My Journey Towards Becoming a Direct Primary Care Provider
As a young physician coming into residency, I remember seeing 3-5 patients a month before reaching a goal of 6-8 patients per half day.
But that was just the beginning.
In residency, they want to slowly increase the number of patients to be seen in one office visit in order to see what you can handle. It is a gradual, step-by-step process.
By the end of my third year, I was able to take on a larger patient load and see more complex patients.
I was taught to be efficient and provide quality care, which is what residency is all about. However, outside of residency I discovered there were higher volume of patients to be seen in a shorter time frame risking quality of care. My first 2 years after graduating from residency, I worked in a rural setting in Kentucky as a primary care physician for Baptist Health.
At this point, I was seeing an average 30-35 patients per day and would work overtime to complete my charts and sometimes bring my work home.
This overloaded and overburdened schedule was not only hard. It didn’t seem to help my patients any more or less the harder I worked.
Day after day, I would watch patients spend more time in the waiting room, up to an hour or longer on some days! More than that, by the time a patient reached me, I wasn’t able to answer all of their questions. Not only was this frustrating for the patient, but it was frustrating for me too.
Patients don’t often realize how much we as doctors want to give them the answers they need. We want them to walk away feeling like they received the highest quality of care possible – that is exactly why we spend so many years in medical school studying the ins and outs of the human body!
After a while, my epiphany finally struck: this just wasn’t the quality of care I wanted to provide. It also wasn’t the quality of life I wanted to live.
However, this is just the nature of running a practice right now in the U.S.
We all have to pay our bills, so it becomes all about overhead. Generally, 40 percent of a physician’s overhead costs are insurance-related, which pushes doctors to see more patients to help cover these costs.
Then, my light bulb moment hit.
I did not pursue a medical degree to treat people like an assembly line. I wanted to make a difference. I wanted to practice the way I wanted to practice. I wanted to deliver quality care with a thorough treatment plan while only focusing on the patient.
The good news is that I found a solution. But first, here’s a Brief History of Healthcare Coverage in the U.S.
In 1901, American Medical Association (AMA) was formed and physicians were no longer expected to provide free services to hospital patients. Surgeries became more common, but America lagged behind Europe in providing insurance to its people. The American Association for Labor Legislation (AALL) also organized the first national conference on social insurance. However, World War 1 slowed down efforts to create a nationwide insurance plan.
This is the era when the U.S. government established the responsibility for taking care of the very sick and the poor. After national healthcare costs rose to 4.5% of GDP, the private insurance market was established, and welfare was provided for the poor. Meanwhile, the price of hospital care doubled. Those who had no insurance through their employer struggled, which led to Medicare and Medicaid being signed into law.
Healthcare costs continued to escalate due to advances in technology and pharmacology, expansion of hospital expenses. In the 1990s healthcare costs rose at double the rate of inflation. By the end of the 1990s, approximately 44 million Americans were without health insurance. Soon, Medicare was expanded to include Medicare Part D, which helps Americans over 65 by prescription drugs and cost about $70 billion every year.
Enter the ACA:
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) was seen by many as a legal form of taxation. The general idea behind ACA is that by either forcing everyone into enrollment or paying a fine to opt out, the government can keep healthcare prices low, especially for those who could not afford it otherwise. By revoking the mandate, many “healthy” paying people would opt out, which puts a burden on low-income patients and those with pre-existing conditions.
Sound reminiscent of the 1950s-1970s?
Many say the ACA will never be repealed because it covers preexisting conditions, with steady premiums for sick care and no lifetime coverage limits or denials based on income. These are all areas where private insurers have failed. However, the plan was not 100% failsafe. To offset the loss of profits, private insurance companies have just raised their premiums for people who do not receive an ACA subsidy. This is where the problem lies.
What is the solution?
The solution for patients everywhere is Direct Primary Care (DPC).
With Direct Primary Care (DPC), I found a way to practice “true medicine”. I found a way to provide quality care for my patients, spend more time with each one of them while also living a quality life.
It’s a model adopted by many European nations as the first form of general healthcare. With DPC, doctors don’t need to worry about insurers scamming them out of payment. Also, patients don’t need to worry about being denied care or overpaying for full-coverage insurance.
Full-coverage insurance is just another design made for profit. DPC allows insurance to be reserved for what it was meant for-catastrophes. As long as you are registered for a catastrophic plan that meets the ACA standards, there are no penalties for enrolling in a DPC plan.
In fact, just like most things, it’s a solution that is found by going back to the way things used to be (You know, the good old days of practicing old- fashioned medicine but with an innovative twist).
Your Doctor’s Visit Just Got Easier
MultiCARE Physicians DPC is a privately-owned, family operated care center. Our board certified trusted family physicians want to promote healthy living through affordable, free open access to primary care doctors and to alleviate the burdens imposed on American families and businesses by the current health care system.
We are currently enrolling limited members to our new practice located in Lake Mary, FL. When you’re a member of the MultiCARE Physicians DPC family, you get the time and attention you need.
Our doctors provide comprehensive primary care to patients without feeling rushed. We focus on wellness and prevention, and every patient will be offered a complete, personalized wellness prescription—a written plan for improving health and longevity.
In addition to your personalized wellness prescription, we will take care of any illness and medical issue that may arise with same or next-day appointments.As a patient, your monthly fee covers unrestricted physician visits and customary in-office procedures. This means you can meet with us as often as you need without worrying about fees or co-pays.
If you can’t make it into the office, we will consult with you over phone or email, when appropriate and offer telemedicine for extended hours. We do not bill insurance, though we do encourage insurance coverage for potential expenses like costly tests or unavoidable healthcare situations. For your day-to-day medical needs, however, your membership fee has you covered.
To learn more about MultiCARE Physicians DPC clinics or to take a tour, contact or stop by the office today. Please visit our website and read our FAQ’s for more details.
Visit us online, or give us a call today at (407) 988-1984 to meet with a MultiCARE Physicians DPC doctor at our Lake Mary location!
Also, 2 new locations in Deltona and Longwood are coming soon!