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Direct Primary Care Funding Trends Upward

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Private-sector funding for primary care clinics is increasing, as companies seek new opportunities for investment in the $3.5 trillion U.S. health care market.

One Medical, a primary care provider that offers concierge-style health care services giving patients off-insurance treatment for a flat membership fee, announced a $350 million investment from private equity firm the CarlyleGroup in August. Having previously garnered funding from firms such asBenchmark Capital, Google Ventures, Maverick, and JP Morgan, One Medical says it plans to double the numbers of clinics and members under its umbrella.

Concierge medicine offers health care to insured individuals who wish to have a better relationship with their primary care provider and are willing to pay a monthly fee. The monthly cost of concierge medicine is usually around $200 per month, on top of insurance payments, but some doctors charge tens of thousands of dollars per year. Concierge services provide medical care to patients 24 hours per day, seven days a week; provide contact information for easier access; make same-day appointments, and stay with a patient as long as it takes to meet his or her medical needs.

Read the full article at the Heartland Institute.

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The healthcare system is a racket — direct primary care could fix it

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Everyone has a healthcare horror story.

A hidden charge on the hospital bill. A last minute test or scan that ends up costing four figures. Hours spent on the phone with insurance companies to follow up on a claim and get a reimbursement. Prescriptions costing hundreds of dollars.

And it’s getting more expensive.

Since 2007, the cost of healthcare has risen 21.6 percent, while all other prices in the economy have risen by just 17.3 percent, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

It’s become an unfortunate reality for many, and it’s been rightly pushed into the arena of politics.

But despite the well-intended reforms of the past two decades, including the Affordable Care Act, millions are still feeling the pinch. Why?

Too often, talk of healthcare reform is focused on insurance rather than care. It’s less about how the doctor treats your family and more about who foots the bill. Almost no one can get a straight answer about the price of procedures or medicines.

Medical insurance, once a simple way to cover higher-than-normal expenses, has become a catch-all for almost all health spending. It’s no longer about surprise injuries and illnesses. Insurance is now used to cover every ache, pain, anxiety, pill, and more. It’s like using car insurance to cover every oil change, new windshield wiper, or tire.

And in order to recoup the amount they give out, insurance companies must price their options accordingly, which leads to higher prices for consumers. That’s why healthcare expenses in 2016 amounted to 17.8 percent of GDP, higher than any other industrialized country.

At least one new doctor-patient arrangement is promising a revolution in consumer choice by bypassing insurance altogether. It’s called direct primary care, and it’s catching on across the country.

Rather than relying on insurance for ordinary health expenses, these new doctor clinics rely on monthly fees from patients, usually less than $100.

If anything more is required during doctor visits, the prices for every service and test are transparent and don’t vary depending on your plan. By not accepting insurance of any type, each clinic saves on administrative costs and overhead, prioritizing patients over costly insurers.

The results are just as intended: lower costs, more preventive care, and more face time with medical professionals.
Read the full article at the Washington Examiner.

 

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D4PCF on Hannity National Radio

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The National Briefing on Health Care Policy Begins

The frustration over health care policy at the Federal level has moved national radio host Sean Hannity to launch the national discussion with the doctor innovators on the front lines of health care.

Dr. Josh Umbehr and our own Dr. Lee Gross joined Hannity on his national radio show to kick off a regular Tuesday afternoon national briefing on the impact of free market medicine.

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Dr. Gross Doesn’t Go To Washington

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The stage was set to take the innovation of DPC (Direct Primary Care) to the halls of the Senate when the wheels came off with the drama of the Kavanaugh nomination hearings.

Testimony on health care innovation has been postponed in the wake of the last minute accusations swirling through Washington.

“One thing that is clear is that Washington only knows brinksmanship.  It is precisely that Washington obstruction mentality that has handcuffed small practice and driven them into near extinction.
Do we want that brinksmanship to be what guides our entire national health care system?  That’s what will happen if we adopt a government controlled single payer health care system.”

– Lee Gross, M.D., President of Docs 4 Patient Care Foundation.

Dr. Gross steps into The Doctor’s Lounge with host Mike Koriwchak to share some of the testimony he was scheduled to deliver to the Senate committee.

 

Part 1

 

Part 2

 

Part 3

 

Part 4

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D4PC Foundation President Lee Gross, M.D Invited to the White House

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The impact of our years of teaching the benefits of protecting the doctor/patient relationship are fully bearing fruit.

Dr. Lee Gross as invited for a surprise visit to the White House to teach the staff and policy makers about the innovations reshaping the delivery of health care at the ground level all across the world.

This is another step in the fulfillment of President Trump’s executive order to HHS and various departments to do a full analysis of the U.S. Health Care System.  The goals include increasing access, lowering costs, and delivering better medical outcomes.

Direct Primary Care continues to come to the foreground as one of the best solutions for providing low cost and high quality care regardless of health insurance.  Dr. Lee Gross, President of Docs 4 Patient Care Foundation, has become the defacto expert in the practice model.

Watch Dr.Gross’s Field Update HERE

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Priced Out of Health Insurance, Americans Rig Their Own Safety Nets

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When their son Sky was born four years ago, Lindsie and Chris Bergevin were hit with a big surprise: $7,000 in bills for the birth that their health plan didn’t cover. Sky was two when the couple jettisoned their medical insurance, which helped them eventually pay off the debt.

Now that they’re ready to have a second child, they’re not going back to their old coverage, with its premiums of more than $350 a month. Instead, they’ve patched together an alternative through a religious group and a primary-care doctor whom they can visit anytime for a monthly fee.

“I was so jaded with the whole health-care insurance situation,” Lindsie, 35, says. “I just didn’t want to deal with it.”

The Bergevins, who rent a snug little house near downtown Boise, Idaho, are joining a small but growing number of Americans rigging their own medical safety nets. They’re frustrated by the high costs, opaque pricing, and maddening bureaucracy of health insurance.

In their quest for a different way, they’re meeting doctors like Julie Gunther who are also fed up. These physicians have opted to reject insurance, instead charging patients directly in return for more personalized care.

“I like to think we can protect people in vulnerable moments where they’re going to get lost like a widget,” Gunther said, “because they’re not a widget for us.”

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Epiphany is providing health care for patients who can’t afford Obamacare

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“Epiphany is a strange name for a medical company, but my partner, Dr. Bill Crouch, and I had an epiphany,” said Dr. Lee Gross, co-founder of Epiphany Health, 2975 Bobcat Village Center Road, North Port (EpiphanyHealth.org).

In 2010, they began riding the wave of a concept in health care that was just starting to swell. As a result, their small practice sees patients from all over the state — Lakeland, Orlando, Miami-Dade, Coco Beach. They drive across the state, Dr. Gross said, because they can afford what we’re doing here.

So what is it that makes Epiphany so different?

The two physicians had been in practice since 2002.

“We were in the rat race of independent practice primary care, where you’re trying to funnel the patients through as fast as possible, keeping office visits to seven minutes, fighting with insurance companies to get procedures and medications approved. It ended up feeling like we were treating the chart and the computer and the insurance company but not providing good medical care. We decided there had to be a better way to do this.”

Read the full article at the Charlotte Florida Weekly.

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