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Medicine Is About to Get Personal - The Real Test

William Jordan William Jordan , 9/2/2015
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The Jordan Insurance Group, MD, HospitalizationWhile the numbers were intriguing with the initial experiment, the real test occurred when Qliance joined the Medicaid system. Medicaid patients can be seen as a difficult audience because of the underlying health issues that may have gone untreated for so many years. Many times, older patients aren’t receiving adequate care which, inevitably, causes deteriorating health problems that are harder to cure with a late diagnosis. Papadem, a new patient of Qliance in his mid 50’s, ignored his health because of the fear the cost was too high. Turns out, he had active diabetes and atrial fibrillation. Health problems, such as Papadem’s, that go unnoticed or undiagnosed are detrimental to the patient’s health, but with “proper primary care…the likelihood of blindness, stroke and heart failure” is drastically reduced. Qliance allows patients direct access to care. With doctors so accessible, patients are able to spend less time in the emergency room with health conditions that aren’t necessarily emergencies.   According to Von Drehle, “patients now have an alternative to getting their care at the local emergency room.” A visit to a primary care doctor would avoid waiting hours to see a doctor in the Emergency Room and spending thousands of dollars for a 15 minute visit, also allowing Emergency Room doctors to give their full attention to the cases that are actually emergencies. The average Emergency Room visit ranges from $2,000-$4,500, and every time Qliance keeps a patient out of the ER, it “more than pays for itself.” Josh Umbehr, aspiring primary-care doctor, was mortified of the idea of the fee-for-service healthcare that we, Americans, are so familiar with. Because he was familiar with the “idea of one price for unlimited service,” he and a classmate opened a direct care, “moderately priced clinic called Atlas MD.” Over a few months, their business had grown to about 1,800 clients only costing patients, at average, $50 per month.  There are no hidden fees, no deductibles, and no copays. Additionally, Umbehr incorporated an in-house pharmacy which saves his clients “hundreds of dollars per year.” Straying from the healthcare norm that Americans know too well and moving in the direction of direct primary care might just be what is needed in the healthcare industry.  It’s still a new idea, but it seems to be working out for the better. The full article is titled Medicine Is About to Get Personal by David Von Drehle.