Watch This Video To See Why Medical Insurance Is Almost Fully Obsolete

This is Josh Umbehr MD, of Atlas.MD, discussing working directly with his patients, and cutting out the insurance and government bureaucrats.  This lowers costs for the patients and increases the quality of care they receive.  He delivers low-cost family medicine using a direct-pay membership model. Part of Umbehr’s philosophy is that insurance tends to complicate care delivery more than it helps. Under Umbehr’s membership model, patients receive unlimited visits with no co-pays.  This is the future of family medicine.

Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected] 

  19 comments for “Watch This Video To See Why Medical Insurance Is Almost Fully Obsolete

  1. Pat
    July 27, 2014 at 9:44 pm

    The “Atlas” docs and others who deliver Direct Primary Care are the only physicians who can accurately claim to truly work for, and only for the patient. My sincere respect to you all.

    • AtlasMD
      July 28, 2014 at 7:00 am

      Thank you very much for your support.

      • Dave Mittman, PA, DFAAPA
        July 28, 2014 at 4:55 pm

        “The “Atlas” docs and others who deliver Direct Primary Care are the only physicians who can accurately claim to truly work for, and only for the patient. My sincere respect to you all.”

        While I agree in sentiment, there are many great physicians, PAs and NPs breaking their backsides providing high quality care in SPITE of the insanity of the system we all live under. Unfair to say the “Atlas” physicians or anyone else are the only ones working for patients. Many do.

        • Doug Farrago
          July 28, 2014 at 10:05 pm

          Dave, I disagree. I am in the same boat as you, though I know I am a doc and you are a PA. We are the bitches of our employers, insurance companies, and the government. To say otherwise means you believe that a 99214 means anything. To say otherwise means that you believe that it is important to match a diagnosis with a lab order because it means something. I could go on but I have to go do some meaningless clicks on some charts to make some administrator a big bonus.

          • AtlasMD
            July 29, 2014 at 7:34 am

            Thanks Doug, and I agree that often we are wasting our talents with the busywork of insurance red tape and bureaucracy.

        • AtlasMD
          July 29, 2014 at 7:34 am

          Dave I understand what you mean, it is not that we are asking for special praise. We acknowledge that all caregivers are trying to do their best but often in a broken system. It is not that we are better, just that we have taken a substantial risk to experiment with the new model for the sake of our patients. We hope to help all doctors, providers transition to the direct care model in the next few years. Which is why we do all of our consulting for free.

          • Dave Mittman, PA, DFAAPA
            July 29, 2014 at 10:34 am

            Guys: I am really 100% supportive of what you are doing. I entered medicine in the mid-70s and the changes I have seen are insane. I have not practiced for years but my close friends are all in practice and I more than hear what they go through. The administrators, the rules, the nonsense they go through would cause me to leave or find a practice that does what Atlas does. Or if necessary, start one.
            Atlas I am in your corner.

          • AtlasMD
            July 29, 2014 at 11:23 am

            Thanks Dave, I appreciate the support.

  2. Dave Mittman
    July 23, 2014 at 10:17 pm

    Doug: I get this. It’s the way to go. What happens to the patient that has a an illness that needs to be hospitalized for a week? Can you get insurance that just covers hospitalizations and specialists without covering primary care? I’m not sure how that all works? Dave

    • AtlasMD
      July 24, 2014 at 7:49 am

      Hi Dave, yes we still recommend insurance that covers hospitalizations etc. direct primary care is meant to offer affordable access to the majority of health care that patients need in a given time span. We have discounted rates with many specialists. Were also able to work with employers to decrease insurance premiums by 30 to 60%.

      But isn’t that what insurance is for? The term catastrophic health insurance is redundant because all insurance is meant for catastrophic scenarios.

      • Ken
        July 24, 2014 at 7:21 pm

        Hey Josh, what is the call like?

        • AtlasMD
          July 24, 2014 at 9:23 pm

          Call is great. Less than a call a night.

  3. Lee
    July 23, 2014 at 12:07 pm

    Is there any way of finding these clinics in a given state? Is there a central registry?
    One of the things that impresses me the most is that patients are seen by physicians rather than by nurses.

  4. Princess of Problem Patients
    July 23, 2014 at 11:31 am
  5. Linda Tc
    July 23, 2014 at 8:34 am

    Great idea to augment insurance and meet the medical needs for routine care that can be handled in the office. You would still need insurance to cover major illness or injury, necessitating potentially expensive in hospital care.

    • AtlasMD
      July 23, 2014 at 9:18 am

      Hi Linda, you’re absolutely correct. But you don’t have car insurance for gasoline, why have health insurance for primary care? When we can charge $10-100/mo/pt based on age only for unlimited visits, no copays, all office procedures for free and wholesale pricing on meds/labs for up to a 95% savings. Which in turn helps lower ins premiums for employers.

      So now you have more affordable insurance for the big things and more affordable care for everything else.

      • Dave Mittman
        July 23, 2014 at 10:21 pm

        Hi Atlas; What if you are on Medicare? What if you don’t really have insurance? Or are all these people just left to go by the system that clearly does not satisfy their needs?
        Dave Mittman, PA, DFAAPA

        • AtlasMD
          July 24, 2014 at 7:45 am

          Good question Dave. Medicare/medicaid patients are still able to participate in direct care practices. Also, 1/3 of our patients are uninsured. The point is that all patients need/want better care and lower prices. I argue that poorer patients need DPC models MORE than anyone else b/c they need the savings more than anyone.

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