Red Tape Wraps Up A Preventative Healthcare Clinic

Red Tape Wraps Up A Preventative Healthcare Clinic

MDPrevent closed on Dec. 27 2013. The preventive-medical practice was co-founded in Delray Beach, Florida three years ago. It’s premise was that patients would be better off if doctors focused on preventing disease instead of simply treating it. They ran into problems, though, and one of them was red tape. They claim that ultimately the three major healthcare industry players — providers, payers, and patients—all shared some responsibility for their failure, though.

Their experience with bureaucracy was costly. For every dollar they collected, their expenses were three times as much! Their vision was altruistic, and they’d assembled a team that included a health psychologist, registered dietitian, exercise physiologist, yoga instructor, health educator, and nurse practitioners. They designed a custom facility that included a teaching kitchen, a gym, and classrooms.

What turned out to be a huge mistake though was basing their business plan on insurance reimbursement rather than cash-only payments. They lost serious money, around $2 million in personal capital. When they saw how expensive operating was, they started cutting costs, trimming staff down to a health psychologist, a registered dietitian, and the founding doctor, who writes, “Medicare reimbursement we received for our services still could not cover our costs. I even abandoned the offices we had built-out and moved to less expensive quarters we shared with an internist. It still made no difference.” He adds, “Most of the third-party insurance companies in the area did not cover our services. Medicare was the exception, but reimbursement was insufficient to cover our costs.”

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Tele-therapist Uses Tumblr To Connect With Cash-Paying Clients

Tele-therapist Uses Tumblr To Connect With Cash-Paying Clients

We found the “Angry Therapist” while reading The Atlantic. Los Angeles therapist John Kim took an untraditional approach to building his practice. He acquired patients through a popular Tumblr blog. Writer Amanda Pelleschi says, “The site effectively harnesses the zeitgeist of internet culture – using memes and hashtags – and pairs it with a variety of classic psychological approaches (cognitive behavior therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, psychodynamic, etc), to bring psychotherapy to the millennial masses.” If you’re intrigued what this “zeitgeist” looks like, check out Kim’s website theangrytherapist.tumblr.com.

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The Atlantic Advocates Healthcare Accountability

The Atlantic Advocates Healthcare Accountability

Richard Gunderman wrote a phenomenal essay for The Atlantic earlier this month. In it he explains the importance of accountable health care, claiming “We can be our best only if we bear at least some of the costs of the choices we make.” It is accepted that healthcare costs have within the last few years become the single most common cause of personal bankruptcy in the U.S. Of course, the natural reaction is to think of the indebted patients as victims, and hospitals as greedy predators. It’s not like the patients tried to get sick to they could taken on expensive medical care. Meanwhile hospitals retrofitted with marbled lobbies and elaborate amenities are indicative of surplus wealth. So Gunderman begs the question, “Who could feel sympathy for a billion-dollar corporation?”

However, he also points out that if patients are to be forgiven of their debts, we might run out of hospitals to turn to. That’s because a hospital that liberally provides free care will soon find itself overrun with patients, while the other hospitals fail to generate revenues that exceed their costs, and go out of business (this is hypothetical, but still a valid point).

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Okay, So The Free Market Isn’t Exactly “Free”

First things first, The Atlantic published a Health article online recently. It’s a doozy, and after reading it, we did wonder, did it need to be this long?

However, it addresses a poignant issue: Drug companies are motivated by malleable policies that end up creating more incentive for hair regrowth drugs than ones fighting global diseases that are “Biblically”-severe i.e. malaria, Dengue fever and others.

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Cut Costs By Keeping Patients Out of the Hospital

Cut Costs By Keeping Patients Out of the Hospital

The Atlantic posted a great article about Medicare and a private concierge medicine company providing exceptional preventative care. Give it a read.

The story covers Dr. Dougher, who works with HealthCare Partner as a primary physician in Los Angeles, California. But this is no ordinary doctor handling 1,500 patients, seeing 30-40 a day in a jam-packed office. No, Dougher sees six to eight patients per day, doing house calls for those too elderly to leave their homes.

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