I wanted to write a quick note as I’m getting everything together. I don’t have all the details, but should in the course of the next few weeks to one month. I will be opening my own Family Practice office in Portage, with a proposed start date of January 1st, 2022. It will be a form of care called Direct Primary Care. My office will not be associated with Aspirus at all; they will be two different businesses, so no one at Aspirus will be able to answer questions about it. As a disclaimer, I am not recommending anyone leave Aspirus nor am I soliciting any patients from the Aspirus healthcare system.
The practice I am building is a new, innovative approach to healthcare that challenges this whole concept of assembly line medicine and instead, really puts an emphasis back on the doctor-patient relationship. So what sets direct primary care practices apart is that we do not require or bill through insurance at all. The reason for that is insurance dictated healthcare comes with a lot of baggage — really opaque billing. That’s hard for families. People have high copays, surprise medical bills. There’s a lot of paperwork, administrative burden and costs associated with that…and long wait times, just for very short, rushed visits (I’m sure every patient has been through that). And a lot of that is really not at the hands of doctors or nurses, but really an insurance issue. So what direct primary care does is it tries to sort of remove that insurance middleman, to improve patient access and give people a more personal primary care experience, while also saving them a lot of money. Think $65 for an Xray paid immediately on the spot instead of $900, as I was charged the last time I got an Xray, and the bill didn’t come until 2 months later when I wasn’t expecting a bill like that. Will insurance pay for it, or won’t they? Was the diagnosis code correct? etc.
The way we work is that we use a monthly membership fee with completely transparent pricing. So a flat, affordable monthly membership fee covers pretty much everything I do at the office. Everything from routine physicals, preventive care, chronic care like diabetes, hypertension, sick visits, illness, injury, even things like procedures — all of that is included in that membership fee. What that means for patients is they have predictable healthcare costs that they can budget for just like a gym membership or Netflix or anything that’s a membership. They’re not getting those surprise bills and it also is giving them this access. I will also have access to steeply discounted medications, imaging, preventive care studies. I will limit my practice to 500 people, which allows me to let patients call me or text me or email me and they know me and I know them. And then from my perspective, it means I can see fewer patients. I can sit with them longer, and be a little bit more intentional in my visits and spend my time listening and looking them in the eyes instead of checking boxes and running room to room. It’s really something that benefits both doctors and patients.
I wanted to get this out there because I have resigned from Aspirus, and wanted to make sure I’m communicating with my community about what’s going on. Again, I’m busy tying up some loose ends but will have details soon.
October 21, 2021 at 7:58 pm
Can we send the bill to our insurance ourselves and how much is this membership?I know my insurance is in a network.
October 23, 2021 at 10:35 pm
The average monthly membership for this service around the country is $77 but mine will be less than that is all I can tell you for now. This allows you to just get the care you need without being nickeled and dimed and wondering if your mole removal in the office will be $100 or $1000 or what crazy price will be charged today… it’s all just included, no office visit copays, etc. Insurances vary- some will actually reimburse patients for the typical office visit when they come in, like $150-200, even though you aren’t getting billed for office visits. Direct Primary Care helps to reduce ER visits by 40% and hospitalizations by 20% since people can contact their doctor so easily (https://www.dpcare.org/survey-report), so there are some insurances that have picked up on that and will give people reduced rates if they have a DPC doc. I would go to an insurance specialist who knows about Direct Primary Care. Disclaimer: Doctors are instructed not to counsel people on their insurance they are using for liability issues so I can’t give any direct advice on this/only general things. Other disclaimer: I am not officially recruiting any patients I already have from any other healthcare service in town. Patients make their own decisions about what they think is best for themselves and their families.
October 23, 2021 at 1:13 am
Dr.Amy Doherty you are the most caring doctor I have ever had in my 68 years of life.Your compassion and love for your work as a doctor is excellent. You are amazing and your knowledge for all types of medicine is outstanding. And your D.O medical skills have helped me so much .Thank you.
October 29, 2021 at 7:10 pm
Amazing!!! I’m inspired by your mission to battle the beast and take “practicing medicine” back to what is should be…Drs incharge, providing best medicine and building a patient relationship. What has happened in medicine with the influence of insurance and BIG health systems is devastating in so many ways! I’m so excited for you and your new adventure. We will follow for sure!
November 17, 2021 at 2:56 am
Dr.Amy Doherty,well you be sending more information soon because I would like to continue with you in your new practice. I excited but also have allot of question. Please post something soon.Sincerly Joy L Domroes
November 22, 2021 at 4:44 pm
Hey Joy- check out the new website I have created at KlarCareDPC.com for more info ;-).
November 18, 2021 at 2:21 am
Hi Dr. Amy Dohrety,
This is Vivian A. Zurbuchen and I am interested in coming to you as a patient when you get all setup.
November 23, 2021 at 3:31 am
Hi Vivian- use the “contact me” form on the new website, KlarCareDPC.com, and I will send you the application to sign up!
December 21, 2021 at 1:34 am
Hi Doctor Doherty,
I would like to, at a minimum, continue receiving osteopathic treatments from you and maybe even sign up as a member after the new year.
December 21, 2021 at 1:54 am
Sounds like a plan! If you want to get email updates about how the practice is progressing or ask me specific questions, there is a “contact me” form you can fill out on the new website, KlarCareDPC.com, that will keep you in the loop.