Local Newstation Visits Our Clinic

Recently the press was full of talk about healthcare bills. And with good cause. (The affordable care act is not perfect,  but it has saved many lives.) So our local ABC channel contacted me about smaller offices like mine,  how we fit into the picture, and how we might help people. The reporter was great, and we talked quite a bit about direct primary care.  Her story was pretty good. Click here to see the story from WKOW.

I would have preferred it if the term “direct primary care” had been used in the story, because that is the terminology that I used.  It implies a certain payment model, where patients receive amazing value, timely visits, unhurried 60 minute visits, and near constant contact with their physician all for a low monthly fee which includes sick visits, well visits, procedures, and OMT at no additional cost.  Instead, the news story used the term “micro practice”, and “boutique medicine” (a term I don’t use). One of those terms is appropriate, and one of those terms is less appropriate.

“Micro practice” implies that the physician is keeping a low overhead model and is not hiring other staff, or having a massive “showy” office building. In my case, I do not have lots of employees such as nurses, billers, phlebotomists, and receptionists. And I rent a cozy (466 sq ft) office in an (older but ADA accessible) office building with other “body workers” such as myself (chiropractor, massage therapist, physical therapist, and a health club).

“Boutique medicine” implies a type of service similar to concierge medicine. In those practices, patient pay a high yearly retainer fee just for the privilege of having closer contact with a physician. That physician also bills the patient’s insurance and is “fee for service.” Direct primary care provides the same valuable service, but this is done by cutting out the bureaucracy and overhead, not by charging exorbitant fees.

All in all, I am glad that an office such as mine, call it “direct primary care”, “micro practice”, “boutique medicine”,  is being presented to more people as an option. It is a very valuable option, we just need more people to know that the option is available to them in Madison, Wisconsin.