Direct Primary Care Disruption

Family physician Clint Flanagan, M.D., standing next to wrecked

The AAFP did a nice piece about a doctor in Colorado who is making waves with his DPC business.  I give the AAFP credit for doing this.  They better watch out or others will start to jump on this bandwagon and askew the AAFP like I did.  I recommend you read this doc’s story but until you do, here are the highlights:

 

  • Nextera Healthcare boasts 18 health care professionals (physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants), including those located in its affiliated practices, plus roughly 40 support staff.
  • When Nextera Healthcare added Left Hand Brewing Co. as a client in 2012, the brewery’s health insurance broker was able to negotiate a 4 percent reduction in its major medical insurance policy premium.
  • Flanagan decided to offer his patients and employer groups the option to pay for their health care directly for less than a monthly phone bill. And like that, in 2011, Nextera Healthcare was born.
  • Nextera offers month-to-month DPC contracts, so if individuals, families or employees decide to pursue other health care options, they can leave without penalty.
  • “You are going to pay less than the cost of a latté every day to have connectivity to your doctor, so in case the ‘stuff’ does hit the fan or you want to talk about your sleep problems, your weight problems or your challenges with high blood pressure, you have a primary care provider who is there for you,” Flanagan said.
  • Connectivity is a big selling point for DPC and Nextera, and Flanagan gives each of his patients his cell phone number and encourages them to contact him with any health questions. He said he typically gets a text or a call from a patient at least once a day.
  • Another selling point, according to Flanagan: For burned-out physicians looking to rekindle their passion for caring for patients, DPC offers a compelling escape route.
  • “There are a lot of doctors out there who are throwing in the towel and selling their practices to big hospital systems and going to work for them,” he said. “But a lot of these physicians have done this now for a year or two or three, and they want to get out of these systems. “Direct primary care is a way for them to get out … and we’re hiring.”

Now it is time to wait for the comments on the site and watch the bitter and jealous docs complain.   Trust me, it’s coming.

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