Monday, March 23, 2015

Why I Opened a Direct Primary Care Clinic

Towards the end of a busy Neosho Business Expo this weekend a potential patient asked me why I had opened my Direct Primary Care clinic. Usually I would answer this question with enthusiam, but my tired mind sputtered. My answer was pathetic.

I hope do better here. This is why I opened my Direct Primary Care Clinic, Free Market Physician.

1. Health care is too expensive. As a physician and as a patient I have experienced the inside and outside of the health care structure. I know how much care should cost and how much it does cost. Health care is simply too expensive. What patients pay are not a true reflection of the cost of their care. As a Direct Primary Care doctor, I have the chance to change that. I have removed the insurance middle men from the health care equation. I keep my overhead low. I strive to fulfill the clinic's mission to make health care personally affordable to my patients.

2. Patients are getting pretty crummy care. There are plenty of reasons to complain as a patient in most clinics. We get insufficient time with our doctors. Our doctors don't listen to us. They can be short-tempered. They don't answer questions. We can't get in to the clinic when we are actually sick. Our visits are always late. We can never reach our doctors (or even the nurses) by phone.

In the insurance system I was going to be that doctor. I would enter the system as an idealistic, people-loving medical school graduate and surely be beat up and worn down to an short-tempered, hen-pecked, chronically late doctor. But here it is different. I have time with my patients. We talk. I know them. I am on time for our visits. My patients can reach my cell phone. I can give truly good care.

3. American health care has to change. Things were bad before the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and worse after. The Act did not reform health care- it reinforced and mandated all the worst aspects of the system. I didn't want to participate as a physician and I certainly don't want to participate as a patient. I have opened a Direct Primary Care clinic to be part of true health care reform. I have left behind dealing with health insurance and oppressive federal mandates. I work directly for my patients. I believe this is the change that America needs and along with thousands of other physicians I am taking action now.

Whether you are a patient or a physician, please join the Direct Primary Care movement to enact true health care reform.

Rusty Scalpel