I am celebrating my first month as a DPC doc. I am celebrating the fact that I enrolled 50 patients, doubling my expectations for the first month. All but four are former patients of mine, but this is still cause for celebration. I am truly celebrating the fact that I have filed my affidavit to opt-out of Medicare and will begin enrolling Medicare beneficiaries under a private contract on October 1, so I expect a second influx of former patients at that time. And I am celebrating the fact that my practice has garnered the interest of local small business owners sooner than I expected; this gives me the potential for growth at a much faster rate than expected. For example, this week I am making a presentation to a local title company with 23 employees who begin open enrollment for 2015 this month. Their family premium has risen to $1600 per month. I explained to the owner that my maximum monthly fee for a family is $150 per month, and this can complement the high deductible plan that carries a premium that costs $7000 a year less. After the $1800 annual premium for my direct primary care, they save more than $5000 per year in premium. The bottom line is that, due to the accessibility to care that they will get from me at no added cost, they are likely to save thousands; but even if someone in the family has a catastrophic event, and they reach the $6350 individual out of pocket max, the family will still spend $900 less than if they pay the higher premium for the comprehensive plan all year, with its $2000 individual out-of-pocket max. In the absence of the DPC option, many of these employees will be forced to choose the HD option anyway, just to save on premium; but they will not have access to affordable care, so they will defer care, making it more likely that they will reach their out-of-pocket max anyway. This is the scenario that leads to "coverage without care," a harsh reality of the present system.
I would like to invite 3rd year family medicine residents who might be interested in having a DPC practice in the Tampa/St. Petersburg/Clearwater area, and never have to file a claim to a third party ever, and have a great quality of life with a salary equal to that which would be offered to join a busy fee-for service practice -- follow this blog throughout your third year. I will hire a physician for every 400-600 employees for whom I can contract to deliver care. My goal is to be able to do this by Fall 2015. I welcome your inquiries throughout the year. I also welcome the inquiries of established physicians who have had enough of fee-for-service medicine. Lets build a DPC network in the Tampa area that saves businesses millions while providing great, accessible care to their employees. We can disrupt the prevailing business model of our healthcare system one region at a time.