Month: August 2017

Access: Why People Are Choosing Direct Medical Care

stillpoint two pictures

Increasingly, people are choosing Direct Care practices for their health care needs. Why is this? What is a Direct Care practice? And, why are so many people choosing it?

While there are many reasons people are choosing direct care practices as an alternative to the mainstream insurance/third-party payer family practice clinic, one of the main ones can be summed up in one word:

Access.

In a Direct Care practice such as Still Point, patients have 24/7 access to their own physician. And, the time each patient spends with the doctor is likely to be as long as is needed.

Though it’s true that Direct Care practices do not accept insurance, the cost is not as expensive as some may think. In fact, as little as $0.30 a day (yes, that’s thirty cents) opens the door to 24/7 access to your own private physician at Still Point.  And, given that the practice size is so small, each patient is given more individualized attention than is possible at large, typical family-practice clinics.

The cost of Direct Care consultation at Still Point is reasonable, too. A 30-minute (or longer) consultation will cost about $60. That’s less than it might cost for a mechanic to look at your car … or a plumber to respond to a call-out, and that’s BEFORE they even lift a tool! Also, you will receive same day or next-day appointments. No lengthy waits!

gold box

Think of it as an investment in yourself. Put another way,
it’s a gift to yourself for taking care of your health and wellness.

Some people think that Direct Care is the same as a “Concierge” practice. It’s not. Although both offer 24/7 access and small practice sizes to afford more personalized attention, Concierge practices typically charge an annual fee that can range anywhere from $1,500 to $5,000 or more. And, while the Concierge practice does “take insurance,” you are still responsible for all your deductibles and other payments according to your insurance plans.

You have choice as a patient in the American health care system. You can choose to go Direct Care, or Concierge, or the traditional route of insurance/third-payer and typical family practice clinics.

The chances you take with traditional family practices, though, are long waits for an appointment — at times, up to three months or more just for a follow-up visit — and much less time actually spent with your doctor. And then there’s also the relative anonymity of practices with large patient panels, where there’s limited time for staff to get to know you personally and the patient can end up feeling more like a number than a person.

So, become informed and make the choice that’s right for you. Know you have options. Take a look at a Direct Care practice today. You can check out Still Point or do your own Google search to find a practice near you.

When Children with Autism Grow Up …

… they become adults with autism.

This may not seem like a particularly surprising fact. What is surprising, though, is the distinct lack of services and accommodations available for adults on the autism spectrum. It is as though autism “magically disappears” when a child becomes an adult.

It does not disappear.

And, for most adults with autism — especially those over 30 — the situation is, ironically, somewhat inverted. It is as though their autism did not exist before they were adults … because these adults with autism have not had the benefit of any assistance, intervention, or even understanding while growing up.

As a whole, autistic adults are delighted that autistic children are receiving help, and it’s likely that such help will make a magnificent difference in their lives as they grow up. The “lost generation” of autistic adults who did not receive such assistance, however, remains.

Still Point Medical is one of the first family practices in the U.S. (and perhaps the first in its state) designed to accommodate the needs of adults on the autism spectrum. Some of the practice’s features include:

  • a sensory-friendly environment with no televisions, radios, fluorescent light, or crowded waiting rooms;
  • low-tech, unhurried, individualized consultations;
  • therapy dogs and horses;
  • quiet spaces with water fountains and landscaping for reflection; and
  • understanding and knowledgeable family practitioner and staff.

And, it’s not just adults with autism who can experience the calm, caring approach of Still Point. For many people, medicine today has too often become a hurried, high-tech, and even depersonalized experience. Perhaps we all could take a step back, a deep breath, and reflectively consider the ways in which we could change medicine for the better — for us all.

asf

Why Still Point?

DRINK ME REDStill Point is medicine, done differently.

A private, Direct Care practice that costs less than a daily latté, Still Point is a good fit if you are a patient who wants to:

  • Have 24/7 access to your own doctor
  • See your doctor the same or next day
  • Be asked “how can we help?” — not “what’s your insurance?
  • Spend more time talking with your doctor
  • Know exactly what your medical costs will be

Direct Care is a different way of practicing medicine. It’s a lot like the way it used to be. It’s called “direct care” because there is a direct relationship between you as the patient and your doctor. There is no insurance and no corporate medical model. You pay a membership fee, or pay-per-service, and this opens the door to your doctor 24/7.

Because the practice size is kept small, you receive individualized care. Your doctor has time to listen and respond to your health care needs and concerns. You can set same-day or next-day appointments. You can also talk with your doctor by phone, email, or even Skype.

Direct Care is all about access to your physician. It is not insurance and does not substitute for insurance. Many Direct Care patients can save on health premiums, however, by choosing a high deductible insurance for catastrophic health care and then pay for their day-to-day medical care with Direct Care services.

It’s a funny thing about insurance. As Samir Qamar MD, founder of MedLion, observed: Insurance “is in the business of risk management via coverage for rare, expensive events. Nearly every industry in this country uses insurance in this manner — except health care.”

Medical care in this country has changed, and good healthcare is no longer something we can take for granted. Mike Huckabee, in a 2014 keynote speech, made a rather grim prediction about medicine, stating that in the future “basic family physicians will either be in concierge [Direct Care] medicine or ‘God help you medicine’.”

Steven D. Knope MD, author of Concierge Medicine, is even more direct: “You cannot simply pay an insurance premium anymore and expect good healthcare. You must take things into your own hands.”

Your health is at the heart of all that you do. It’s an important investment in yourself.