Direct Care Is Growing In Greeley, Colorado

Dr. Frank Morgan has been practicing medicine for 13 years in Greeley. Like many of his fellow primary care purists, he wanted to spend more time with his patients and less time dealing with insurance paperwork.

That’s why he founded his new direct primary care clinic, Balance Health, 1709 61st Ave. Here, like us, he treats his patients without accepting insurance. Instead, patients pay a $99 monthly subscription for access to his personal primary care services, as well as access to the clinic’s gym and nutritional advice services.

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The Immeasurable Value Of Direct Care — Time To Listen

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– Stephen Cocksedge, Listening as Work in Primary Care

That’s worth repeating: 85% of diagnoses can be made just by listening to the patient.

It’s clear cut: When doctors do not have enough time to listen the result is that they do not listen.

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Direct Care Is The Blue Collar Bootstrap Solution To Our Broken Healthcare System

Yes, it’s true. More and more primary-care and family physicians are launching concierge practices for middle- and lower-income patients. It’s not an April Fools jokes. We literally saw 5 more docs enter the field just this week!

And yes, we’re limited in scope now. But we are radically reshaping how American families get their medicine.

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We Think We Know The Answer… But How Has Your Insurance-Free Medical Experience Been?

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.

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Sean Hannity’s Realistic Healthcare Solutions Include Atlas MD-Style Direct Care

On March 25, 2010, President Barack Obama said, “From this day forward, all of the cynics, all the naysayers — they’re going to have to confront the reality of what this reform is and what it isn’t. They’ll have to finally acknowledge this isn’t a government takeover of our healthcare system. They’ll see that if Americans like their doctor, they’ll be keeping their doctor. You like your plan? You’ll be keeping your plan. No one is taking that away from you.”

Unfortunately, Obama’s PREDICTION is not the REALITY. And it’s not just our opinion, but Sean Hannity’s too, that maybe we should put less emphasis on “the plan” and in turn, less emphasis on government. Hannity is even going so far as to cite our direct care model in his vision of an American healthcare solution.

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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.

Free Market’s Free Reign — Company Succeeds By Making Exercise And Vacation A Priority

Okay, so we’re putting in a caveat right out of the gate — Atlas MD WILL be checking emails during vacations and probably won’t be sending our limited staff to the gym during lunch. However, we do applaud one company that does EXACTLY that.

David Morken is the sparkling Co-founder and CEO of Bandwidth, a 15-year-old tech company. It was his idea to instate these policies: the company has (and enforces) a complete embargo on email to and from the company during vacation. Oh, well how about I just stay at the office all year? Nope. He also forces employees to take their vacations. And don’t forget the 90-minute lunches. They are paid, if you workout, along with your gym membership, shuttle to and from, your personal trainer, and a comprehensive assessment of your physical condition.

So why’s this cool? Well, for starters, Bandwidth was set to make $150M in 2013 – a 20% increase from 2012 – and, get this, they expect $200M in profitable revenues in 2014. So while yes, these policies might seem Draconian, they began with the proprietor and ended up positively influencing his staff, their work, and his bottom line. And no one in the White House told him how to do his job.

READ FORBES’ COVERAGE OF BANDWIDTH CEO DAVID MORKEN

Even Satisfied Patients Think Direct Care Is “Too Good To Be True”

Even Satisfied Patients Think Direct Care Is “Too Good To Be True”

Dave Chase continues his Forbes expose awakening business and industry types to the benefits of direct primary care (DPC). Now having interviewed more and more DPC consumers, the recurring theme to their comments is something like “it’s too good to be true.” That’s a concern we had. You have this straight-forward, commonsense approach that saves everyone time, cuts insurance expenditures, cuts downstream high-cost treatments and can make doctors more money… The people who experience it love it. But how do we convince other people that it’s really happening, when happy patients can’t even believe it?

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LISTEN: Episode 2 of Atlas MD Podcast Now On iTunes

LISTEN: Episode 2 of Atlas MD Podcast Now On iTunes

Drs. Josh and Doug huddled up for a second taping of the Atlas MD podcast. You can stream it on iTunes. The duo took a moment to discuss HIPAA compliance, HSA spending and Meaningful Use in context with direct care, as well as our new EMR that’s launching next month. And the team announced phenomenal news: Michael Palomino has reached 150 patients in only a couple months, vastly exceeding the predicted 10 patients per month increase.

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Posted by: AtlasMD

July 17, 2013

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Have You Found Direct Care Success? Tell Us More About It

Have You Found Direct Care Success? Tell Us More About It

So we came across yet another article documenting direct care success. It’s practically overwhelming hearing all this good news, especially considering that our grassroots movement is producing practically no published stories of outright failure. Granted, running a business is challenging. And it doesn’t always work out. But, in the case of Dr. Usher, a former Mayo Clinic primary care physician, he left the insurance trap and found plenty of upsides. Dr. Usher is satisfied because he can keep his prices and overhead low and spend more time with patients. “We don’t have to mill them through,” he says. He also believes a retainer-based model, rather than strictly direct pay, might possibly earn his practice a more steady stream of income.

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