Traditionally, there are three financial barriers to starting your practice — the office, the technology and the management. But Atlas Md-style of direct care addresses each of them.
Tag Archives: cut the red tape
Concierge Medicine Today is asking their readers ‘What are the most influential “brand names” and “people” in the concierge medicine and direct healthcare marketplace? We earned their nod amongst an impressive list of insurance-free clinics/physicians. Results will be revealed mid-March, so if you have time, vote for us! Atlas MD is primary care fit for a CEO — free procedures, unlimited office and tech visits, discounted labs and prescriptions — at a price fit for all of us. Thanks for your support!
In South Portland, Maine, Dr. Michael Ciampi took a step last spring that Bangor Daily News said some physicians would describe as radical (not us, though). He reclaimed his practice from the Mercy health system because he found that patient care was too impersonal. Then he stopped accepting insurance and Medicaid so that he could work more directly with his patients. Earlier in 2013, Ciampi sent a letter to his patients informing them that he would no longer accept any kind of health coverage, both private and government-sponsored. Given that he was now asking patients to pay for his services out of pocket, he posted his prices on the practice’s website.
When Blue Shield of California was designing the new health plans it would offer individuals under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the insurer made a simple request to doctors and hospital in its network — lower your prices or get left behind. The insurer asked providers to accept reimbursement rates as much as 30 percent lower than what Blue Shield previously paid through plans sold on the individual market. Keep in mind that billing through a third-party-payer is about to multiply tenfold in complexity (from ~15,000 to +155,000 billing codes with ICD-10), meaning that getting paid will require more work for fee-for-service docs. In fact, providers are attending training seminars, paid for out of pocket, to learn how to deal with this billing beast.
Some providers got on board with Blue Shield, but not all of them.
Thank you for Tweeting us your direct care questions. We went through and answered them one by one in our newest podcast. Someone asked about how many patients we’re seeing. Great question! We’re proud to say that we’re seeing about 1,500 patients in total now, and that Dr. Palomino is seeing ~415 patients after entering Atlas MD last May.
At the end of their recent article about cash-only medicine, The New York Times asks, “With all the changes in health care and insurance, has your doctor stopped accepting insurance? If so, what has been your experience — both with the care and with your insurer? The article title is warily slanted — “Dealing with Doctors Who Only Accept Cash” — but the writer shared their own wonderful story about a cash-only doctor who drove an hour and a half to successfully take care of a sick baby.
Kevin MD might be the honorary ambassador of EMR frustration. He recently wrote about his EMR disappointment. He writes, “It takes me over 50 mouse clicks, all while scrolling through dozens of screens, to document a straightforward office visit for a sinus infection. Refilling a single prescription electronically, which I do over a hundred times a day, takes over 10 clicks.” You’ve heard this story all before, right? It’s what no tech conglomerate making these machines will ever publicize — EMRs are for the most part, epic exercises in mindless clicks. And to make it worse, reports from left leaning publications say that digital health records offer little savings.
For Years The RAND Corporation Claimed EMRs Would Save Us $100 Billion Per Year — Until Their Own Research Proved Otherwise
Seriously, we’ve heard enough idealistic hoopla about EMRs improving patient care. It is not the reality of the situation. What appears to be the reality is that the companies who provide the EMRs, and get government kick backs for doing such, are definitely raking in a lot of dough. What’s not happening, though, is anything beneficial in the doctor’s office. The machines aren’t widely adopted and when they are, they’re costing doctors time with unnecessary clicks. And the nail in the coffin comes from the New York Times, who write, “The conversion to electronic health records has failed so far to produce the hoped-for savings in health care costs and has had mixed results, at best, in improving efficiency and patient care, according to a new analysis by the influential RAND Corporation.”
Sure, Stage 2 Meaningful Use Regulations Are Great. That’s Why Providers Want A Two Year Delay In Their Implementation.
Fierce Health IT reports that “nearly 50 of the nation’s most influential provider organizations–including the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives, the American Medical Association, the American Hospital Association and the Medical Group Management Association–are asking for a front-end extension to Meaningful Use Stage 2…” In fact, they sent a letter directly to U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius expressing just that. Read more