Full Service Family Medicine
Tue, Sep 07, 2021
One of many things I LOVE about family medicine is being able to meet my patients’ needs and that is enhanced in DPC because I don’t have to worry about getting paid by insurance. Now my first instinct can be “do I have the time to address this concern in a quality way?” instead of “will I get paid for doing this or do I need to have them come back next week so I can bill for this extra service?” Two people in the last week have really emphasized why I wanted to open a DPC practice and provide care to patients in this more personalized way.
Last week I saw a new patient for their first visit. First visits are usually booked for an hour to an hour and a half so we can do the required paperwork, I can orient them to how the practice works and my philosophy of care, and most importantly I can learn about them, their medical concerns, their philosophy of health, and their health goals. Nearing the end of this visit there was an “oh, by the way” type request (these happen OFTEN in family medicine!). This individual had a small skin lesion on his shoulder that looked a little concerning. In a traditional office I would already have been behind in seeing patients and had to ask him to schedule a visit in 1-2 weeks to get that removed (both due to time and because I might not be able to bill insurance for that procedure the same day as a visit for other concerns). At Sunflower DPC I could remove it and send it to the lab for analysis THAT DAY. What’s even better? The patient was a DPC member so it only cost him $20! I could not imagine this happening in the traditional model of care.
This week, I saw a patient for REGEN-COV (Regeneron) treatment for COVID-19. She was concerned about the cost, but we figured out how to provide it at no cost to her. She asked if she could bring her (adorable!) infant to the visit with her and that was no problem as well! They preferred to spend their monitoring period in their car rather than the exam room and with the use of a webcam and electronic blood pressure monitor (on-the-fly creativity is very possible when I don’t have to jump right to the next patient every 15 minutes!) we were all set. The surprise came when we realized her battery had died during her monitoring period and I could really provide full-service care to help get her back on the road!