When Will Technology Actually Transform Healthcare?

“Health care is overwhelmed by “fast, cheap, and out of control” technologies,” writes Joe Flower.

Every new device will revolutionize healthcare, right? We hear this all the time. And, to be fair, we’re tech nerds here in the Atlas MD office.

However, we have a major caveat to our passion for healthcare tech.

In our case, we are excited about iterating on our EMR that eliminates the waste in your direct care practice.

And by eliminating the waste in your practice, we’re helping you to re-imagine how you get paid in your practice.

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Ponytail Cap, Atlas MD Present at This Week’s 1 Million Cups

Thanks to Brian McTavish for covering Atlas MD at 1 Million Cups.

“Healthcare’s broken, and we’re here to fix it,” Umbehr said. Instead of taking insurance, Atlas MD charges patients a monthly membership fee—$10 for children and $50 to $100 for adults based on their age. Patients in return get unlimited visits, no co-pays, a variety of free procedures and wholesale pricing on prescriptions and lab work with discounts of up to 95 percent. In addition, Atlas MD works with employers to provide less expensive health care coverage for their employees.

Complete post first appeared on IThinkBigger.com.

Elephant In The Room — The Projected Primary Care Shortage

Projecting future physician workforce needs is a challenging calculation. You have to consider multiple variables to avoid missing the mark. In the mid-1990s, the American Medical Association confidently predicted that the penetration of managed care would lead to a large “physician surplus” and convinced Congress to cap the number of graduate medical education (GME) positions subsidized by the Medicare program. By the look of things today, that might not have been such a wise move.

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We Know Fee-For-Service Healthcare Has Problems. But Would You Guess That It’s Hurting Patient Credit Scores, Too?

Mounting evidence shows that chaos in medical billing isn’t only affecting our nation’s health. It’s marring the financial reputation of many Americans. That’s because the bills themselves can take months to sort out, and medical debts can be reported rapidly to credit agencies, often without notification. Even small unpaid bills can severely damage credit ratings.

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EMRs Are Doing More Harm Than Good

EMRs Are Doing More Harm Than Good

If you read anything about EMRs today, make it this post from Val Jones, founder and CEO of Better Health. She depicts an EMR world that you can imagine like this: “Spend your days as a copy editor for an Indian transcription service, try to prevent patients from being labeled as syphilitics while worrying about whether or not the medicine they’re taking is classified as a tablet or a capsule in a system where you may not be able to enter any orders at all if the central tech command is fixing software instability in the Star Trek room.” Does this sound a bit absurd? Well then maybe you should read Jones’ entire post and let her explain how a technology that promised so much, wound up making things so much worse.

READ VAL JONES’ POST ON KEVIN MD

MUST FOLLOW_The Self Pay Patient Blog

Sean Parnell reached out to us recently, expressing support of our cash-for-service model of primary care. We’re glad he did. Turns out he runs a blog called The Self Pay Patient and it’s a helpful resource for “tens of millions of Americans who are either uninsured, have high-deductible health insurance, or just want to escape from bureaucratic medicine…”

His blog entries are the basis of a book he’s currently writing that will be “a ‘users guide’ to self-pay medicine, explaining in detail how to find doctors, hospitals, pharmacies, and other providers of health care goods and services…”

He recently wrote about a patient who needed knee surgery and benefitted indirectly from cash-only medicine. The first hospital he visited wanted an out of pocket payment (he had a “good” insurance plan) that was MORE than the cost of the whole operation at the Surgery Center of Oklahoma, a cash-only facility. In the end, the patient used price transparency to negotiate and save about $3,000 on his procedure.

READ THE COMPLETE STORY ON ABC NEWS

Once more we see the power of the market, and price transparency, in making healthcare more readily available. We believe it’s worth writing down — every direct primary care practice and every cash-only hospital that offers competitive, cost-saving procedures, treatments, prescriptions, etc. puts pressure on the insurance companies to treat clientele more fairly. Cheers to Mr. Parnell’s blog for keeping a record of these establishments and spreading awareness of their benefits.

Personal Injury Lawyer Takes Interest in “Cash-Only” Medicine

Personal Injury Lawyer Takes Interest in “Cash-Only” Medicine

This came as a surprise, but Console & Hollawell P.C., personal injury attorneys based in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York have taken interest in cash-only medicine. They posted an optimistic essay after interviewing three successful doctors who’ve left the insurance-based pay-for-service system. This included our own Dr. Doug Nunamaker, who had a chance to share his motivations for practicing Atlas MD-style of primary care. If you’re looking for a personal essay laying out the possibilities made possible by exiting insurance-based medicine, this is it. It’s definitely worth sharing with your online network.

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This Week in Concierge Medicine

Here are five thought-provoking posts on concierge medicine circulating the Web this week. Follow the links to read the complete articles.

Concierge Medicine Can Ease Escalating EHR Requirements
Wayne Lipton addresses growing concerns over new EMR guidelines and highlights some advantages of the concierge business model.

New Doctor in Town Offers Alternative to Traditional Fee Model: Concierge Medicine for the Masses
Dr. Samir Qamar see Las Vegas as the perfect market for concierge medicine. His model is slightly different than AtlasMD’s, with a subscription and a $10 fee per visit. However, he’s made it very attractive for employers who typically don’t offer insurance, like the billion-dollar service industry.

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