By Dr. Kimberly P. Hood
Attempted solutions for America’s health care issues have left doctors and patients with big government/insurance companies, who dictate how physicians run their offices and see patients, only to reimburse doctors 70% of the time. This interference has caused higher overhead expenses due to the need to hire more employees to satisfy the demands of these dictators. The higher overhead means the physician must see more patients per hour, creating long office wait times for patients, with visits lasting only 6-10 minutes.
The contribution of big corporate managed medical entities has not been any better. “Streamlining” protocols, and “red tape” in offices, have made patients a faceless number and doctors disposable. Humanity’s been removed from medicine. The days of your personal physician sitting with you for a while and really listening when you’re not well are gone, or are they?
Many physicians have walked away from burdensome, bureaucratic practice models in order to offer their patients the doctor-patient relationship so many patients desire and so many doctors train for, a “DPC” model of practice. DPC stands for Direct Primary Care. This model allows for a physician to contract, for a periodic fee, directly with patients to provide defined services without interference from nonmedical administrators and big corporate entities. DPC providers do not take insurance, thus, freeing the physician for patient care. The doctor works for the patient. The contracted services could consist of labs, x-rays, generic medications, electronic communication 24/7, same day appointments, procedures, etc.
Small business owners and their employees often find it difficult to obtain affordable health insurance. Most policies have high deductibles and will only help if there’s a major illness, car wreck, or need for emergency surgery. It does not pay for basic health care, labs, medications, etc. A DPC practice model is a great solution in this situation. It is also perfect for patients without insurance or for patients who just want personalized time with their physician.
Because the overhead expenses are considerably lower, it allows the physician opportunity to see less patients, therefore, spending more time with the patient. Visits may actually be 30-60 minutes or longer. Studies show this model has fewer medical errors and actually lowers healthcare costs. In my practice, my patient visits are 30-60 minutes, and wait time is five minutes at most. I offer traditional and functional medicine solutions, discounted medical-grade supplements, and virtual appointments to my members. Patients can meet with me online for urgent care needs or for follow-up visits. Labs, radiology, or prescriptions can be sent from my computer. Patients don’t have to leave their home to sit an hour or more in an office, especially when they’re ill.
If you have minimal healthcare coverage, no healthcare coverage, or just want a personal physician to be available to you, consider a DPC physician. Other than myself, there are several in the area. Three that I personally know to be great DPC doctors and who’ve helped me get started are Dr. Michelle Vandenbosch in Baker, Dr. JD Bailey in Crestview, and Dr. Calvin Blount in Destin. DPC docs provide personalized patient care that’s perfect for you and meaningful to us.