Detroit Family Medicine Office Offers Affordable In-Office Procedures

Detroit Family Medicine Office Offers Affordable In-Office Procedures

The beauty of Family Medicine Practice is it can be a one stop shop for you and your medical care. Family doctors can usually take care of 80-90% of your medical needs and that includes medical procedures. Family doctors are trained to perform a wide variety of procedures that can be offered in the office. This can help you save time and money from sending you to a specialist. At Plum Health, we love taking care of procedures for our patients, these can range from Pap tests to biopsies, from toenail removal to earwax removal, from abscess drainage to lipoma removals.

Our patient cut his hand aka had a laceration, and we were able to sew up the cut (suture the wound) about 20 minutes after the incident happened. This can ensure that healing is optimal and scar tissue is minimal.

Our patient cut his hand aka had a laceration, and we were able to sew up the cut (suture the wound) about 20 minutes after the incident happened. This can ensure that healing is optimal and scar tissue is minimal.

List of Common In-Office Procedures Performed by Family Medicine Doctors

Some of the procedures that Family medicine physicians can perform are listed below. 

Procedures that can be performed by your Family Doctor

  • Wound repair (sewing up small to medium sized cuts)

  • Abscess and cyst drainage

  • Skin biopsy of moles

  • Steroid Injection of joints and trigger points 

  • Electrocardiogram (EKG)

  • Pulmonary Function Test

  • Pap smear

  • IUD (intrauterine device) removal

  • Ingrown toenail removal

  • Wart removal

  • Foreign body removal

  • Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine

  • Cerumen Disimpaction (ear wax removal)

With a flick of the wrist we can remove a significant amount of cerumen (ear wax) that may be impairing your hearing. There is no charge for this cerumen disimpaction procedure in our office.

With a flick of the wrist we can remove a significant amount of cerumen (ear wax) that may be impairing your hearing. There is no charge for this cerumen disimpaction procedure in our office.

Unfortunately, some of these procedures can be very costly depending on your insurance plan or lack thereof. A major reason for the expense of procedures vary from your insurance deductible plan and insurance coverage. Usually, the doctor’s offices will charge the insurance companies for the procedure. This inflates the cost.

For example, a typical charge for a sebaceous cyst removal might be $175 - $350. That service is $20 in our office. A skin biopsy can cost anywhere from $150 - $1,000 and an IUD removal can cost $150 - $250. For these procedures, we typically charge about $20 or the cost of the supplies that we use to perform these procedures.

Why are Common In-House Procedures Less Expensive at Plum Health?

At Plum Health DPC, we do not use or bill insurance for your medical care. Our membership plan does include performance of some procedures which helps cut many costs. We may be subject to charge for utensils and medications used during the procedure which is also offered at a discounted price.

Because the patients in our practice pay a monthly membership fee, we can lower the cost of procedures. Instead of charging you or your insurance company $100 or $500 for a procedure, we ask that you pay for the cost of the supplies that we use.

How to Schedule an Appointment to have a Procedure at our Detroit office

To make an appointment with Dr. Raquel Orlich or Dr. Paul Thomas, head over to our scheduling link. After you submit the information, Dr. Raquel or Dr. Paul will reach out and offer appointment times. 

Thank you for reading and have a great day,

-Dr. Paul Thomas and Dr. Raquel Orlich

How to Get a Flu Shot in Detroit

How to Get a Flu Shot in Detroit

Flu season is just around the corner and according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), “During the 2017–2018 influenza season there was an estimated 959,000 hospitalizations and 79,400 deaths due to complications of influenza infection.

So nearly 1 million hospitalizations and close to eighty thousand deaths due to a vaccine preventable illness! This is why we advocate for getting a Flu Shot before the start of the Flu Season - we want to prevent people from going to the hospital and potentially dying from the flu aka influenza.

How Effective is the Flu Shot aka Influenza Vaccine?

The CDC conducts studies each year to determine how well the influenza (flu) vaccine protects against flu illness. While vaccine effectiveness can vary, recent studies show that flu vaccination reduces the risk of flu illness by between 40% and 60% among the overall population during seasons when most circulating flu viruses are well-matched to the flu vaccine. 

So, if you get the flu shot, and the vaccine is well-matched to the circulating virus, you can reduce your risk of getting the Flu by about half - that’s great!

Influenza Vaccine for the 2019 - 2020 season given to one of our patients at Plum Health DPC in Detroit, MI.

Influenza Vaccine for the 2019 - 2020 season given to one of our patients at Plum Health DPC in Detroit, MI.

How Can the Flu Shot Help Me?

There are many reasons to get a flu vaccine each year. Below is a summary of the benefits of flu vaccination:

  • Flu vaccination can keep you from getting sick with flu.

  • Flu vaccination can reduce the risk of flu-associated hospitalization for children, working age adults, and older adults.

  • Flu vaccination helps prevent serious medical events associated with some chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and chronic lung disease.

  • Vaccination helps protect women during and after pregnancy.

  • Flu vaccine can be life-saving in children.

  • Flu vaccination has been shown in several studies to reduce severity of illness in people who get vaccinated but still get sick.

  • Getting vaccinated yourself may also protect people around you, including those who are more vulnerable to serious flu illness, like babies and young children, older people, and people with certain chronic health conditions.

So, if you’re a parent with young children, by getting the Flu Shot, you can help protect your kids. If you’re someone with many chronic diseases like diabetes or heart failure, getting the flu shot can reduce your risk of these diseases worsening if you were to be infected with the flu.

What are Flu Symptoms? What Should I Look Out For?

Flu Symptoms have a broad range, but typically people come to the doctor with the following concerns:

  • Fever* or feeling feverish/chills

  • Cough

  • Sore throat

  • Runny or stuffy nose

  • Muscle or body aches

  • Headaches

  • Fatigue (tiredness)

  • Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.

As a doctor treating folks with the flu, there’s something called the pajama sign - if you don’t have the energy to shower and get dressed into regular clothes, and you have some of the above symptoms, it’s more likely that you have the flu. Seriously - I’ve had people compare getting the flu to being hit by a truck - getting an illness as severe as the flu can feel like all of your energy has been taken away.

How Is the Flu Virus Spread?

Most experts believe that flu viruses spread mainly by tiny droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby. Less often, a person might get the flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose or possibly their eyes.

To rephrase, someone might cough and they might have tiny droplets fly out of their mouth and land on things that you touch, like door handles, shopping cart handles, tables at a restaurant, etc… That’s why it’s so important that you wash your hands before touching your own nose and mouth and before eating. If you are sick, it’s also very important to wash your hands after coughing and sneezing. You can help lessen the spread of the flu virus by washing your hands often during cold and flu season.

For more information, visit the CDC for the most up-to-date information on the flu.

How to Get the Flu Shot in Detroit

Protect yourself and your family (and friends and co-workers) from the flu this year! To make an appointment with Dr. Raquel, head over to our scheduling link and select her as your doctor. After you submit the information, Dr. Raquel will reach out and offer appointment times. 

Thank you for reading and have a great day,

-Dr. Paul Thomas and Dr. Raquel Orlich with Plum Health DPC

Influenza Vaccine instructions for the 2019 - 2020 Vaccine Season including ingredients in the vaccine.

Influenza Vaccine instructions for the 2019 - 2020 Vaccine Season including ingredients in the vaccine.

Helping Other Detroit Entrepreneurs with their Businesses

Last week, I was invited to participate in a Business Coaching Program with the BUILD Institute and Samuel Adams. It was held at the Jam Handy. BUILD Institute had coordinated for roughly 50 business coaches and 100 small business owners/start up founders to come through for business coaching.

April Boyle runs the BUILD Institute and they focus on helping entrepreneurs start businesses. They give entrepreneurs a set of tools to get started, by focusing on a curriculum with sessions regarding accounting, finance, marketing, branding, customer acquisition, leveraging capital, etc… This where I started my entrepreneurial journey, so I’m excited to be a part of this group!

It was a fun event with a ton of energy in the room - lots of great ideas and exciting new business ventures. It’s great to see a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem in Detroit and it was fun to be a part of this event. Here’s some pics!

Dr. Paul Thomas of Plum Health DPC volunteering at the Build Institute’s Business Mentorship night at the Jam Handy in Detroit, Michigan.

Dr. Paul Thomas of Plum Health DPC volunteering at the Build Institute’s Business Mentorship night at the Jam Handy in Detroit, Michigan.

Group Pics:

A funny story about the above photo session. I was in the back and obstructed, so I took a big jump and seemed to time it pretty well! You can see me leaping in the back.

Have a great day - Dr. Paul

Plum Health Featured on Small Talk with Mark S. Lee

Today we were featured on Small Talk with Mark S. Lee. This is our third time appearing on this program and it’s always a pleasure to be interviewed by Mark S. Lee.

Our segment starts at 45:13:

46:30 - we introduce Dr. Raquel Orlich, an Osteopathic physician who joined our practice on July 1st, 2019

46:40 - an update: Direct Primary Care is a membership model for health care that has grown tremendously because of the ever-rising costs of health insurance. There are now roughly 1,200 Direct Primary Care practices across the country. Our practice in Detroit, Plum Health DPC, now has over 500 members and we continue to deliver affordable, accessible healthcare in Detroit and beyond. People choose Plum Health because they can have a personal relationship with their doctor. People choose Plum Health because they have affordable costs for their meds, labs, and imaging services.

48:00 - Dr. Raquel Orlich talks about her education at Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine. She also talks about how she found out about Plum Health DPC and how Dr. Paul and Dr. Raquel had a lot of alignment in their goals for medical care and community-based practice.

49:55 - Dr. Raquel Orlich talks about her scope of practice - taking care of people of all ages and stages. Dr. Raquel has special interests in Women’s Health, Preventive Medicine, and Osteopathic Manipulative Therapy.

50:42 - Mark S. Lee talks about our book Direct Primary Care: The Cure for Our Broken Healthcare System and how we thanked him in our Acknowledgments section for his coverage of Plum Health early on, before other journalists began taking notice.

50:55 - On the growth of Plum Health DPC, we have surpassed 500 members! This constitutes a full panel for Dr. Paul Thomas, and therefore we needed to bring on a second doctor, Dr. Raquel Orlich. At this point, any new patients will be patients of Dr. Raquel Orlich. We want to make it clear that there will always be room for new patients at Plum Health DPC and we will work tirelessly to accommodate anyone who needs or wants our care.

51:46 - Plum Health DPC will be moving into The Corner - Detroit development. This is at the Legendary Corner of Michigan and Trumbull in the Corktown neighborhood of Detroit. This is an amazing place because of all the Major League Baseball history at this site - players like Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth graced this diamond and this is the site of the 1984 Detroit Tigers’ World Series Championship. We will be moving into our new space at The Corner in September 2019 if everything goes according to plan and according to the proposed construction schedule.

53:12 - Dr. Raquel Orlich completed her residency at Ascension Macomb Hospital and she is now practicing in Detroit at Plum Health DPC. Mark S. Lee asks for her thoughts on the move. She wanted to have an opportunity to give back, especially with her background in volunteering. She wanted to make sure that she would have enough to spend with her patients and the capacity to provide low-cost services for patients who need it.

55:20 - Our practice, Plum Health DPC, continues to serve folks who have been left out by the traditional fee-for-service system. Dr. Paul Thomas discusses how we often have new patients sign up for the practice who haven’t been to the doctor for 5 - 10 years because they’ve been uninsured or underinsured and concerned about the cost of their potential medical care.

Thanks so much for listening, and have a wonderful day. If you’d like to have this type of health care for you, your family, or your small business, please reach out at 313.444.5630 or enroll online, here.

Again, a big thank you to Mark S. Lee for having us on his program, Small Talk with Mark S. Lee. Until next time!

-Paul Thomas, MD and Raquel Orlich, DO

2019.08.10 Paul Thomas MD Raquel Orlich DO and Mark S Lee on Small Talk Radio Detroit.jpeg

Plum Health featured in the Detroit Free Press

Today, the Detroit Free Press wrote an article about our Direct Primary Care service, Plum Health DPC. To read the full article, head here. In this post, I’m going to be breaking down what we read and what we thought. Let me start by saying that the article is great as is, but if you want to take a deeper dive into some of the stats and some of the experiences behind the article, read on to my breakdown.

Direct Primary Care practices Serving Underinsured and uninsured patients

The article starts out by discussing how one of our patients is underinsured:

Katelyn Burkart, 29, has health insurance, but because of her plan's nearly $7,000 annual deductible, she can't really afford to use it.

"It is like pretty worthless insurance, frankly," said Burkart, who lives in Hamtramck. “It’s one of those things where if I'm in a horrible accident I can come up with $7,000, but I know I can’t do that every year.” 

I’m glad that they focused on the human aspect of being uninsured or underinsured, but I had hoped that the Free Press would have discussed how prevalent this problem is. From a survey performed by the Commonwealth fund in 2019, “45 percent of U.S. adults ages 19 to 64 are inadequately insured.” The Survey goes on to reveal that “People who are underinsured or spend any time uninsured report cost-related problems getting care and difficulty paying medical bills at at higher rates than those with continuous, adequate coverage.”

This is why Plum Health and Direct Primary Care really matters - it meets people where they’re at and provides them with a low-cost, high-value solution to a pervasive problem.

How many direct primary care practices are in Michigan?

The article goes on to discuss the number of Direct Primary Care practices in Michigan:

Plum Health, which doesn't bill or accept health insurance, is one of roughly 15 direct primary care clinics in Michigan where doctors see fewer patients than in a typical primary care office, and can spend more time with each one.

Plum Health DPC was one of the early adopters of this Direct Primary Care model. We saw clearly that through a DPC practice, we could spend more time with our patients, deliver a higher value service, all while lowering the cost of medications, lab tests, and imaging services.

Can Direct Primary Care Scale?

One of the critiques of the Direct Primary Care model comes from Marianne Udow-Phillips:

"Direct primary care is still a pretty small, and not by any means widespread strategy for delivering services," said Marianne Udow-Phillips, executive director of the Center for Health and Research Transformation in Ann Arbor. "Whether or not it’s going to grow over time is a real question."

Frankly, I disagree with this assessment. When we started Plum Health in 2017, there were roughly 400 Direct Primary Care practices across the United States. As of today, there are roughly 1,119 Direct Primary Care practices across the United States:

Direct Primary Care is growing across the United States - currently there are roughly 1,119 DPC practices in the US. This map is courtesy of the  DPC Frontier .

Direct Primary Care is growing across the United States - currently there are roughly 1,119 DPC practices in the US. This map is courtesy of the DPC Frontier.

That being said, it’s time to address the concept of scaling Direct Primary Care. From the article:

“Still, it's an open question whether direct primary care can scale up and become more than a niche in care health.”

I have often said that you can’t scale relationships, meaning that we’ve built our business by taking care of one person at a time, by building a relationship with one person at a time. This relationship building is often done during hour-long appointments where we really get to know one another. I’m grateful to have this opportunity to really get to know my patients and their health goals - it makes the practice of medicine more meaningful.

And to address this concept of scale, there are now over one thousand doctors practicing this way every day in every type of community across the country, slowly building relationships with their patients and with their community, and meeting people where they’re at.

For people that choose a Direct Primary Care doctor over a traditional fee-for-service doctor or practice, this stronger relationship with their doctor can be refreshing. In the more corporate structures of health care delivery, people can often feel like just another number, as their doctor rushes in and out of the room. In our DPC practice, we really want to make sure that people feel valued and understood, listened to and well cared for.

In a way, the Direct Primary Care model has already “scaled” as the number of doctors practicing in the DPC model has more than doubled over the last 2.5 years. If this trend continues, in another 2.5 years, there would be 2,400 DPC practices in the US, which is very exciting.

Direct primary Care is not Health Insurance

In the article, they mention that Direct Primary Care does not replace Health Insurance, and yes, we unequivocally recommend that folks have some sort of health insurance or catastrophic health insurance policy. From the Free Press:

It also is unlikely to replace the need for health insurance. That is because direct primary care doctors still refer patients to outside specialists for more complex medical situations, anything from joint replacements to cancer. Also, primary care doctors are no substitute for an emergency room.

This is an important point, we can care for roughly 80 - 90% of what someone may need, like blood pressure management, diabetes management, acute care or sick visits, laceration repair like sewing up cuts, Pap testing, biopsies, wart removal, skin tag removal, etc… And we can do all of this at a low cost and without billing insurance. This is health care - time with the doctor and trust that your doctor can take care of what you need.

The biggest problem that I have with insurance is when it becomes comprehensive, covering everything from Flu Shots to time in an Intensive Care Unit. When insurance is mandated to cover everything, the costs of these services become inflated. This is unfortunate because primary care services are relatively low cost.

So for the folks who are uninsured or underinsured, they are paying a very high cost for relatively inexpensive primary care services, because they are often forced to pay the insurance-based prices. Because we remove the insurance company middle men in our practice, we’re able to dramatically lower the cost of health care.

Paul Thomas MD and Raquel Orlich DO of Plum Health DPC, as recently featured in the Detroit Free Press. Photo Credit: the Detroit Free Press and  Kathleen Galligan.

Paul Thomas MD and Raquel Orlich DO of Plum Health DPC, as recently featured in the Detroit Free Press. Photo Credit: the Detroit Free Press and Kathleen Galligan.

Thank you for reading and learning more about our practice! If you’d like to have this sort of service for yourself, your family, or your business you can sign up here or reach us at 313.444.5630.

-Paul Thomas, MD with Plum Health DPC

Dr. Paul Thomas Featured on the Primary Care Cures Podcast

This week, Dr. Paul Thomas of Plum Health DPC was featured on the Primary Care Cures podcast, hosted by Ron Barshop. The podcast focuses on the people who are making a difference in Primary Care - those who are fighting against burnout, physician shortages, bad models, and forced buyouts.

Dr. Paul Thomas was featured on Episode 25 of the Primary Care Cures podcast with Ron Barshop

Dr. Paul Thomas was featured on Episode 25 of the Primary Care Cures podcast with Ron Barshop

This episode had a fairly wide ranging discussion on Direct Primary Care, here are the show notes:

How I found out about the Direct Primary Care model at 2:50

Direct Primary Care Doctors and Burnout and Burnout in the Fee-For-Service system at 3:30

The different Direct Primary Care Conferences, including the AAFP DPC Summit and Nuts and Bolts in Florida at 5:00

The difference between Direct Primary Care and the Fee-For Service Model at 5:45

If all Primary Care Doctors went into Direct Primary Care, would there be a primary care shortage or would the primary care shortage worsen? at 6:10

Can we make Primary Care Medicine more appealing for medical students and residents? at 8:40

The percentage of medical students choosing Primary Care residencies and the Match at 9:40

The Income of a Direct Primary Care doctor at 10:15

Employees in the Direct Primary Care model - are they more satisfied because they have a lower volume? at 11:50

Starting a Direct Primary Care practice straight out of residency - is this unusual? at 12:50

Telehealth and digital communication and how that interfaces with the Direct Primary Care model, as well as texting your doctor at 14:34

Osteopathic Family Medicine Doctor Accepting New Patients in Detroit

Osteopathic Family Medicine Doctor Accepting New Patients in Detroit

Dr. Raquel Orlich is an Osteopathic Family Medicine Doctor who is accepting new patients in Detroit, Michigan. She finished a successful first week at Plum Health DPC, our Family Practice office in Southwest Detroit. She has already been able to incorporate Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine techniques with some of our patient’s treatment regimens. Click here to read more about Osteopathic Medicine and Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine for musculoskeletal concerns.

Dr. Raquel Orlich using her hands to apply an Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine Treatment to one of her patients.

Dr. Raquel Orlich using her hands to apply an Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine Treatment to one of her patients.

Dr. Raquel is excited to have started at the practice and she is eager to continue to meet new folks of the community. If you or someone you know needs a primary care doctor, Dr. Raquel is accepting new patients. Click here to learn more about Dr. Raquel and her medical interests.

Which Conditions do Family Medicine Doctors Treat?

Family Medicine physicians are the cornerstone to health maintenance and illness prevention. Family medicine physicians can provide annual wellness exams. Routine annual physical exams are important to address age related cancer screening tests, to evaluate for preventable diseases such as diabetes and heart disease, and discuss other lifestyle choices that may be affecting your overall health such as smoking, alcohol consumption, and inactivity.

Family medicine doctors can address up to 90% of your health concerns. They can manage and evaluate health concerns that arise such as the common cold, heartburn management, back pain, ankle sprains, and many others.  They can also manage chronic medical conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and asthma. 

Family medicine doctors may also offer simple procedures in the office such as laceration repair (sewing up small to medium-sized cuts), knee joint injections, abscess drainage, wart removal, ingrown toenail removal, skin biopsies, and many more.

Why it’s Important to Have a Family Doctor

Detroit is a Health Professional Shortage Area, meaning that there are too few Family Doctors and Primary Care Doctors for the number of Residents in Detroit. There’s roughly 1 primary care physician for every 6,000 Detroit residents. Compare that to 1 primary care physician for every 600 residents in Oakland County, and you find that Detroit has a 10x disparity in access to primary care.

What’s more, An increase of one primary care doctor per 10,000 people has been shown to result in a 5% decrease in outpatient clinic visits, a 5.5% decrease in hospital admissions, a 10.9% decrease in ER visits, and a 7.2% decrease in surgeries.

Why? Because primary care physicians like Family Medicine Doctors are experts at taking care of people in a cost-effective way. Family Doctors are able to treat conditions in their early stages before they become worse or more complicated. For example, if you work with your family doctor to lower your blood pressure, this could prevent a heart attack or a stroke in the future. 

How to Schedule an Appointment with Dr. Raquel

To make an appointment with Dr. Raquel, head over to our scheduling link and select her as your doctor. After you submit the information, Dr. Raquel will reach out and offer appointment times. 

Thank you for reading and have a great day,

-Dr. Paul Thomas and Dr. Raquel Orlich with Plum Health DPC

What is Osteopathic Medicine?

What is a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine or “DO”? 

The best way to define an Osteopathic Physician is by what they believe. They follow the four tenets or principles of Osteopathic Medicine. They are as follows:

  1. The body is a unit; the person is a unit of body, mind, and spirit.

  2. The body is capable of self-regulation, self-healing, and health maintenance.

  3. Structure and function are reciprocally interrelated.

  4. Rational treatment is based upon an understanding of the basic principles of body unity, self-regulation, and the interrelationship of structure and function. 

In short, an osteopathic physician is trained to treat the person as a whole as every body system can relate to one another. Because of this holistic approach, not surprisingly many DOs have a strong interest in preventative health and primary care.

Osteopathic physicians complete four years of medical school and at least three years of residency, just like their Allopathic or MD counterparts. However, in addition to their stethoscopes and medical exam equipment, DOs have special training to use their hands as diagnostic and therapeutic tools with a treatment called Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine.

Dr. Raquel Orlich uses her hands to treat a patient at the Plum Health DPC; this is known as Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine.

Dr. Raquel Orlich uses her hands to treat a patient at the Plum Health DPC; this is known as Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine.

What is Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine?

A DO or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine is trained in Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine also known as “OMM or OMT” during medical school and residency. It is a hands-on technique used to help diagnose, treat, and prevent illness or injury.  

During an osteopathic exam, a head to toe assessment will be performed to evaluate for abnormalities that the Doctor can feel with their hands called somatic dysfunctions. These abnormalities may have an effect on your activities of daily living, like dressing, eating, and bathing. They may also disrupt the way you walk and the way you move because they may be painful, and this can impact your overall quality of life. 

Somatic dysfunctions can be defined as impaired or altered function of the somatic (body framework) system: skeleton, joints, and myofascial structures (muscles, ligaments, tendons) and their relation to the blood vessels, lymphatic system, and nerves. 

A Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine or DO employs treatments that restore and improve range of motion, by focusing on realigning trouble spots. Treatment modalities are patient specific and can include myofascial release (soft tissue work), muscle energy, high velocity low amplitude (traditional chiropractic work), counterstrain, and Still technique. During the visit, time will be set aside to discuss home stretches, exercises, and injury prevention.

What conditions can an Osteopathic Physician Treat with Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine?

Dr. Raquel Orlich uses the Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine technique to diagnose and treat a patient with a musculoskeletal health problem at the Plum Health DPC clinic in Detroit, Michigan.

Dr. Raquel Orlich uses the Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine technique to diagnose and treat a patient with a musculoskeletal health problem at the Plum Health DPC clinic in Detroit, Michigan.

Here is a list of common issues that can be treated and improved with OMM

  • Pain related to improper alignment in the back, hips, shoulders, and neck (chronic and acute)

  • Musculoskeletal pain of the arm and leg

  • Nerve impingement (sciatica, radiculopathy)

  • Range of motion of tissues and joints

  • Headache (tension, migraine, and sinus)

  • Constipation

If you are dealing with some of the issues listed above, you may be a good candidate for OMM as a safe and effective form of therapy. Getting an appointment is easy, just click this link.

-Dr. Raquel

Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine 


Welcome Dr. Raquel!

We are very excited to welcome Dr. Raquel Orlich to our practice at Plum Health DPC. Join us tonight at 5:30 pm at Batch Brewing Company and meet the newest Family Doctor in Detroit! To RSVP on our Facebook event, click here.

Welcome Dr Raquel.png

Join us tonight at Batch Brewing Company, 1400 Porter Street, Detroit, MI as we welcome our newest Family Medicine Doctor to Plum Health DPC, Dr. Raquel Orlich, DO.

Dr. Raquel Pence, DO - soon to be Dr. Orlich - is board certified family physician. She is excited to join the mission of bringing affordable and accessible health care to Detroit. She is passionate about quality patient-centered care and establishing strong doctor-patient relationships. Her clinical interests include osteopathic manipulative medicine for chronic musculoskeletal issues, women’s health, and preventative health. She is a graduate of Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed her residency training at Ascension Macomb-Oakland Hospital, where she is currently Chief Resident.

Family Medicine doctors are uniquely trained to take care of a wide range of health care issues. Family Practice doctors are able to treat children or provide pediatric care, women during their reproductive years or gynecological services, adults or internal medicine services, as well as health care for older adults also known as geriatric care. Family Physicians take care of the whole person and specialize taking care of people in the context of their families, communities, and greater environments.

Detroit is experiencing a shortage in excellent primary care services and specifically family medicine doctors. This is a part of the reason that we are so excited to have Dr. Raquel Orlich as a part of our team, serving Detroiters with high quality, affordable, and accessible health care services from our Southwest Detroit office.

Thanks for reading and have a great day,

- Dr. Paul Thomas, MD

Detroit Doctor Lowers the Cost of Prescription Medications

Medication prices are unsustainably high, putting a huge financial burden on every day Americans. In a recent survey, 8% of adult Americans don’t take their medicines as prescribed because they can’t afford them.

In addition, the cost of insulin for an average patient with Type 1 Diabetes doubled from 2012 to 2016. In fact, the cost of medications like insulin are inflating at higher rates than college tuition, college textbooks, and hospital services.

The cost of insulin is increasing at rates far above overall inflation, even outpacing the cost of college tuition and college textbooks.

The cost of insulin is increasing at rates far above overall inflation, even outpacing the cost of college tuition and college textbooks.

All of this data is presented to make the point: health care and specifically prescription medications have become more and more unaffordable for average Americans.

Fortunately, there is a better way to get prescription medications. One way is to develop a relationship with a Direct Primary Care physician, who focuses on improving access to affordable health care services, medications, and lab work.

The medications provided by Direct Primary Care doctors are typically given to patients at-cost or at a small markup to cover shipping, bottles, and labels. Direct Primary Care doctors do this because they believe that health care should be affordable and accessible for everyone.

Our Direct Primary Care practice here in Detroit is called Plum Health DPC and we pride ourselves on lowering the cost of medications for our patients. A partial list of these medications and their prices can be found on our Pricing Page as well as by following this link to our PDF of medication prices.

For example, we had a young lady come in to our clinic with an outbreak of HSV or Herpes Simplex Virus that was affecting her genitals. She went to the local pharmacy and requested a course of Valtrex, and she was told that the medication would cost $100. She heard about our clinic, signed up for our services and now is able to get a course of treatment with Valtrex for $1.49.

As another example, we had a diabetic patient who was not actively managing his diabetes because he was scared about how much the medication might cost. He was not seeking medical attention and was not taking any medication at all for his diabetes. Unfortunately, he developed a severe skin infection that required hospitalization. The nursing staff directed him to our clinic and we were able to get his diabetic medication for free through a pharmaceutical program. Additionally, we are able to manage his high blood pressure and high cholesterol for under $5/month.

Because of this type of work that we do for our patients everyday, we have the privilege of being interviewed on WDET’s Detroit Today. This segment will air at 9:00 am on Wednesday May 22nd. Please tune in or share the podcast link to spread the word about how we’re actively lowering the cost of health care and prescription medications in Detroit and beyond.

Thank you for reading and listening,

Dr. Paul Thomas with Plum Health DPC

For more information on this topic, read our previous blog post, titled: How to Find the Best Prescription Drug Prices in Detroit

Detroit doctor, Paul Thomas MD, is using the Direct Primary Care model to the lower the cost of prescription medications in Detroit and beyond

Detroit doctor, Paul Thomas MD, is using the Direct Primary Care model to the lower the cost of prescription medications in Detroit and beyond

This is an addendum to the Original Post, from WDET’s post:

Henderson also speaks with Dr. Paul Thomas, a primary care physician at Plum Health in Southwest Detroit. Since 2016, Thomas has had his patients pay an affordable monthly membership fee for healthcare and then he gets them their necessary medication at cost. A common blood pressure medication that would normally cost between $5 and $10 when billed through insurance and filled at a pharmacy, is instead costing patients just 27 cents for a month supply.

WDET’s coverage of Stephen Henderson’s conversation with Paul Thomas, MD on Detroit Today.

WDET’s coverage of Stephen Henderson’s conversation with Paul Thomas, MD on Detroit Today.

Plum Health to increase access to primary care in Detroit

Plum Health Direct Primary Care adds a second family medicine physician due to an overwhelming demand for a new style of health care.

Dr. Raquel Orlich, DO will join Plum Health DPC, starting July 1st, 2019.

Dr. Raquel Orlich, DO will join Plum Health DPC, starting July 1st, 2019.

Detroit, Michigan, May 15th, 2019 - Plum Health Direct Primary Care (DPC) is pleased to announce that Raquel Orlich, DO will be joining Plum Health starting July 1st, 2019. Dr. Orlich is a board-certified family physician, with a passion for osteopathic manipulative medicine, women’s health, and preventive medicine. 

She is a graduate of Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed her residency training at Ascension Macomb-Oakland Hospital, where she is currently Chief Resident. 

"I'm excited to help make health care more affordable, accessible and human in Detroit. I am joining the Plum Health team because I believe in the mission, and I'm looking forward to establishing strong relationships with my patients", noted Dr. Orlich when asked why she chose to join a direct primary care practice over a traditional fee for service model.

"We've had an overwhelming response to our style of healthcare, so we need to add a team member to meet the demand," says Dr. Paul Thomas, who for the last two-and-a-half years, has been serving residents in Detroit and beyond from Plum Health's office in Southwest Detroit. There are currently 500 members in the practice who are cared for by Dr. Paul Thomas. Dr. Orlich's arrival will allow Plum Health to care for an additional 500 patients.

Direct Primary Care (DPC) physicians do not bill or use insurance, which means they can provide their patients with steeply discounted medications, labs, imaging services, and procedures. This practice model allows patients to have a direct relationship with their primary care physician by enrolling in an affordable subscription-based service. A Plum Health subscription is between $10 and $89 per month.

What's more is DPC doctors like Dr. Orlich make themselves available by phone, text message, or video call. This connectivity makes getting care even more convenient for their patients.

Media Contact

Dr. Paul Thomas, MD

Founder & Physician, Plum Health DPC

p | (313) 444 - 5630

e | paul@plumhealthdpc.com

w | plumhealthdpc.com


More about Plum Health DPC

At Plum Health, we believe that health care should be affordable and accessible to everyone. Members of the practice can call, text, or email the doctor anytime they need health care services. We guarantee same-day/next-day appointments. Additionally, patients have access to wholesale medications, at-cost imaging services, and at-cost lab work. Plum Health began in November 2016 with eight patients and now has 500 active patients, spanning in age from 4 months to 101 years of age. Our vision is to provide the best healthcare experience in Detroit and beyond.

More about Dr. Paul Thomas

Dr. Paul Thomas is a board-certified family medicine physician practicing in Southwest Detroit. His practice is Plum Health DPC, a Direct Primary Care service that is the first of its kind in Detroit and Wayne County. His mission is to deliver affordable, accessible health care services in Detroit and beyond. He is a Clinical Assistant Professor at Wayne State University School of Medicine. He served as Chief Resident at Oakwood Family Medicine Residency Program. Thomas is also the author of the book Direct Primary Care: The Cure for Our Broken Healthcare System.

More about Direct Primary Care

The direct primary care (DPC) model gives family physicians a meaningful alternative to fee-for-service insurance billing, typically by charging patients a monthly, quarterly, or annual fee (i.e., a retainer) that covers all or most primary care services including clinical, laboratory, and consultative services, and care coordination and comprehensive care management. Because a retainer does not include some services, DPC practices often suggest that patients acquire a high-deductible wraparound policy to cover emergencies.

Direct primary care benefits patients by providing substantial savings and a higher degree of access to, and time with, physicians. Taken from the American Academy of Family Physicians website: https://www.aafp.org/practice-management/payment/dpc.html

To download the full press release, click here: Word Document, PDF.


To enroll with Dr. Raquel Orlich, go to our Schedule page and start the enrollment process. Select Dr. Raquel Orlich as your “Preferred Provider” in that section. Once you complete the enrollment, you will be contacted on having an appointment with Dr. Orlich on or after July 1st, 2019. If you have a more immediate concern, Dr. Paul Thomas has availability at this time to accommodate urgent needs.

Trashtag Challenge at Plum Health DPC

On Monday, April 22nd, it was Earth Day, and last month we contributed by completing the Trashtag Challenge! The Trashtag Challenge is where you get a bunch of your friends, neighbors, colleagues, or classmates and get outside and pick up as much trash as possible, taking before and after pictures to document the process.

When the snow melted in March, it revealed a ton of trash in our parking lot, which was not appreciated. I went out with my friend and colleague, Rob, and we absolutely destroyed a patch of refuse and debris.

But, there was still more work to be done, and we went out with a group of about 12 more people and cleared out more trash from the parking lot and surrounding areas. This is really important because trash and what we do with it has a big impact on our community and our health. Trash and its presence, or absence, impacts the way that we feel about our community.

Paul Thomas MD with a group of students from the Detroit School of Digital Technology, cleaning up trash from our parking lot at 1759 21st Street, Detroit, MI 48216.

Paul Thomas MD with a group of students from the Detroit School of Digital Technology, cleaning up trash from our parking lot at 1759 21st Street, Detroit, MI 48216.

There was a bunch of trash beforehand, but we got it done - many hands make light work! This is the Plum Health DPC and DSDT crew cleaning up our shared parking lot and completing the Trashtag Challenge.

There was a bunch of trash beforehand, but we got it done - many hands make light work! This is the Plum Health DPC and DSDT crew cleaning up our shared parking lot and completing the Trashtag Challenge.

I’ll close this with a challenge - can you get a group of people together and clean up a small patch of your community?

Thanks for reading and have a great week! - Dr. Paul Thomas with Plum Health DPC

Plum Health teaming up with Veterans Care Network

Plum Health teaming up with Veterans Care Network

Plum Health DPC is teaming up with Veterans Care Network to provide affordable, accessible healthcare services to those who have served in the military. Veterans Care Network has set aside some funding to sponsor a few Veterans and help them receive primary care services. They chose to use Direct Primary Care because they know how valuable the services in the DPC model can be.

Plum Health DPC Serves Veterans in Detroit

At Plum Health, we’re passionate about serving veterans and providing excellent healthcare services to all people, but especially those who have served our country. One of the biggest concerns that my patients who are Veterans have is the level of customer service at the Veterans Administration hospital. We rectify that issue by focusing our care on the patient and making sure that they not only have excellent healthcare, but also an excellent experience.

We’re excited to partner with Veterans Care Network, and if you’d like to apply for this opportunity, follow this link.

Thanks for reading and have a wonderful day,

-Dr. Paul Thomas with Plum Health DPC

Veterans Care Network and Plum Health DPC team up to provide Direct Primary Care services for Veterans in Detroit, Michigan.

Veterans Care Network and Plum Health DPC team up to provide Direct Primary Care services for Veterans in Detroit, Michigan.

Detroit Demo Day Promo Video Features Plum Health

This year, the Quicken Loans Detroit Demo Day Promo Video and marketing materials features Dr. Paul Thomas of Plum Health DPC. We submitted a quote for their website as well:

“A big shout out to Quicken Loans Detroit Demo Day, who helped us accelerate our business growth through their fantastic program. Because of the exposure that Plum Health DPC received through the program, and the grant money that we won through the pitch competition, we are able to provide more people with affordable, accessible health care services in Detroit and beyond.” 

I'm posting this today because the application is now live for the next Quicken Loans Demo Day Event! Read more about our big win, here, and read more about Demo Day and the application process, here.

If you’re a small business in Detroit and wanting to grow and expand your business, this is a fantastic opportunity to get more recognition in the community for your brand and your business, and if you have everything in order, you could potentially walk away with grant funding for your business or an interest-free loan from Quicken Loans.

Thanks for reading and have a great day,

Dr. Paul Thomas with Plum Health DPC

Promotional image from Quicken Loans’ Detroit Demo Day, featuring Dr. Paul Thomas of Plum Health DPC

Promotional image from Quicken Loans’ Detroit Demo Day, featuring Dr. Paul Thomas of Plum Health DPC

Dr. Paul Thomas of Plum Health Featured on Sound Financial Bites

This week, we were featured on Sound Financial Bites. The topic was wide ranging, and it was great to be featured on this podcast. The producers of Sound Financial Bites, Paul Adams and Cory Shepherd, wrote a fantastic summary of our conversation, here:

EPISODE SUMMARY

This episode of the Sound Financial Bites Podcast tackles a topic that is central to our financial and physical wellbeing: healthcare. Paul Adams and Cory Shepherd welcome primary care physician Dr. Paul Thomas to discuss his practice, Plum Health, and the innovative strides he is making in the healthcare industry. Dr. Paul’s mission is to make healthcare accessible to those who cannot afford it and those who are fed up with the time, energy and money spent on traditional methods.

WHAT WAS COVERED

  • 01:24 – Introducing today’s guest, Dr. Paul Thomas

  • 02:38 – Dr. Paul defines the term direct primary care

  • 03:18 – Concierge medicine

  • 04:59 – How Dr. Paul’s business model makes money

  • 06:39 – The huge markup on healthcare services

  • 09:49 – The amount of patients a typical primary care physician has

  • 11:26 – The pricing model that Dr. Paul utilizes

  • 13:32 – Dr. Paul talks about the incredible growth of his practice, Plum Health

  • 15:53 – Dr. Paul’s vision for the next five years of his practice

  • 19:25 – Cosmetic surgery and Lasik

  • 20:43 – Paul interrupts the podcast to provide the audience with a special offer

  • 21:52 – The distinction between health insurance and healthcare

  • 22:42 – Making healthcare accessible to those who cannot afford it

  • 24:49 – The high-income earning patients that Dr. Paul also serves

  • 26:28 – How Dr. Paul’s practice remains profitable

  • 29:45 – The value of primary care  

  • 34:04 – The convenience factor

  • 34:36 – Paul invites the audience to submit questions for Dr. Paul that he will answer in the next episode he joins

  • 35:58 – Cory thanks Dr. Paul for joining Sound Financial Bites

TWEETABLES

“I really want to make healthcare affordable and accessible for everyone. And, for me, that looks like removing those middle men that inflate the cost of care and delivering primary care services directly to my patients.”

“If you use your insurance to buy healthcare services it’s gonna increase those prices because you increase the middle man. You increase the people who are handling your money between you and your doctor.”

“I’m routinely spending thirty minutes to one hour with each of my patients who come through my door.”

“That’s what it’s all about. We’re about bringing healthcare to a community that has been underserved.”

“One of the biggest problems we have as a country is that ninety percent of the medicine that’s paid for in our country is paid for by somebody who is not the patient.”

“Health insurance is not healthcare. Healthcare, delivered by a primary care physician who actually cares about you, is excellent healthcare.”

“If you make greater than sixteen thousand dollars, you are disqualified from Medicaid services.”

LINKS

Sound Financial Group on Facebook - @SoundFinancialGroup

Sound Financial Group on LinkedIn

Dr. Paul Thomas LinkedIn

Dr. Paul Thomas Facebook

Dr. Paul Thomas Twitter

Dr. Paul Thomas Instagram

Dr. Paul Thomas Website/Blog

Dr. Paul Thomas Book - Direct Primary Care: The Cure for Our Broken Healthcare System

Thinking about Direct Primary Care, if you’re able to integrate our service with the right insurance product, there could be tremendous savings for you, your family, or your business. In short, part of my job is to protect you from insurance companies, big lab companies, and hospital systems that will overcharge you for your routine primary care services.

Thanks for reading and listening, and have a great day,

-Dr. Paul Thomas with Plum Health DPC

Here’s the promo image from Sound Financial Bites for the podcast on Healthcare vs Health Insurance featuring Dr. Paul Thomas of Plum Health DPC.

Here’s the promo image from Sound Financial Bites for the podcast on Healthcare vs Health Insurance featuring Dr. Paul Thomas of Plum Health DPC.

Top Rated Family Doctor in Detroit

Top Rated Family Doctor in Detroit

This week, we received a nice email and letter from a company called “Top Rated” and they related that we were a Top Rated Family Doctor in Detroit. This review company, called Top Rated, accumulated all of our positive reviews online and published them on their website:

This review company, called Top Rated, accumulated all of our positive reviews online and published them on their website.

This review company, called Top Rated, accumulated all of our positive reviews online and published them on their website.

In fact, because of our high number of reviews, we were in the top 10 in this category, coming in at number 4:

Plum Health DPC is a Top Rated Family Doctor and Primary Care office in Detroit, based on the above review site.

Plum Health DPC is a Top Rated Family Doctor and Primary Care office in Detroit, based on the above review site.

Reflecting on this, I’m proud to provide an excellent service to our members at Plum Health and to the greater community. We really focus on going above and beyond for our patients, listening fully to their concerns, and doing whatever we can to guide them to better health and wellness. We are pleased that our reviews online reflect this ethos.

Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful day,

-Dr. Paul Thomas with Plum Health DPC

Last month, we were up to 49 Five Star reviews on Google, which is a great feeling. It validates the work that we do - people come away from our practice knowing that service is valuable and wanting to share that knowledge with other people.

Last month, we were up to 49 Five Star reviews on Google, which is a great feeling. It validates the work that we do - people come away from our practice knowing that service is valuable and wanting to share that knowledge with other people.

This week, we crossed a threshold and received 50 Five Star reviews on Google!

This week, we crossed a threshold and received 50 Five Star reviews on Google!

Going Above and Beyond for Our Patients

I love being a doctor and I love being a Direct Primary Care doctor. Because of the Direct Primary Care model, I have the opportunity to go above and beyond for my patients. For example, one of our members sent me a text message asking if I could bring by their medications the next day. I asked if I could drop them off that evening instead.

Text conversation with my of our Plum Health DPC members about the medication drop off.

Text conversation with my of our Plum Health DPC members about the medication drop off.

I wanted to get them over as soon as possible because earlier that week, my patient had let me know that they were running low on their medications and on a tight schedule before an upcoming trip. That lead me to make an evening drop off of the medications on my way home from the office.

Dr. Paul Thomas of Plum Health DPC drops off medications for one of the Plum Health DPC members. When members of our practice need something, we try to get it done for them right away.

Dr. Paul Thomas of Plum Health DPC drops off medications for one of the Plum Health DPC members. When members of our practice need something, we try to get it done for them right away.

This is just one example of the many ways that we try to make health care more affordable, accessible, convenient, and personalized.

Thanks for reading and have a great day,

-Dr. Paul Thomas with Plum Health DPC

PS Follow us on Instagram for fresh stories like this:

We’re on Instagram,  @PlumHealthDPC

We’re on Instagram, @PlumHealthDPC

What is a Plum Health Membership?

What does it mean to be a member of Plum Health dpc?

What’s involved in being a member of Plum Health DPC? We hear this question often. So, it’s worth taking some time to address it head on. Plum Health is a family medicine service run by Dr. Paul Thomas. Our mission is to deliver affordable, accessible healthcare. We are unlike other offices in several ways. We highly value the doctor-patient relationship and we routinely spend thirty minutes to one hour with each of our patients per visit.

This time together is essential because it allows us to build a trusting relationship. When you’re a member of our practice, when you’re a member of Plum Health DPC, you have the opportunity to build this trusting and healing relationship with Dr. Paul Thomas over time.

In contrast, at a typical family medicine office in the fee-for-service or insurance-based system, doctors prioritize seeing as many patients as possible to increase their payments from insurance companies. This is why you may only have five to twelve minutes with a primary care doctor in the insurance-based system.

Committed to a long-term relationship between doctor and patient

Being a member of Plum Health means that you’re committed to being a part of the membership model. If you’re looking for a one-off visit or one-time services, Plum Health probably is not the right fit for you. However, if you’re looking for a dependable physician who is responsive to your calls, texts, and emails at anytime of day, who cares about you as an individual and not as another number, then Plum Health DPC will be a great fit for you.

Furthermore, we love taking care of people who believe what we believe - that health care should be individualized, that the doctor-patient relationship should be strong and seamless, that health care should be affordable and accessible. If you value these tenets like we do, then we’d love to have you as a part of the Plum Health DPC membership.

How much does a plum Health DPC membership cost?

A membership with Plum Health DPC costs $10/month for children, and starts at $49/month for adults. We have our full pricing structure here. With that membership, you can visit the office anytime without a copay. You also can call, text, or email the doctor anytime. Additionally, members of Plum Health DPC are able to get wholesale medications, at-cost labs, and at-cost imaging services at a fraction of the typical cost.

How do I sign up for a Plum Health DPC membership?

The signup process for Plum Health DPC is an easy one. Our online form takes about 5 minutes to complete. The form will ask for a credit card to complete the registration. Your card will not be billed until your account is confirmed by our staff and an appointment is made. We want to make sure you’re a good fit for our practice before we start billing you for the service.

Thanks for reading and for watching, and have a wonderful day.

Dr. Paul Thomas with Plum Health DPC

Is Direct Primary Care the Cure for Our Broken Healthcare System?

Is Direct Primary Care (DPC) the Cure for our Broken Healthcare System? That's the question that Caitlin Morse, PMP posed to me after reading my book with the same title (link to the book).

Direct Primary Care (DPC) is a growing model of health care across the Nation, but does it live up to the hype? This is the question from Caitlin Morse PMP in her article on LinkedIn, among other questions, below.

During this conversation between myself, Paul Thomas MD, and Caitlin Morse PMP, we discuss the following:

What happens when your DPC doctor is sick or goes on vacation?

What does Plum Health use for EMR/EHR if not a system designed to optimize billing?

Would this model break if all of the patients currently on Medicaid were switched to this model?

The difference between Direct Primary Care and Concierge Medicine.

What about childhood vaccinations? Public health facilities won’t vaccinate people with any insurance, even if self-pay. I was quoted thousands of dollars for out-of-network vaccines. These are included with every insurance plan at the PCP - are they included with DPC?

How does this model handle malpractice insurance/liability? Does more of a focus on preventative care expose primary care doctors to greater liability?

Could DPC provide follow-up for cancer patients in remission, stroke patients post-rehab, post-acute care, etc?

The claim is made that 80-90% of what the average patient needs could be addressed by a family physician at a DPC facility, but it would be helpful to understand what that number really represents and how it compares to the current use of PCPs. Is that 80-90% of a patient’s lifetime health needs or 80-90% of what the average patient goes to the doctor for in a single year? Or everything that 80-90% of the population need from a doctor? What percentage of healthcare costs does this represent?

Who are the people who use Direct Primary Care Services? What are their income levels? Why should a family sign up for Direct Primary Care?

These are questions that folks have about Direct Primary Care and how they can use these DPC services and benefit from them, so I’m happy to take the time and answer them. Thanks for reading and watching, and have a wonderful day.

-Dr. Paul Thomas with Plum Health DPC

Paul Thomas MD and Caitlin Morse PMP discuss Direct Primary Care.jpg

Interview on Small Talk with Mark S. Lee

This week, we were featured on Small Talk with Mark S. Lee! Mark S. Lee is a good friend, and a champion of entrepreneurship in Detroit, so it was a privilege to be on the show. Here’s what we talked about:

Intro (01:45)

Dr. Paul Thomas is introduced by Mark S. Lee. Paul Thomas, MD is a board-certified family medicine physician practicing in Southwest Detroit. His practice is Plum Health DPC, a Direct Primary Care service that is the first of its kind in Detroit and Wayne County. His mission is to deliver affordable, accessible health care services in Detroit and beyond. He has been featured on WDIV-TV Channel 4, WXYZ Channel 7, Crain's Detroit Business and CBS Radio. He has been a speaker at TEDxDetroit. He is a graduate of Wayne State University School of Medicine and now a Clinical Assistant Professor.

Flashpoint Interview (02:30)

Two weeks ago, we were featured on Flashpoint with Devin Scillian and Dr. Frank McGeorge. We were able to discuss the Direct Primary Care model and what’s included in a membership with Plum Health DPC. At Plum Health, we believe that health care should be affordable and accessible for everyone. We also believe in the power of a personal relationship with your physician. To that end, all of my patients have my cell phone number, and can contact me at any time, and they can have an appointment in our office same-day or next-day guaranteed. People are choosing Direct Primary Care services because they are looking at rising premiums for health insurance and seeing less and less value from these insurance plans. We also discuss how to differentiate health care from health insurance.

The beginnings of Plum Health DPC in Southwest Detroit (04:00)

The beginnings of Plum Health DPC and the growth of the practice - we’ve met and exceeded our growth goals for Plum Health. We currently have 425 to 430 active members in our practice. People choose Plum Health because they want to have a personalized relationship with their doctor.

Why the current health care system is broken (05:30)

People are over-insuring, or insuring everything from Flu Shots to ICU care, and this drives up the prices of everything in between. When you remove the third party payers, you can lower the cost of care.

The Direct Primary Care book (06:00)

Direct Primary Care: The Cure for Our Broken Healthcare System - I wrote the book because our health care ecosystem is so complicated, and I wanted to write a book that could guide folks to understanding the Direct Primary Care movement and our practice. I broke up the book up into three chapters: the current crisis in our primary care system, defining direct primary care, and showing the impact that we’re having in our practice, Plum Health DPC, in Southwest Detroit.

REcent media appearances (07:00)

With the recent media appearances, there are more and more primary care doctors starting Direct Primary Care practices. There’s been a groundswell of physicians taking up this DPC model, because there’s been a groundswell of patients standing up and demanding excellent primary care services from a physician that they can trust.

Clinical Assistant Professor at Wayne State University School of Medicine (08:30)

I love speaking with students because they are really excited to learn about Direct Primary Care. Medical students are looking for a way to become primary care physicians without the insurance headaches like prior authorizations. When I speak with students, the lightbulb goes off, and they understand the model and get excited about practicing primary care. I love this because our country and our communities need excellent primary care physicians - they save communities money, they prevent hospitalizations and ER visits, and reduce unnecessary surgeries. From the American Academy of Family Physicians:

An increase of one primary care doctor per 10,000 people has been shown to result in:

  • 5% decrease in outpatient visits

  • 5.5% decrease in inpatient admissions

  • 10.9% decrease in ER visits

  • 7.2% decrease in surgeries

TedxDetroit Talk (09:30)

We spoke at TEDxDetroit in November of 2017 and, looking back, there have been several key events that helped us grow. The TEDxTalk, the Crain’s Detroit business profile, the Channel 4 WDIV story and the Channel 7 WXYZ story all contributed to our success.

Future Plans for Plum Health (10:30)

As we’re growing, more and more patients are spreading the word about Plum Health DPC via word of mouth. We’ve had some great reviews from our members! Excitingly, we’re growing and planning to add another doctor to our practice this year to be able to care for the next 500 patients who want to join.

Listen to the full interview here:

Thank you so much for reading and listening, and have a great week!

-Dr. Paul Thomas with Plum Health DPC

If you want to meet your goals for 2019, please reach out at paul@plumhealthdpc.com or 313.444.5630

2019.01.03 Paul Thomas MD on Small Talk with Mark S Lee.png