Co-Working Space

WeWork Creator Awards Detroit Application

Today, we submitted our application for the WeWork Creator Awards! I really enjoy submitting applications for contests like this, because it helps me to clarify our mission, vision and values. And it's an opportunity to learn and grow through outside feedback about our internal operations. 

In the application, they ask: "What problem is your idea, business, or organization solving?" For us at Plum Health, it's all about providing high-quality Family Medicine services in the community. It ain't sexy and it ain't super exciting, but it's so darn necessary! Having excelling primary care services in your neighborhood saves costs and improves health outcomes.

As they put it in this linked article, "One primary care doctor per 10,000 people in the U.S. can decrease hospital admissions by 5.5 percent, emergency room visits by 11 percent and surgeries by 7 percent."

This point is salient in Detroit, where there is an epic primary care shortage. Currently, there are only 50 - 100 primary care doctors in the City of Detroit for 680,000 people. That's 1 doctor for every 6,000 - 12,000 people. I recently wrote an article about this in the Detroit News.  

Historically, this has been a difficult issue to solve because practice location for doctors is often tied to reimbursement from the community. Primary care doctors have avoided Detroit because more than half of Detroiters are on Medicaid, which generates low reimbursements.

With Plum Health, we do not rely on government or third party payers of reimbursement. Instead, we bill patients directly: $10/month for children and $49 for young adults, which covers all doctor's visits, texts, phone calls, and emails.

Additionally, members also have access to wholesale medications, at-cost lab work, and at-cost imaging services. From January - May 2017, we have saved our members roughly $15,000 on their meds, labs, and imaging. We are here to provide a tremendous amount of value to our patients and our community.

Our ask for the WeWork Creator Awards: help us reach our goal of providing value for the community by supporting what we do at Plum Health DPC!

The WeWork application continued with the following question: "How do you, your business, or your organization interact with the community?" Put simply - we are imbedded within the community and provide ours services to community members.

At Plum Health DPC, we take care of folks of all ages, races, ethnicities, and orientations. We are practicing on the street level, open and accessible to the community. Our youngest member is 14 months old, our oldest is 63 years; some of our members earn less than $30,000 and cannot otherwise afford health care. These folks are often shut out of the traditional insurance system because they cannot afford the premiums.

In addition to serving our paying customers in the community, I regularly volunteers at Cass Community Social Services' Clinic in Cass Corridor and the Student Run Free Clinic at I-94 and Conner. Here, I'm able to deliver free care to the most vulnerable members of the community - typically the homeless and uninsured.

Finally, Plum Health is regularly at health fairs throughout Detroit, performing free health screenings for non-profit organizations and church groups.  

The last major questioned asked in the application was about how we would use the money if we won: "If you were awarded a grant, what new benchmarks would you be able to reach?" We are doing pretty well at Plum Health, adding new members each month and growing at a sustainable pace. However, if we won the Creator Award, we would be able to grow more quickly and therefore serve more people in Detroit and beyond.

Specifically, A grant of $18,000 - $36,000 would allow us to lease a larger office space and hire a second doctor. In a city with such limited primary care options, hiring a second doctor to work in the city would make a substantial difference in the lives of the people in our community.

We've taken care of folks who earn less than $30,000 and we've seen people who haven't been to a doctor in years, living in fear of generating large medical bills, and living with the consequences of their worsening high blood pressure and diabetes. Without the grant, the goal of leasing a larger office space and hiring a doctor would be at 6 - 12 months. With the grant, these goals would be achieved in 3 - 6 months.

Thanks so much for reading more about what we do at Plum Health DPC, and if you're a member of the WeWork community, thanks for taking the time to read our application and this blog post!

Sincerely,

- Dr. Paul with Plum Health DPC. 

Direct Primary Care in New Center

Today, Plum Health Direct Primary Care will be up in New Center at TechTown Detroit. This will be a part of "The Shop" at TechTown, where local entrepreneurs are featured on a rotating basis. 

This month's theme is health-related businesses, so we are excited to participate! If you don't know about Plum Health DPC, we deliver affordable accessible healthcare services in Detroit and beyond. This is a great time to learn more about the service and have your questions answered.

If you don't know about TechTown, it is a small business ecosystem that doesn't focus on tech-only, as the name may imply. It is billed as "the most established business accelerator in Detroit. Its work supports industry verticals that are specific to the region's inherent assets". 

Additionally, this is where I took the Retail Boot Camp course, which helped prepare me to start and run my business. 

Thanks for reading and watching,

- Dr. Paul Thomas with Plum Health Direct Primary Care

Plum Health at Bamboo Detroit

This week, we held office hours at Bamboo Detroit, on Washington Boulevard in the Central Business District of Detroit. If you follow us, you know that we've spent time at WeWork Detroit and are looking to engage with PonyRide in the future. 

So far, we've found that the majority of our customers are small business owners or folks that are responsible for their own health care expenditures. Once these entrepreneurs know about us and what we do, they are excited about our brand and what we have to offer. 

That's why it's so important for us to go out into the community and meet entrepreneurs where they're at! So many times, we get so caught up in our work that we don't take the time to take care of ourselves. With Plum Health, we work on your schedule, not the other way around. And, as an entrepreneur myself, I know the hustle and work ethic that it takes to be successful, and it's easier for me to relate with my members who are entrepreneurs and vice-versa.

Strategy aside, Bamboo Detroit is an excellent co-working space in the Central Business District (CBD) in Detroit. They have offices, hot desks, and great amenities for growing entrepreneurs. They invited me over for an office hours type session, and this gave me an opportunity to answer any questions their entrepreneurs had about health and wellness. I had a few moments to spare, so I shot this video - enjoy!

Thanks so much for reading and watching!

- Dr. Paul with Plum Health DPC