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

December 9, 2016

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Treating Millennials with Direct Primary Care

DPC is all about connecting with patients, which ironically is prevented by the standard insurance model. All those rules and regulations are so tough to keep up with, and heaven forbid you break one of ’em. The fear itself can effectively prevent that connection which leads to a healthy doctor-patient relationship. Can’t text. Can’t Skype. Can’t Tweet. And when you feel like you’re basing a diagnosis on the ICD code instead of the other way around? Don’t even get us started. But we digress… 

Thank goodness there’s a better way. Direct Care literally shoves all that craziness to the side and lets us focus on the patient. Listening to them. Talking to them. Connecting with them. However they want. We would do well to remember that Direct Care was built on the premise of transparent communication. But we would do even better to remember that not everyone communicates the same way. Your “older” generation thrives on phone calls and emails. But your millennials? They’re different. They text and tweet. Constantly. It’s concise. And fast. And that’s all they need. #micdrop

The AAFP wrote an article addressing some of this not too long ago. They had all kinds of great ideas on how to attract and engage this generation. The whole thing is over here, but let’s take a quick peek at the good stuff:  Read more

LISTEN: Atlas.md Podcast, Ep. 14

LISTEN: Atlas.md Podcast, Ep. 14

We’re back and a LOT has happened! Seriously, 2014 is going to be a year of paradigm shift — the status quo isn’t going to cut it if insurance premiums jump 50-60% and fee-for-service docs are being told to keep 6 months of cash on hand to protect themselves from ICD-10 payment delays. Great news, though, we’re working with large unions comprised of 10-15k employees — manufacturing unions, school district unions, others — and excited about how vital this could be in the spread of direct care. And there are more physicians cutting the red tape — A practice in Oklahoma opens April 1st; Dr. Michael in Missouri is almost ready to start operating cash-only; an office in New Mexico opens February 1st; and several more are slated for the next few months. Once this ball gets rolling, we’re convinced it’s not going to slow down.

LISTEN TO EPISODE 14 OF THE ATLAS MD PODCAST HERE

In this episode, the docs outline best practices for direct care pricing, share a surprising story of insurance intimidation, and offer insight into the effects that insurance-free medicine will have on healthcare.

High Notes In Family Medicine 2013

The AAFP published a year-end summary that’s definitely worth checking out. Here’s a list of things they’re celebrating (excerpted from aafp.com):

  • A survey showed that median first-year guaranteed compensation for FPs not doing obstetrics rose from $163,000 in 2011 to $170,000 in 2012.
  • In September, a Merritt Hawkins survey showed that family physicians topped the list of the most highly recruited physicians for the seventh straight year.
  • New survey results released on Dec. 18 revealed that Americans want physicians handling their healthcare:
    • 72 percent of American adults surveyed said they preferred physicians to non-physicians, such as nurse practitioners, when it came to their healthcare.
    • 90 percent of adults would choose a physician to lead their “ideal medical team” when given the choice.
    • By greater than a two-to-one margin, adults viewed physicians and family physicians as more knowledgeable, experienced, trusted and up-to-date on medical advances than non-physicians.

It’s apparent that our work in direct care is paying off. Back in May, the AAFP created its first DPC policy. And because so many people are interested in our work, they developed a document to answer family physicians’ questions. Although, even in family physicians’ successes, there’s something bittersweet – the fact that patients have to choose between liking a physician and a non-physician is exemplary of our aberrant healthcare system, one that’s heavily regulated, and preposterously inefficient. One thing that Atlas MD and direct care can promise is that you’re always going to see a doctor when you come in. That’s what you’re paying for, and what you’re getting. In the other places, it’s what someone’s paying for, and you MIGHT be getting, in varying degrees.

AAFP Releases Detailed Projection Of Primary Care Physician Shortage

The AAFP reported on a recent study outlining the projected family doctor shortage that is facing our nation. According to the organization, “The projections rely on a combination of factors to gauge current and future workforce needs on a state-by-state basis, focusing heavily on increased patient demand that is likely to result from an aging population, overall population growth and coverage expansions due to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.”

The projections are very specific. For example, according to the projection for Arizona, the state demands an additional 1,941 primary care physicians by 2030. This is 150 percent of the current number of doctors. According to the research, 1,466 primary care physicians are needed because of population growth, 360 because of increased utilization, and 115 because of insurance expansions that occur as part of the Affordable Care Act.

Read more

AAFP CREATES POLICY ON DIRECT PRIMARY CARE

The AAFP released an official statement on DPC. It’s going to bat for practices like ours. We especially like their word choice in their support for both doctors’ AND patients’ choice to embark on direct care. In our opinion, the free market principle of choice is what behooves our healthcare system, offering competitive options that eliminate red tape and incentivize innovation (like we’re doing with atlas.md). Couple that with increased public awareness of unfair, exorbitant costs associated with greedy pill makers and we might continue to see falling healthcare costs in the upcoming years.

“The AAFP supports the physician and patient choice to, respectively, provide and receive health care in any ethical health care delivery system mode, including the DPC practice setting,” says the policy. It notes that the model is structured to “emphasize and prioritize” the physician/patient relationship to improve health outcomes and lower costs

As Gandhi once said, Be the change you want to see. We are that change in primary care. But we’re human, too. We prefer receiving support, instead of resistance.

View the AAFP’s policy on Direct Primary Care here.

AAFP Embraces DPC, Creates New Policy Guidelines

Wait, is this the same Association of American Family Practitioners who’s been used by dated critics to turn direct care into another Red Scare? They once warned, according to the LA Times, that direct primary care could lead to further shortage of doctors down the line. We, of course, knew better and said, No, unhappy doctors who refuse to practice altogether should be the real concern. We’ve been charging ahead, day-by-day, doing what we believe in, and the media is paying attention. Meanwhile, the AFFP maintained a strictly neutral opinion, to our awareness. But now it appears they’ve leapt off the fence and into our court, with a new article highlighting three direct care practices, including Atlas MD.

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