This was a big week for press coverage for Direct Primary Care in Detroit and Michigan. The bottom line is this: people are hearing more and more about this Direct Primary Care movement and we’re getting more and better coverage as the DPC movement grows.
Plum Health DPC Interview on The Craig Fahle Show
First off, we had a fabulous interview with Craig Fahle of Deadline Detroit. Craig Fahle is the former host of the Craig Fahle Show on WDET and he currently hosts the Craig Fahle Show on Deadline Detroit:
A mix of interviews and commentary, The Craig Fahle Show is a daily 30 minute podcast telling the important political, business, and cultural stories that matter to Detroit and Michigan. Hosted by Craig Fahle, an award winning journalist and talk show host who for years hosted his eponymous talk show on WDET, Detroit's Public Radio station.
Craig Fahle’s coverage of our story at Plum Health DPC was insightful and robust. He brought a really well thought out, professional approach to this interview. You can listen to the full episode here:
Paul Thomas, MD of Plum Health Mentioned During WDET’s Detroit Today
Second, during WDET’s Detroit Today radio program with Stephen Henderson, a caller rang in and asked if there was a health care model similar to the Green Bay Packers, where everyone buys in and benefits from the system. Start listening to the interview at the 34:30 mark to hear the question and answer. Additionally, I’ve taken the time to transcribe the conversation here:
Kevin in Grosse Pointe Park: “My idea may be a little simplistic, but I’d love to see something modeled off of the Green Bay Packers. As in, all of us pay our premiums to a hospital on a monthly basis, so the doctors, and the nurses, and the hospitals get our premiums. Let’s eliminate the insurance companies and the in-betweens. The doctors and nurses own the hospitals and we own shares in the hospitals and have an interest in this possibility.”
Stephen Henderson, Host of Detroit Today: “Hmm. Kevin it’s simplistic but it does get to a fundamental issue in the healthcare system. What role do the insurance companies play, and how much money do they add to the cost of things in the system and is there a way to eliminate them all-together. Abdul El-Sayed, we had a physician on the program a few months ago, Paul Thomas here in the City of Detroit, who is treating patients by eliminating insurance. He doesn’t take insurance, he has them pay into kind of a share system like Kevin is talking about. He deals with pharmaceutical companies directly to lower the cost of the meds and it seems like he’s got kind of a solution to some of the problems we see in the system now. The idea of dealing directly with physicians and hospital systems rather than insurance companies. Is that maybe a way forward?
Abdul El-Sayed, MD, MPH: “So, I love Paul’s model and I think it’s a great model for primary care. You pay him, he takes care of you, it’s simple, you eliminate the middle man. In fact though, Kevin’s idea, that’s how insurance companies started.”
Dr. Abdul El-Sayed goes on to talk about the founding of Blue Cross with Baylor’s Hospital System. When I heard this conversation, I was absolutely floored! It’s amazing that Stephen Henderson recalled our conversation and offered our model as a solution to our current health care problems.
Direct Primary Care Physician on Michigan Radio
Finally, a friend and colleague of mine, Matthew Falkiewicz, MD Of Nova Direct Primary Care in Grand Rapids was interviewed on Michigan Radio with Cynthia Canty.
“Before insurance companies, and co-pays, and filing claims, the relationship between doctors and patients was simple. Those who needed medical care would visit their doctor’s office or request a house call. Once that care was provided, the doctor was paid directly.
“Some physicians are bringing that model into the 21st century by offering direct primary care to their patients on a subscription basis.
“Dr. Matt Falkiewicz is a physician with Nova Direct Primary Care in Grand Rapids. His practice offers a membership-based model where patients pay a monthly fee”
All told, three big mentions of Direct Primary Care in Detroit and Michigan over the last 1 week. This tells me that there’s a growing momentum for Direct Primary Care in our state. When I first started in 2016, I was an early adopter, perhaps the second doctor in the state of Michigan with a pure Direct Primary Care practice. Now, there’s over 10 doctors practicing in the DPC model in Michigan.
I believe in this model and these doctors - Direct Primary Care allows us to serve our patients on their own terms, and not at the dictates or mandates of an insurance company. The DPC model allows us to develop caring relationships with our patients and to deliver the best service possible to our patients.
I’m really excited for this growing movement - thanks for reading!
-Dr. Paul Thomas with Plum Health DPC in Detroit, Michigan