Labs deserve special treatment, don’t you think? Now you can not only assign them to your patient’s chart from the files inbox, but you can also specify that it’s a custom lab document. Boom.

Waive Patient Lab Fees

If you want to waive the lab fee, now you can do it as you’re ordering the lab instead of manipulating billing later. Learn how over here.

Import and Export Contacts

So many of you love the Directory of Contacts! In its first new feature since launch, you can now import information to your directory, or export the entire thing. Find out how here.

Low or Out of Stock Inventory Notificationlow_inventory_02

When you’re running low, or completely out of stock on inventory, Atlas will let you know before it becomes a problem. Learn how it works here.

Search for non-NDC items by SKU

Now there’s an easier way to search for non-NDC items in your inventory. Yup, by SKU! Catch up on inventory management over here.

New Macros!

The list is getting longer – and more comprehensive… just like you like it. Oh, and did you know? You can use macros in the files inbox note when assigning it to a patient’s chart. Also, gender is included in the demographics macro #demo now. And finally, your #vitals values will include your latest additions! Review the full list of macros over here.

Importing and Exporting Patient Information

Atlas’ patient importer tool now lets you specify branch location. The exporter tool puts your patient charts in nice tidy files outside the EMR, and can even help you easily review and track your subscriptions. Best of both worlds.

Posted by: AtlasMD

September 26, 2016

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Validic + Omron Wellness = Atlas Awesomeness.

Don’t you love it with things improve unexpectedly?

It’s a nice little surprise that makes your day better. One that causes you to smile to yourself and think, “Well, isn’t that neat.”validic

It’s kind of like finding out your EMR integrates with your favorite blood pressure cuff so you can be easily and effortlessly proactive about your patients’ health. Wait a second. It is that. It’s exactly that.

Now when you use Validic to track your patients’ health and wellness, you can use your Omron device to do so. That means the information you gather there automatically translates to the patient’s chart inside Atlas. Click here to learn more about integrating with Validic straight from Atlas.

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.

It’s Not Doctor Shortage, it’s an Efficiency Issue.

According to Forbes, “A recently published study in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that for every hour physicians were seeing patients, they were spending nearly two additional hours on paperwork.”

Whoa.

Well, we knew traditional docs spent a lot of time on paperwork… but this much?! It gives whole new meaning to one of our favorite catchphrases in support of the Atlas.md EMR: You didn’t go to medical school to fill out paperwork! Let’s break some numbers down, though, because when you look under the surface you’ll find the answer to an even bigger problem.

This Time article from a few years ago indicates that 22% of a docs time is spent on charting, EMR, or insurance matters. That’s the equivalent of 165K full time physicians. One hundred sixty five thousand docs could be seeing patients if they weren’t pushing papers instead. It gets worse. New numbers blow that out of the water. Based on the new Forbes study, we’d have more than 500K full time physicians back and taking care of patients.

Here it is, plain and simple. We don’t have a doctor shortage issue. We have an efficiency issue.

You might be thinking, “man, paperwork sure is a necessary evil.” To which Direct Care would like to challenge you: what if it wasn’t necessary? Don’t be silly; we’re not advocating not charting. But what if you could get that time back by being more efficient with the paperwork you really do have to do? It’s what Direct Care providers across the country already know. They skip the insurance paperwork; patients pay them directly. If they use Atlas.md, they actually like their EMR because it’s intuitive to their workflow and leaves out all the flashing lights and other distractions. Taking it one step further, their phone, email, text and even video call correspondence is automatically logged right in the patient’s chart without them ever having to lift a pen. Nice.

So, when we work more efficiently, we eliminate the time-consuming wasteland of paperwork that used to eat up half our day (literally!) and we find ourselves exactly where we not only need to be, but want to be. With patients.

If you’re wondering where all the doctors have gone, check underneath that giant pile of papers. Then go dig them out, tell them about Direct Care and make their lives and the lives of their patients infinitely better.

Posted by: AtlasMD

August 29, 2016

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How Direct Care Challenges the System: EpiPen Alternatives

According to Business Insider, the EpiPen pricing-surge scandal brings out the worst parts of our government and healthcare system.

Challenge accepted.

People everywhere are stressed out about this $600 EpiPen fiasco, but Direct Care isn’t getting caught up in the drama. Instead, DPC docs will happily offer their patients a cost-effective alternative like this prefilled syringe case – for 18 bucks. Turns out that when you look beyond the deep pockets and greedy politics of it all, there actually is another way.

So, rather than moan and groan about the inefficiencies of traditional healthcare, why not do something about it? This is another chance for the Direct Care movement to prove what it can do without all that red tape. We can continue to go above and beyond to make healthcare effective and affordable. Because we love our jobs. And our patients.

Even though government may be trying to help by passing laws that encourage schools to stock epinephrine in order to receive certain grants, things are never that simple when there are so many moving parts. Hence, the resulting increase in demand is one of the many things that lead to a dramatic increase in price.

Sigh.

Well, once again, thank goodness for Direct Care. Where we’re always searching for a better way. And we won’t stop until we’ve found it. In fact, the docs at Atlas are working with Wichita State University’s Innovation department to develop a product similar to the prefilled syringe case mentioned above that’s an even better fit for EpiPen syringes. See what freedom can do?

Posted by: AtlasMD

July 18, 2016

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Hello. I Am Direct Care.

IAmDirectCare01Let me introduce myself.

I am Direct Care. I am compassionate, interested, and proactive. I give my blood, sweat and tears in my efforts to improve the status of our nation’s healthcare. I value quality above all else, and I refuse to let a little bit of red tape get in my way. I keep my scissors sharp. I think patients who can’t afford costly health insurance still deserve medical attention from a family physician. I also think people who can afford health insurance deserve something better than being forced to flail and drown in its turbulent waters – their heads held under by big government.

So, I help.

I’ve cleared a path from those who want something better to those who provide it. I help doctors actually practice the techniques they were taught in medical school instead of fill out paperwork at a desk. I help those same doctors fall back in love with their career – for they chose one that can help so many. I put patients first no matter what the cost. I am gaining momentum. I Am Direct Care.

There’s more to me than meets the eye.

I may seem all nice and humanitarian on the surface, but ohhh am I demanding. I insist that those who embrace me maintain flexibility in their schedules to garner not only patient satisfaction but physician satisfaction. I insist both sides win. I will settle for nothing less than a system that relies on itself rather than a network of third parties who only want a piece of the proverbial pie. I turn an angry shade of red when doctors and patients are taken advantage of by the system. But I know the ending to the story third parties tell… it’s not a happy one. I Am Direct Care.

I have so much to offer.

Real, honest doctor-patient relationships. Comfortable offices that only vaguely resemble a medical establishment. Same-day and next-day scheduling. Home visits. Wholesale prescription costs for meds out of the in-house pharmacy, deep-discount coupons for the rest. The ability for patients and their doctors to communicate how they want. Affordability. The list goes on and on, because I Am Direct Care.

I have incredibly high standards. But I care about you, so I make them incredibly easy to meet. I am bound by only the rules I write. I am the future of medicine. I Am Direct Care.

Posted by: Atlas MD

July 14, 2016

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Consistently Delivering the “Different”

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“The road to success isn’t productivity, it’s differentiation.” – Tony Crabbe

That statement is invaluably true – especially for DPC professionals. Your patients aren’t coming to you because you’re the same as everybody else. In fact, they’ve chosen you for the exact opposite reason. You’re gloriously different. The other guys force patients into the mold they’ve created – restrained by long waits, life-sucking insurance battles, and reduction to nothing more than a chart to be shuffled in and out the door as fast as possible.

But you, you’re different. You have something completely unique to offer. You understand the value of putting a patient’s healthcare back in their hands. You put emphasis on actual quality healthcare instead of getting all tangled up in quality metrics. But you already know why you’re doing what you do. So how can you continue to delivery the different? Let’s look at a few ideas.

Communicate Consistently.

There’s something to be said for giving your patients freedom and space, but they want and need to hear from you. Sometimes that can be your office, but other times it needs to be from you. An email, a phone call, a text, and even a video chat. The sort of personal communication that says over and over again how much you truly care. That you’ll go above and beyond for them. That they can rely on you to have their best interest at heart. This kind of communication isn’t always easy, but it’s different from what they’re used to, and it will set their expectations very high. Which is exactly what you want. Read more

Posted by: AtlasMD

July 11, 2016

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What’s up with MACRA? Mass Exodus.

MACRA is happening in January, and Direct Care is waiting with arms wide open.

Okay, let’s backtrack. The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) is expected to result in penalties for 59% of physicians in practices that have fewer than 25 clinicians. But what exactly is MACRA? Medscape.com explains.

“MACRA replaced Medicare’s sustainable growth rate formula for setting physician reimbursement with the Quality Payment Program, which represents a shift from fee-for-service to pay-for-performance. The Quality Payment Program has two tracks: the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), which most physicians will initially participate in, and Advanced Alternative Payments Models for physicians more accustomed to getting paid based on how they perform on quality and cost-control measures.”

So what’s the result of all this? That’s where the exodus thing comes into play.

“Almost four in 10 physicians in solo and small group practices predict an exodus from Medicare within their ranks on account of the program’s new payment plan and its punishing penalties.”

For small practices, sticking it out in traditional healthcare won’t be easy.

A small business is hard enough to keep afloat without rules and regulations constantly trying to drown it. We get rules are there for a reason, but at what point is it all just too much? And how on earth is everyone supposed to keep up?

“CMS is trying to allay physician fears about MACRA. It has budgeted $100 million during the next 5 years to help small practices get up to speed on the law. The agency acknowledges that complying with MACRA, particularly its reporting requirements, promises to be harder for smaller practices than bigger ones, which have more financial and personnel depth.”

That’s a 5 year learning curve a lot of docs won’t put up with, and quite honestly we don’t blame them. But instead of throwing in the towel, or even getting frustrated, imagine your career in a different light. One that you shed directly on your patients. It’s true – some physicians come to Direct Care out of frustration. But in this case, the grass is definitely greener on the other side. So come on over.

Direct Care isn’t just any solution. It’s a good solution.

Let’s consider the alternative to penalties and a laundry list of rule and, consequently, lifestyle changes. You’re looking at the opportunity to make your own decisions. To free yourself from the restrictions third parties hold you down with. To spend your time focused on patients rather than buried under a mountain of Medicare paperwork. All this freedom doesn’t mean sacrificing income, either. It only means a lot fewer paper cuts.

Update: It hasn’t even been implemented yet, and MACRA is already breaking down. See why “962 pages of gibberish” is causing an uproar and may essentially cause a delay in the new rule’s launch…