The Right People are Asking the Right Questions.

RightPeopleRightQuestions2

It’s a great time in healthcare.

Not only because more and more Direct Primary Care practices are popping up all over the country. Not only because patients are spreading the word about how DPC is working for them. And not only because now more than ever, doctors actually want to practice medicine.

There’s another reason why it’s such a great time to be in healthcare amid swirling chaos in the form of health insurance, doctor burnout and misinformation.

Medical students are asking for DPC training. 

And what’s better, the DPC community is willing to teach it.  Read more

HEALTH MEDIA: Explaining Your Job IS Marketing.

According to Alex Lubarsky of Health Media, there’s more to great marketing than just doing great work. You have to teach, too.

“Understanding marketing is crucial. If educating the public about your service is not incorporated into the cost of doing business, if it is something that comes as an afterthought rather then top-of-mind, true success will always be just around the corner French-kissing your competition. You will either learn to embrace marketing or you will always be at the mercy of those who do.”

READ THE ARTICLE ONLINE >

Lubarsky says healthcare is suffering most from this too-often overlooked marketing technique. And that’s why docs are so out of touch when it comes to how healthcare actually works.  Read more

If It’s Urgent, Make It Direct Care

Originally posted on KevinMD.com

Emergency departments in U.S. hospitals see copious patients who aren’t terribly ill, but don’t have insurance and need somewhere to go. I see some of these patients when I moonlight on nights and weekends at a local county hospital. Sadly, these patients run through a gantlet of expensive tests — I’m required by protocol to administer them. The reality is that 80% of what I see in the ER is “family medicine after hours.” I could just as safely see these patients in my own direct care practice, saving them time and money.

It’s not that hospitals aren’t aware of how silly these tests are, and what a waste they are for less endangered patients. But there’s not much they can do about it. In desperation, some 50% of acute-care hospitals have begun charging a fee in the $100-$150 range for a patient deemed safe to be seen in a less acute setting who remains determined to stay in the ER. This can even include hospitals with urgent care centers on-site. And that’s on top of the care that’s provided.

Let’s break some numbers. According to the American Hospital Association, in 2012 hospitals had uncompensated care costs of $45.9 billion, spread across about 5,000 hospitals (including both charity care and bad debt). That equates to 6.1% of their total expenses, the AHA reports.

So who’s ready to cut some red tape? For $150 I’m more than happy to see an urgent patient and give them a 3-month subscription to my practice.

You know how that one urgent care trip usually turns into two because your doctor is so harried that he or she can’t make a proper diagnosis? Yeah, that doesn’t happen with Direct Care. Instead, I’ll call you or text you or Direct Message you on Twitter (your call) and make sure everything’s going okay. And if it’s not, instead of ignoring my outreach and hoping the problem goes away, because you don’t want to pay another $150 for ten minutes with us, you can get all the help you need for free.

Oh, and you can come in and see me anytime for three months (if you’re between 18 and 44 years old)

And are you really, really short on cash? Remember that we’re a business, and we’re here to negotiate. The power of direct care is that bureaucracy isn’t looking over our shoulder extorting us to administer needless procedures just so they’ll pay us, which forces us to try to racketeer our uninsured patients.

No, here, in Direct Care, we do what WE want to do. That means serving patients and keeping the lights on, without someone else’s oversight.

Healthcare Startups Can Save Lives, Rake in Money, And Introduce Competition.

Ron Gutman is on a mission to bring back the village doctor. But he’s going about it in a different way than we are. He runs a three-year-old startup called HealthTap. They offer an online service that replicates a house call. With his app, you can instantly connect with physicians via the net and ask them personal medical questions.

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Oregon’s ACA Healthcare Website Failed, Too. But The Reason Why Could Spell Direct Primary Care Success.

The state of Oregon has paid software giant Oracle over $100 million to build a healthcare exchange site. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work. And now it appears that Oregon is stuck with Oracle because they can’t hire another firm to finish the job. This is case and point of an old-school IT provider lagging behind the current trends in building massive web operations i.e. the open source approach used on mega-scale websites like Google and Facebook.

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Vote For Atlas MD As The Most Influential Cash-Only Clinic

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!

Direct Care Is So Good You Will Cry. Stream ATLAS MD PODCAST #15…

Direct Care Is So Good You Will Cry. Stream ATLAS MD PODCAST #15…

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.

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Direct Care Is Business. And Its Business Is Serving Patients.

Last year, the New York Times wrote about Orlene Paxson, a 33-year-old, stay-at-home mom. Living on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, she was unable to find an obstetrician that she liked who would accept her insurance. A lot of them weren’t accepting new patients, and one doctor who came highly recommended didn’t return her call for five days and didn’t want to see her until 12 weeks into the pregnancy. This was Mrs. Paxson’s first time being pregnant. She didn’t want to wait. Her policy didn’t cover any out-of-network services, but she and her husband went the cash-only route and paid the entire fee themselves — $13,000.

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Flaming Jet Skis, Spacecraft Crashes, Suicide By Jellyfish… And The Attack Of ICD-10

ski

Seriously, ICD-10 billing codes are coming. Unless you untangle yourself from the red tape of bureaucratically controlled healthcare, you are going to need to adjust to this staggering reform. The common way to deal with corporatocratic upgrades is with the classic seminar — and ICD-10 is no different. Thankfully, The Weekly Standard sent a writer to cover one such seminar… Attendees paid between $585 and $985 for a two-day “boot camp” taught by Annie Boynton, with credentials “longer than the alphabet… BS, RHIT, CPCO, CCS…” Students took their seats and found a thin spiral book​—​the “ICD-10-CD General Code Set Manual” for 2014​—​and a six-pound “ICD-10 Complete Draft Code Set” that was as thick as a phone book…

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Are Pillbox Apps Just Nagging Parents In Disguise?

Getting patients to take their pills requires something more than an app -- it's called finesse.

Getting patients to take their pills requires something more than an app — it’s called finesse.

We’re big fans of technology here at Atlas MD. We bring our iPads into the examination room. We field phone calls from our patients. We’ve coordinated prescriptions and medications with pharmacies and then texted timely information to patients in need. Dr. Doug has literally brought tears of joy to a woman’s eyes for such an effort. So you’d think that helping people take their pills would be the perfect thing for a mobile app to do, right?

Well, there plenty of apps offering this service on the app store. But are they getting people to take their pills?

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