Podcast

Plum Health featured on the Beyond Medicine Podcast

This week, I was able to speak with Dr. Rami Wehbi about Direct Primary Care on his podcast, the Beyond Medicine Podcast

Dr. Wehbi brings a unique perspective to the conversation as he is a Family Medicine Resident, considering his options as he creates a career for himself in Medicine. 

This a crucial time in the life of a young professional, especially the life of a family physician. For a family doc like Dr. Wehbi, he could pursue an additional year of training in something like Sports Medicine, he could become a teaching physician, he could sign a contract with a large hospital system to see patients at a high rate, he could start a Direct Primary Care practice, or he could take on other options.

For me, Dr. Wehbi is the future - his choice, and the choices of his colleagues like him, will shape the future of family medicine and the future of how our patients afford and access health care in their communities.

I am so grateful to Dr. Rami Wehbi for having this conversation with me and I know that he will be successful in whatever path he chooses. People like Dr. Wehbi thinking critically about health care, and how we deliver that care, will advance the discussion and bring us closer to a better system. 

In this part of the show, we discuss why health insurance really hurts low income people. Health insurance sets the price point too high for accessing routine, every day care. Often times, uninsured folks who are unable to afford the high cost of private insurance often go without basic health care services. For these patients, they cannot participate in the system because they don't have enough money to buy into the system. Further, if they do buy private insurance, they might be afraid to use health care services in the fee-for-service system because of the unknown/unclear pricing in that system.

In this video, we discuss the difference between health care and health insurance. In our health care model, we focus on developing relationships with our patients so that we can get to the root of the problem, rather than just treating the symptoms. We have this ability because we have enough time with our patients.

Here's the full list of what we discuss in the Beyond Medicine Podcast episode:

  • Background of Dr. Paul and why he decided to start a Direct Primary Care practice in Detroit, Michigan.
  • Why Insurance is a failing system in the medical world.
  • How Insurance is inflating the cost of medicine.
  • Why doctors have been unable to maintain a healthy doctor patient relationship.
  • The difference between Direct Primary Care and Concierge Medicine.
  • What is included in a Direct Primary Care practice.
  • How does Direct Primary Care work and how does it benefit patients.
  • How to find a doctor that practice in a Direct Primary Care model.
  • How DPC can work with your insurance plan. HMO vs PPO vs Medicaid
  • How Direct Primary Care can save you money every month.
  • Doing the math of savings and how you can change your insurance plan and join a direct primary care.
  • Wholesaling medications for patients in Detroit and Southeast Michigan and how Dr. Paul is able to save patients the cost of membership with the savings on medications alone.
  • How DPC can work in non- affluent neighborhoods and how to start one.
  • Patient pool in DPC vs a insurance based model.
  • How to make a DPC practice sustainable and profitable. My experience with being demoralized seeing the current state of healthcare.
  • How do you order imaging, get consults from specialists.
  • How does pricing work?

You can listen to or download the podcast, here. You can find out more about Dr. Wehbi, here

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

- Dr. Paul Thomas with Plum Health DPC

Below are some extra videos produced by Dr. Rami Wehbi, enjoy!

In the above video, we discuss our values at Plum Health DPC, and we value the doctor-patient relationship. We value getting to know our patients, understanding who they are, and where they want to go in their health care journey. We also really value price transparency. We want all of our patients to know what the prices for health care are, so that they can make informed choices about consuming health care services.

Below, Dr. Rami Wehbi and I discuss why it's important to have longer, often 1 hour appointments with our patients. This really allows us to focus on the relationship, and developing strong relationships with our patients. 

Plum Health Interviewed by Daily Detroit

This week, we were interviewed by Daily Detroit about our Demo Day Win! Here's the "News Byte"

In the above interview, Jeremiah mentions a previous interview, and that interview can be heard here:

If you're unfamiliar with our service, my name is Dr. Paul Thomas and I'm a Family Medicine Doctor in Detroit. Our office is in Southwest Detroit and we take care of people of all ages and stages - our youngest patient is 6 months old and our oldest is now 92 years young. 

We offer the same services as any other primary care office, but we use a membership model - that means that our members pay $10/month for children and starting at $49/month for adults to use our service. This allows us to have more one-on-one time with our patients and deliver a higher level of service in our office. 

One way that we go above and beyond is that every patient has my cell phone number - meaning that they can call or text me anytime they need me. We guarantee same-day or next-day appointments, and the majority of our in-office procedures are free of charge, like abscess drainage, toenail removal, ear lavage, etc...

If you're ready to start your journey to better health with Plum Health, then head over to our enrollment link, here

Thanks for reading and listening!

- Dr. Paul Thomas with Plum Health DPC

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Plum Health on Bonfires of Social Enterprise

Last month, I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Romy Kochan on her podcast, Bonfires of Social Enterprise. Bonfires of Social Enterprise is focused on highlighting social entrepreneurs and we were happy to be featured on this podcast!

I believe that Plum Health DPC is a social enterprise because we not only focus on growing the business in a traditional sense (revenue, profit & loss, etc...), but we also focus on making a positive impact in the community by providing a medical service that is much needed the SW Detroit community. 

Romy was a great interviewer and made me think differently about my own practice, prompting me to say something I've never said before. She asked if I could dream big, and envision a future for what I'm doing, what could this look like?

I responded by saying, "I think this could look like a nation where we get rid of these old notions of what 'good health care' looks like, and starting to realize that it doesn't look like a piece of plastic in our wallet. It looks like a relationship with someone in our community that is a healer, that can listen, and has time to address your concerns".

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The conversation had a broad scope from how we got started, to the impact we're having, to the reaction to our service from the community. Here's how Romy describes it:

Weโ€™re back with another episode here on social enterprise. We have a doctor on this show who has been making a big impact in Detroit. It is Dr. Paul Thomas of Plum Health Care DPC. He has a dream of changing the notion of health care from a plastic card in your wallet to true healing from a healing doctor!  What a concept!

This was a wonderful interview and I am so grateful to Romy Kochan for having me on her podcast. Check out the full episode here, and have a healthy week!

- Dr. Paul with Plum Health DPC

PS: you can find this episode on the podcasting platform of your choice:

I Tunes

TuneIn Radio

Stitcher

PRX.org (Public Radio Exchange)

Google Play

I Heart Radio

PPS: Follow us on Instagram!

Plum Health on Daily Detroit

This week, we were featured on the Daily Detroit Podcast. It was great meeting up with Sven Gustafson and Jeremiah Staes, the journalists behind the publication, and hosting them in our office in Southwest Detroit. 

You can listen to the full episode here:

Here's what Sven Gustafson wrote about our practice, in the context of the interview:

Dealing with health insurance is few peopleโ€™s idea of a good time โ€” if you can afford it at all, that is.

Now, a doctor operating out of an office in a former Detroit Police Department precinct headquarters? Thatโ€™s flipping the script on the traditional model of health care.

On this episode of the Daily Detroit Happy Hour podcast, we schedule an appointment with Dr. Paul Thomas of Plum Health in Southwest Detroit. Heโ€™s practicing a model known as direct primary care in which patients pay a membership rate, starting at $10 a month for children and climbing to $89 a month for seniors, directly to the doctor. In exchange, patients get more personalized care, better access and lower-cost medications, imaging and laboratory services.

Dr. Thomas, who graduated from the Wayne State University School of Medicine, estimates he can cover 80 to 90 percent of most peopleโ€™s health care needs. So he acknowledges itโ€™s not a complete solution to our countryโ€™s problem-plagued health care system.

We talk to Dr. Thomas about how direct primary care works, how it differs from traditional insurance-directed health care and how it affects both patients and his life as a working physician. He also tells us about the various ways heโ€™s using digital technology to facilitate his job and market his business.

Find us and subscribe on Apple Podcasts or wherever fine podcasts are downloaded. Previous episodes are here.

Daily Detroit's tagline is "what to know and where to go in Detroit" - it's worth knowing more about Detroit, if you're a resident, a Metro Detroiter, or from another part of the world. Sven and Jeremiah cover interesting stories and give great insights, so their podcast is worth a listen/subscription. 

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

- Dr. Paul Thomas with Plum Health DPC

Plum Health Featured on the Detroit Rising Podcast

This week, Plum Health DPC was featured in Crain's Detroit Business in an article by Senior Reporter Chad Livengood. There is an accompanying audio recording of the interview, here

The Detroit Rising Podcast focuses on business and commerce and the intersection of Public Policy in Detroit. It was a pleasure to be featured on the podcast and on the Crain's Detroit website. Additionally, Chad Livengood brings excellent insights along with his investigative reporting. 

In the audio segment, Mr. Livengood states, "one of the biggest challenges to rebuilding Detroit is getting service-based businesses to set up shop after decades of disinvestment." And, Plum Health DPC is one of those service-based businesses, and it was exciting to discuss how we're making health care more affordable and accessible in Detroit.

During the interview, we talk about the Direct Primary Care business model, the availability of primary care physicians in Detroit, and what the City of Detroit is doing to improve the quality of life in the city. 

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

- Dr. Paul Thomas with Plum Health DPC

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A screenshot from the Crain's Detroit webpage featuring our interview.

 On February 20th, we were featured on the front page of the Crain's Detroit Business webpage, you just might have to squint to see us!

On February 20th, we were featured on the front page of the Crain's Detroit Business webpage, you just might have to squint to see us!

Plum Health on Jibs Podcast

This week Plum Health DPC was featured on Jibs Podcast, hosted by Jibran Ahmed. On the podcast he will be interviewing movers and shakers in the Detroit community and discussing topics that can move the city forward. 

From Jibran: "I'm hoping to create a platform that showcases the entrepreneurs, creatives, and hustlers that are moving Detroit forward. In order to make Detroit the city of the future, it's important to share with the world that this city embodies gusto, grit, and innovation."

During our conversation we talked about Plum Health and it's origin story. We also talk about why it's important for business people to build relationships in the community and how those early relationships can translate into a prosperous business.

We dove into the difference between Direct Primary Care and traditional or fee-for-service medical practice and discussed why more doctors aren't practicing in the DPC model of care. We also highlight the many community resources in the Detroit ecosystem that enable businesses in the City and region to thrive. 

Thanks for reading and watching!

- Dr. Paul Thomas with Plum Health DPC

Drew and Mike on Health Care

I was listening to the Drew and Mike Podcast from September 26th, and Drew and his Crew were talking about how health insurance costs are outrageous! Early in the episode (time 1:16), one of the co-hosts admonished Drew Lane, "you can barely afford insurance for yourself!" This set off a conversation about the cost of health insurance, the little coverage that it affords and Drew Lane's displeasure with the overall system. 

Drew's first reaction (minute 1:28), "I don't know how people my age, in my position," not yet covered by Medicare, "and self-employed... ...that's a big chunk of money." He goes on to say that his insurance costs roughly $18,000 - 19,000/year and if you were to make $50,000/year, it would cost roughly 30% of your gross income. 

Because of this extremely high cost, Drew and his co-hosts speculate that some folks just choose to "roll the dice," i.e. go without insurance and hope for the best. They do mention that those folks earning less may be eligible for subsidies or tax breaks from the Federal Government. But, still - a huge chunk of our income is going directly to health insurance and health insurance companies. Even worse, the quality and service levels can be low because care is dictated by third party payers like insurance companies or the government. 

Because Drew's dog recently had eye surgery, Drew was talking about how veterinarians discuss charges before providing care, and how that concept should be applied to the human medical field. "Wouldn't that be something?" Drew asks rhetorically. 

Well, it doesn't have to be a rhetorical question. It doesn't have to be a pipe dream. I'm here to tell you that Direct Primary Care doctors make their prices clear and transparent, and it may revolutionize primary care!

Here's how it works: Direct Primary Care (DPC) is a membership model for health care. Prices vary between different DPC practices, but our prices at Plum Health are $10/month for kids, $49/month for young adults 18 - 40, $69/month for adults 40 - 65, and $89/month for older adults 65 and up. 

With that membership, patients or members can come in and see the doctor any time! They can also call, text or email the doctor anytime. 

Further, patients or members can have access to wholesale medications, at-cost labs, and at-cost imaging services. So far we've saved our members tens of thousands of dollars on these ancillary services. 

I shot a video explaining these concepts in more detail, here:

Thanks so much for reading and watching. I hope that I've opened your eyes to the possibility of better health care services with a transparent pricing structure.  Finally, have a wonderful day!

- Dr. Paul Thomas with Plum Health in Detroit, MI

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Plum Health Direct Primary Care in Midtown Detroit

This week, I was able to sit down with Pamela Owens of yb2c Marketing and talk about what we do at Plum Health DPC. We had a wide ranging conversation and it was a really fun time getting to know Pamela and her husband Keith Owens. They record their podcast out of Green Garage in Midtown Detroit. For the full episode, hit this link!

We dove deep on some issues, like why I've chosen to be in Detroit to practice Direct Primary Care. Fist, I am here because I want to give back to a community that has given a lot to me and my family. Personally, I received a world-class medical education from Wayne State University School of Medicine along with so many volunteer opportunities at free clinics across the city.

I learned a great deal by practicing medicine at the Detroit Medical Center, Henry Ford Hospital, Oakwood, St. John Hospital, Cass Clinic, the Student Run Free Clinic, and the Joy-Southfield Clinic. All of these learning experiences have shaped me into the physician that I am today. 

I also see an opportunity in Detroit. This is a medically underserved area, with a dearth of primary care physicians. Because of my unique set of skills and training in Family Medicine, I am able to fill some of these gaps in care. I am proud to be providing this kind of affordable, accessible health care service in the City. 

Finally, Detroit has provided many resources for small business growth. I've talked about this before, but being able to take classes at the Build Institute and with TechTown's Retail Boot Camp has allowed me to improve my business concept and execution substantially. It has also allowed me to network with several entrepreneurs in the community. Larger grant programs like the Motor City Match program has also provided funding for the build out of the next phase of my business, as Plum Health grows over time. 

As a side note, If you haven't been to the Green Garage, it is a beautiful space in the Midtown community. It has been created in the most sustainable way possible, with almost all of the construction materials being repurposed from what had been in the building before the Green Garage built out that space. The materials were painstakingly conserved, and the space turned out wonderfully. 

They hold a weekly lunch and meet up at 12 pm each Friday at the Green Garage, which is a great way to network and meet innovate people in the Detroit community. Here's a few photos from the last one that I went to (below).

Thanks for watching and reading,

- Dr. Paul Thomas with Plum Health Direct Primary Care

Plum Health on Detroit is Different

This week, Plum Health DPC was featured on Detroit is Different with Khary Wae Frazier. Khary is the founder of Detroit is Different, which discusses the rich cultural tapestry of Detroit and features the people and businesses that make up this great city. You can check out our episode on his website, here

You may know Khary from his work with the Motor City Match - he makes videos for the Motor City Match, featuring entrepreneurs that have won the competitive business challenge. Here's the video that he made for Plum Health DPC.

Here's how Khary describes the work that he does: 

Detroit is Different is about culture, and business makes up a lot of that for our city. The products, services, and the style/ process in which theyโ€™re delivered are uniquely Detroit. The gate of the Detroit River has welcomed world travelers for centuries. Today the port remains Americaโ€™s busiest border for importing and exporting goods. Iโ€™ve always felt the best asset weโ€™ve offered the world are Detroiters.

Here's the video before we went live on his Podcast! 

Thanks so much for reading and watching,

- Paul Thomas, MD