Direct Primary Care- Wall Street Journal review

Direct primary care eliminates the insurance middle man. One third of health care costs are immediately saved. Voila! And it is SO simple.

Patients contract with their doctor directly, cutting out the premiums and deductibles paid to the insurance company which provides zero direct benefit to either the doctor or patient. By paying a monthly premium to their doctor (avg $50-75 per month), people can access their primary care physician as much or as little as needed. Think of your cable TV bill – you pay a set fee per month and watch as little or much as desired.

Direct Primary Care helps doctors by 1) eliminating the hundreds of hours spent on getting approval from non-medically trained clerks who decide what treatments your doctor is allowed to give you, 2) acknowledges that any time spent caring for you is valuable – in person visits, phone calls, video calls and emails – not just face to face visits, and 3) providing  a steady, predictable revenue stream to cover required overhead to give you needed services.

Direct Primary Care helps patients by 1) giving your doctor the freedom to offer the most medically relevant work ups and treatments, without asking “mother may I?” from non physician insurance employees, 2) saving $$$ on exorbitantly high premiums and deductibles, and 3) reduces costs by allowing doctors to provide lab tests at volume bulk discount pricing, not the higher insurance company negotiated rates.

When catastrophic (wrap around) policies are available at reduced rates to cover limited services such as hospitalization, expensive imaging tests and referral visits, then paired with direct primary care, overall costs to patients are reduced 20-30% and doctors have more freedom to focus on patients, not jumping through insurance company hoops.

Here’s hoping Idaho soon joins our neighbors Washington, Nevada, Oregon and Utah in offering catastrophic policies!


Influenza is deadly serious

Death of Teen Athlete a Reminder That Flu Can Kill Anyone

Flu usually hits the very young and the very old the hardest. Depending on the season, it kills anywhere between 4,000 and 50,000 people a year in the United States. It is still not too late to receive your flu vaccine shot. TVFM still has doses of vaccine and can help you now. Most insurance payers pick up the cost $$ for you, especially since the Centers for Disease Control  (CDC) recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months and older. It is not too late to get vaccinated. Flu vaccination can reduce flu illnesses and prevent flu-related hospitalizations.

People with egg allergies can receive any licensed, recommended age-appropriate influenza vaccine and no longer have to be monitored for 30 minutes after receiving the vaccine.

Flu shots are approved for use in pregnant women.  Flu vaccine in a pregnant woman can reduce the risk of flu illness in her baby by up to half. This protective benefit was observed for up to four months after birth.When more people get vaccinated against the flu, less flu can spread through that community.

A flu vaccine is needed every season for two reasons. First, the body’s immune response from vaccination declines over time, so an annual vaccine is needed for optimal protection. Second, because flu viruses are constantly changing, the formulation of the flu vaccine is reviewed each year and sometimes updated to keep up with changing flu viruses. For the best protection, everyone 6 months and older should get vaccinated annually.