Direct Care Comparison

We are following the Direct Care Model presented by Dr. Josh Umbehr at Atlas.md/wichita. You can check out their site. I listened to a podcast his partners and he did last month. He presented a good comparison that is worth repeating.

In the Current model, for a $20 copay, you call to see if you need to be seen, the receptionist says you need an appointment and makes one today if urgent, or later in the week or even a few weeks later depending on the presenting problem, so you have to plan to take off a day some time in the future (if you remember to put it on your calendar or nothing else comes up by then). You come in, are reminded that only one problem can be dealt with per visit, the visit can last only 10 minutes, the doctor is overwhelmed, has to quickly made a decision, gets labs/x-rays (which you may have a $10-20 copay) and probably refers to another provider because he doesn’t have the time to look into this problem on his own, orders a medication which you have a $10-30 copay and have to wait in a long line at the pharmacy for 1-2 hours later. You then have either questions after the visit, or forgot the instructions, or something else develops, so you call after hours and talk to someone who doesn’t know you or your situation. Total cost $40 or so for fragmented care, substantial wasted time, and in the end unsatisfied. (And if you need to come back in 2 weeks, you pay this all over again). In the process your care involves no less than 7 people.

In the Direct care model, for a $49 monthly fee (not per visit), you call/text/email, talk with the doctor directly. Either the problem is taken care of and you don’t need to take time off work or waste the gas coming into the office, or an appointment is made for today or at latest tomorrow. You come in and in a relaxed atmosphere talk with your doctor (not whoever is available) and 20-30 minutes or more is spent understanding you and your problems. Because more time is spent in education and understanding you, less labs and studies are done and significantly less referrals to other providers are made. If a medication is prescribed, it is filled at the visit (at a very low price) and you can go directly home or back to work. After the visit if you forget to bring something up or have questions you text, email or call your doctor and get it answered right then by your doctor who knows you. Total cost $49 plus a few more for medications. This cost $10 more (or even maybe less since less studies and referrals are needed). In the process your care involves 2-3 people. Isn’t your time and satisfaction worth that type of care?

Now at our office we provided more of the direct care model of patient care for years despite the huge cost to us because the current model doesn’t support that type of care. We have now reached a point that we will have to close our doors or transition to this model allowing us to take care of you the way we have, but now even better. Join us. Let your insurance carriers know you want this. Push this idea out to our businesses, elected officials and in time as it is embraced more it in fact can save businesses, insurance companies, the government and especially you significant money and lead to more satisfying care. We need to get behind this movement.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *