• Shenary J. Cotter, MD

Direct Primary Care.....and automobiles? huh?

OK, hang with me here. We are going to start with an analogy.

Imagine that every issue related to your car was subject to the question, "does my auto policy cover that?" Yes, collisions and accidents, absolutely. But what about cleaning the fuel injector? Periodic oil changes? Replacing the tires as they normally wear out, with age and use? What about cleaning the carpet, or repairing upholstery tears? Periodic "check ups" and "diagnostics?"

If your auto policy "covered" these things, what would happen to the cost of your auto policy? What would happen to the cost of auto care, given that your mechanic is now responsible for dealing with insurance companies to get paid for every. single. thing. His costs go up. He has to hire staff to deal with this. He raises his prices. Insurance companies decrease how much they pay your mechanic for these services so he sees more "repairs" to try to stay even, while auto insurers raise their prices for their policies, and pay for fewer services, so automobile owners are now faced with paying out of pocket for things that are now MORE expensive!

......and on and on the cycle goes.

Exactly. And this is the current situation with unaffordable healthcare and health insurance that we experience in our country.

Direct Primary Care is a movement that is rapidly growing, as physicians interrupt this cycle in healthcare. Patients join a Direct Primary Care practice, paying a monthly fee that is usually less than half the cost of one "fee for service" appointment at a normal medical practice. The member patient comes in for care as needed, and there aren't additional charges for this care. Most practices see urgent patient issues - like someone needing stitches - outside of office hours, so patients avoid expensive urgent care or emergency room visits. And since the number of members is much less than a normal medical practice has, patient members can be seen quickly - usually the same day for urgent issues or within the following days for non-urgent issues.

Patient visits are longer - ours are at least an hour, unless a patient requests less time. Physicians and patients get to know one another. Relationship is formed.

The office atmosphere is peaceful and happy, without frantic rushing, long waits in the waiting room, and rushing staff and physicians.

Other needed services, like labs, radiography (including CT and MRI), and medications are at a very small fraction of the cost of "industry healthcare."

So, back to our analogy. Automobile owners have insurance policies to cover things that are unaffordable, and unexpected, expenses for their cars. We believe healthcare should return to this model, eliminating unnecessary profit margins for non-healthcare administration, bureaucracy, and insurance, and therefore returning care to an affordable level.

Insurance is appropriate for catastrophic needs, like a hospital stay or surgery. These policies are becoming less expensive, and there are non-insurance options to help with these that are very affordable, as well. Check out health cost sharing groups, like Medishare, Liberty, Samaritans, Christian Healthcare Ministries, and Sedera.

Unlike your automobile, which can be replaced if it wears out, your body cannot be so easily repaired or replaced.

At Gainesville Direct Primary Care Physicians, we believe "You Deserve A Doctor," and that it should be affordable for you, as well.

Please call us to help you take great care of your body's health - we want it to

Megan, our nurse, actually did fix my car :)

last a long time for you, and for you to have the happiest, healthiest life that you can have!

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