DPC Gets the Spotlight in Powell, Wyoming.

Wyoming_01Quality over quantity. That’s what’s being praised via the Physician of the Year Award in Wyoming. So without further ado, a very well-deserved congratulations goes out to Dr. Tracy for earning this award. Not only is he one of the pioneers of Direct Care, he’s done it so well, in fact, that he’s being recognized on a state level. That means he beat out all the traditional docs for the title… which tells us he (and his EMR… which happens to be Atlas.md!) is doing something really right.

Not surprisingly, he’s super humble about the whole thing.

“It’s a real surprise and it is an honor to have this award given to me,” Tracy said. “There are a lot of deserving people in the state. I think about the people who have received the award in the past and it’s been for contribution in one way or another in the field of medicine making this state a better place to live and practice medicine, so it really is an honor.”

It’s difficult to break the mold of traditional healthcare. The scissors that cut red tape can get a bit heavy sometimes. And like any new business, the first years are tough. But Direct Care practices across the country are proving it can be done with the right tools… and the right outlook. It turns out that when you truly put the needs of your patients and community above all else, good things happen. Your genuine efforts to improve the lives of those around you make a bigger impact than a pile of paperwork ever could.

DPC docs aren’t in it for the accolades. But we’re certainly grateful for the positive attention awards such as this show our industry.

When Quality Metrics Ruin the Quality of Care.

Sigh. We knew this would happen… traditional healthcare is getting in the way of itself again.

Quality measurement is a good thing on paper, and not something to be ignored. But implementation of it is, well, complicated. And according to some recent studies, largely unhelpful. When you get down to the nitty gritty, we’re not convinced it does more good than harm, and Dr. Don Berwick, one of the nation’s leading champions in high quality, patient-centered care agrees.

“I have tremendous doubts about the accuracy and utility and overall wisdom of quality metrics at the individual level,” Berwick says. “When it’s a ‘falling off a log’ standard that you know everyone would want the same way then it’s good to know we’re adhering to the standard. The problem comes when we don’t get a chance to modify them to fit individual needs. Can we really be smart enough to write rules that get down to the level of what’s right for each individual patient? So we have to be really careful about these rule-based standards.”

Because it’s true that “doctors are so much more than metrics.”  In fact, a lot of docs feel metric bloat has had a negative impact on quality care. Oh, and it’s not worth the money it takes to implement, either, apparently:

In 2015 the Institute of Medicine issued its own report on the proliferation of quality measures, which found that “the growth in measurement and reporting activities results in considerable expense and requires substantial time commitment, without a matching return on investment.”

It seems that spending too much time measuring the quality is actually ruining the quality. Suddenly this is all too convoluted and you’re thinking – there MUST be a better way. Enter stage right – Direct Care. Where quality is literally the foundation on which DPC practices operate. No need for measurements. Quality just… is. It’s baked into every part of a Direct Care doc’s day – from the smaller number of patients they see, to the longer appointment times, all the way to billing transparency and acute interest in saving their patients money.

Quality shouldn’t be measured in numbers, but rather patient satisfaction. And as more and more patients opt for a truly personal relationship with their physician, Direct Care smiles from ear to ear. Because it has everything we need to show patients what quality’s really like – without any of the controversy.

ACH Is Here and It’s Easier Than Ever To Accept Payments

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There’s a new way to accept payments through Atlas, and it’s going to make things even better for you and your patients. We’re excited to announce the launch of Atlas.md’s ACH acceptance.

Here’s the scoop. By now you know that you can accept credit and debit payments. And that’s been great. But ACH is a way for you to accept payments directly from your customers’ bank accounts. If you remember, back in November, we lowered your transaction payments from 2.5% to 2.1%, but this new addition makes it even cheaper to accept payments from your patients.

The cool thing about ACH (besides the convenience) is that the charge per transaction is only going to be 25¢, which is less than the current 2.1% + 30¢ per transaction for credit/debit card payments. While it does take about 7 days for your patients’ funds to go through, this can add a bit more flexibility to your payment acceptance options.

Accept Multiple Types of Payment

ACH acceptance is a win-win: it lets your patients send money directly from their bank, so they have less to worry about, and it allows your clinic to accept payments without paying high transaction fees. And it’s a win-win that includes no learning curve.

To accept ACH payments, just follow some simple instructions:

  • Go to the patient billing page, and then add a new bank account.
  • Enter your patient’s name, account number, and routing number.
  • You’ll receive a confirmation message that the bank account has been added and needs to be verified.
  • The customer will get an email with details about the process and a link that they can use to complete the verification.

That’s it! Go ahead and get set up with ACH today or read some more specifics about how ACH works here.

Posted by: AtlasMD

January 29, 2016

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Download Our Direct Primary Care Survey

DPC Survey

There’s nothing that gets us as excited as sharing, and since we just launched our helpful Direct Primary Care survey, we thought you might be interested in incorporating it in your own practice. The Direct Primary Care survey will help you understand your soon-to-be patients by gauging their interest in a DPC.

If you’ve been meaning to find new avenues in which to market and focus your attention, we think you’ll like our survey. It will help you identify any issues that potential patients have with their current providers, and you’ll be able to see how you can help eliminate and improve their situation with DPC.

Uncover valuable patient data with our DPC survey. You’ll find out the following info: 

  • Whether potential patients were able to meet their previous year’s healthcare premium.
  • Whether potential patients are interested in lowering their health insurance premiums.
  • Whether potential patients are interested in having a $0 copay.
  • Whether potential patients have knowledge of other plans and opportunities available to them.

If you’re hoping to expand your practice, you can circulate this survey in your community, via Facebook and social media, via email, or at community centers. Gathering data on potential patients will help you understand the need for DPC practices in your community, of course, but it will also help generate interest in a DPC in your community.

Your Direct Primary Care practice relies on your ability to find and help new customers, and we think you’ll find this survey to be a great resource. Download our survey to start exploring your future customers’ needs. Download the Direct Primary Care Survey and start helping new patients today.>  Want more ways to generate interest for your DPC? Check out our DPC Curriculum to see what else you can do to reach new and current customers.

Announcing the Atlas.md EMR Referral Program!

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Refer a Friend, Receive a Discount.

Here’s the deal. By now, you know how much we love to share. Whether it’s savings, references or just plain good news, we want to tell you about it. And since us DPC folk tend to think alike we imagine you’re the same way.

Many of you have already told your Direct Care colleagues about the Atlas.md EMR – now we want to say thank you!! Introducing our brand new referral program. Now when you refer someone who signs up for the Atlas.md EMR, we’ll comp you one month toward your own account. In addition, the person you refer will receive a two-month trial period instead of the standard 30 days!

The season of giving might technically be over with, but we’re going to carry our gratitude for your support all the way through 2016.

So, spread the word and save some money! Click here for more details.

Down, Down, Down The Transaction Fees Go…

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We did it back in June, and it felt so good that we decided to do it again. That’s right – just in time for the holidays we’ve dropped credit card transaction fees from 2.5% way down to 2.1%. More money in your pocket, right when you need it most!

Remember the days when 3.1% was the norm? You probably didn’t really even notice it… after all, that’s what you’d come to expect. But in dropping it to 2.1%, we’re showing you just how committed we are to helping Direct Primary Care succeed. And just like DPC promotes in every detail of its model, we want the recipients of its care to expect better.

It’s a two-fold result, really. On the one hand, clinics who use the Atlas.md EMR know without a doubt they’re getting the most bang for their buck and that Atlas truly cares about saving money where it counts. And on the other hand, those same clinics are in an even better position to pass the savings on down to their patients. Just like that, everyone wins!

So you see, it’s more than lower numbers. With them come higher expectations and higher satisfaction.

Three Ways Your Direct Care Practice Can Tell A Better Story. Part Two: Branding Speaks Volumes.

2-Branding01In part one of this three-part storytelling series we talked about how literally every action you take plays a role in the story you’re telling your patients. What you do matters — even little stuff like saying thank you, responding to emails, and having a friendly face or voice to greet your patients can send a powerful message. And that’s a message you don’t want your patients to interpret on their own!

But your actions are only one part of the equation. To tell a complete story you also have to think about what your patients see when you’re not there. That’s right – we’re talking about branding.

It’s the website. It’s the brochure. It’s the business card. It’s the content of your blog, emails and texts. In one single word, it’s your identity. Good stuff, huh? Let’s talk about how you can use these branding elements to breathe life into your story and convey the real message of DPC.

One Voice

Throughout all the materials mentioned above (website, brochure, business card, content, etc.) it’s important to have one underlying theme peeking through. Is it that you’re available 24/7? Is it that you always put your patients first? Do you have a tagline you can weave in? When patients see the same message on various materials it does a couple good things: it tells them you’re put-together, and it engrains your message into their heads. Rather than just another doctor’s office, they come to identify you as the people who provide care.

So in a nutshell, what you’re trying to avoid here is sending mixed messages. If there was only one thing you could tell your patients, what would it be? Now make sure that comes across in each piece.

Visual Storytelling: Design

Small design elements can translate really well across different pieces — and go a long way toward telling a cohesive story. Let’s start with your logo. Read more

Three Ways Your Direct Care Practice Can Tell A Better Story. Part One: What You Do Matters.

1-WhatYouDoMattersAs a Direct Care practitioner, you’re doing so much more than practicing medicine. You’re telling one of the most important stories our country, and perhaps the world, needs to hear today. You’re telling the story of happiness. Of freedom. Of satisfaction. Of care. 

Your story paints a picture for healthcare patients. This picture isn’t abstract nor is it intangible. It’s vivid with color, the depth of its honesty and transparency reaching into their souls and telling them that better is possible.

In this three-part series, we’ll dig deep into some ways you can step outside your medical mindset and tell your patients a more engaging story. In return, they’ll keep coming back and sing your praises to

What you do matters.

Every interaction you have with your patients tells the story of what healthcare should look like. In it’s simplest form, this step is just about taking advantage of the foundation Direct Care was built on. It’s sticking to your word and putting your patients first in the following ways:

If you offer same day scheduling, make it happen.
Remember, your patients are probably used to waiting three weeks for an appointment, spending an hour in the waiting room, and then being shuffled right back out the door 10 minutes later. You can show them they don’t have to put up with that nonsense for another minute.

Respond in a timely fashion.
You’ve chosen to keep a limited patient count in order to make time for everyone. So since you don’t have back to back to back appointments scheduled 15 minutes apart, you likely have some form of downtime throughout your day. Use it to keep on top of patient correspondence. You might have six patients to deal with in one day, but they’re only concerned with one doctor… they want to know they’re just as important to you as you are to them. A simple response can go a long way to prove that.

Staff your office appropriately.
You don’t need a whole crew of people to man your DPC practice. You might be the only physician in it! But if you’re behind closed doors with a patient, who’s manning the front desk? The phones? Read more

What’s New in the Atlas.md EMR? Multiple Locations!

What’s New in the Atlas.md EMR? Multiple Locations!

The Atlas.md EMR has always been poised to scale gracefully alongside your practice, but now we’re stepping things up in a big way.

We’re thrilled to announce the newest feature of the EMR, which fully supports multiple practice locations. We’re talking management of multiple offices, several doctors and staff members, and efficient movement of patients as you transition them from one location to another. You probably won’t notice the launch of this new feature unless you’re opening a new location firsthand. But we’ve taken great care to integrate location-based details throughout the entire EMR if it pertains to you.

Some of the biggest perks of this new feature include assigning doctors to a specific location, which automatically assigns their patients to their location as well. Each location has its own specific inventory, so when you dispense for a particular patient, that action will respect the location the patient is assigned to. But don’t worry, you’re not responsible for remembering all this. We’ve set up prompts and reminders so when you take an action that will affect another location, you’ll know exactly what to do.

So dig in, and congratulations on the growth of your practice! All the details are right over here in this help article. >