Dr. Washe speaks about the specifics of the Concierge Medicine (Direct Primary Care) model that has been successful for Premier Private Physicians since 2001

What is concierge and direct primary care medicine? Concierge and direct primary care medicine is a relationship between a doctor and his or her patient. The doctors directly contract with the patient to provide primary care services.

What is primary care physician? Primary care physicians are the specialty known as the first point of access in healthcare. Often people think of their primary care physician as the family doctor, or internist, or pediatrician. The specialty is that there is no specialty. These physicians have the broadest training in both inpatient and outpatient settings, taking care of both acute and chronic illnesses and hopefully having a long-term relationship with the patients. A primary care physician is someone who knows your history, knows your current state of health and who can guide you through your journey of health. Primary care physicians will typically use specialists to assist in the care of special needs of their patients especially those that do require more specialized training or procedures, but in an ideal model a primary care physician is truly the quarterback calling the plays, passing the football when needed and then huddling back with the team to direct the next play.

How is concierge and direct primary care medicine different? Concierge and direct primary care medicine is different by we work directly for our patients and provide all the primary care services for a monthly membership fee. In a sense it’s kind of like going back to the way medicine was practiced years ago. Doctors provided a service to patients and then the patient’s paid the doctors. Years ago, the patient may have paid in chickens or eggs. Today, we prefer real currency. However, in a traditional practice or a fee-for-service model the physician bills an insurance company for the encounter and the services provided during that encounter.

Why do we have insurance for primary care? When you think about insurance it’s really meant to protect us against a catastrophic expensive event that occurs infrequently. Primary care is usually an inexpensive service that you need frequently. If you think about car insurance it’s kind of like using your insurance for oil changes, brakes, or tune ups – which sounds silly when applied to your car, but somehow expected when applied to healthcare.

What do you get? Access is everything! Each patient in a concierge or direct primary care practice has a personal physician, not a physician extender. At SALTA and Premier we believe that healthcare is moving away from personalized healthcare system to more of a public, one-size-fits-all system. Which in turn shows patients having trouble accessing the system. We believe that having access to a relationship with a highly trained physician is what high-quality healthcare is all about. So, when you move a direct primary care or concierge model the success of the practice is not dependent on volume. Instead, every visit is just packed with service and quality. You can discuss more than one topic. You can come in for your blood pressure check, we will take out that ear wax, and give you a flu shot all in one visit. You may have a question or need advice which where you don’t have to come in or call for a visit. Our patients love that they do not have to come in all the time. We will address more than one concern, we welcome questions, we have more time, so you feel less rushed. There are so many benefits included in the membership that you can find on our website at saltadirect.com/for-individuals and premiermd.com/member-benefits

Currently in the traditional healthcare setting doctors are feeling fatigued with all the changes and it is difficult for you to get appointments with a doctor. With SALTA and Premier we give patients access to appointments that are always available. We never make our patients feel like something is a waste of our time or any problem is too small.

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