I ran across one of my old patients today when I was out shopping. I hadn’t seen him in nearly a year.
“When are you going to take my insurance?” Joe asked. Never, I thought. But instead I said, “I no longer take insurance.”
I went on to explain that with my DPC (Direct Primary Care) medical practice, I don’t answer to insurance. Instead, patients pay a monthly membership fee, and in exchange they get unlimited office visits and communication. Since my panel of patients will be limited to about 500 patients, rather than the usual 2000 for traditional Family Practice doctors, I have TIME to spend with my patients. And they can usually have same-day or next-day appointments if needed.
Patients can use their insurance for referrals, labs outside my office, medical tests and medications. But through my office it’s the monthly fee, as well as low-cost bloodwork or medications if they desire.
Joe said he was in the hospital recently, and he had trouble getting an appointment with the general doctor for followup visits. I thought of my current patients, who hear from me within a day of being discharged from the hospital. And since patients can communicate with me directly when they have problems, they rarely end up in the hospital anyway.
I don’t know if Joe has great insurance that pays everything for him, or if he has many medical expenses. But he said he’ll check out my web site and decide if it makes sense for him.
Working for my patients, instead of for insurance companies.