I woke up this morning before my family and I got ready to do my second shift in the hospital. Amid the chaos of the COVID-19 pandemic, my hospital system has called on primary care doctors as reinforcements. I normally spend most of my time in the outpatient setting other than delivering babies, so spending all day in the hospital caring for the very ill is not something I have done since residency (a long time ago). As I was preparing to leave the house today I had a strong sense I was going to war. This enemy, coronavirus, is relentless. It is not kind. It is not just. It is not merciful. It seeks to destroy for destruction's sake. I am not a soldier, so I really have no reference for what battle preparations look like, but for me in the early hours while my house was dark and my children were asleep this is what my preparations looked like: a large cup of strong coffee, my N95 mask, Holy Water from Lourdes (known for healing), blessed healing oil, and prayers for protection. I prayed for myself and my family, for the nurses and other staff at the hospital. I prayed for the patients and their families, from whom they would be separated at the ER doors and not reunited until (and if) they went home. I prayed for the world. And in that still, dark, quiet moment I found peace. I hope you do as well.
What is Direct Primary Care?
DPC is a model of healthcare delivery that puts the patient first. At its core, it is a simplified payment model where you become a member of a practice with a simple, affordable monthly membership fee, like joining a gym. In return, you get personalized medical care and unlimited access to your personal doctor. After many years of frustration in the traditional medical system, I looked for ways to return to a simpler, more relationship driven method of caring for my patients. DPC is just that. It allows me to really be present to my patients in a way that makes sense.
How does DPC put patients first?
Being a member gives you unparalleled access to your doctor, me. If you need an appointment you can get one the same day. If you have a question, you can text or email anytime and get a quick answer. It is like having a doctor in the family, and I view my patients as my extended family. A healthy relationship with your doctor is exactly that...a relationship. It is not feeling like a number or cattle in an impersonal system. Here at Pure Family Med you matter and you will always feel that way.
What about insurance?
I do not accept insurance because it complicates the way I am able to care for my patients. If you have ever been told that a test or a medication is not covered or needs some sort of authorization, then you know what I mean. With DPC, traditional insurance and its high cost, is no longer needed. Anything and everything that can be done in the clinic is covered under your membership fee. Additional things like labs or imaging are negotiated for a much lower price than you can get with insurance. It is still a good idea to have some sort of catastrophic coverage or health-share in case you need to go to the hospital or have surgery.