Free Market Healthcare

Direct Primary Care in St. Clair Shores

Last month, we were invited to a Health Care Forum in St. Clair Shores, Michigan with Senator Patrick Colbeck. We had a great meeting, with about 30 - 40 members of the community who are interested in the principles of free market healthcare that we discussed. 

Senator Colbeck has been making a tour across the State of Michigan, talking with folks in similar forum-type settings about health care and ways that we can reform our primary care system. The last Town Hall that I was able to attend was in Grosse Pointe. The aim is to deliver higher-quality care with better service and at a lower price. Senator Colbeck is a staunch supporter of Direct Primary Care services and he has proposed a Medicaid Pilot program at the State level for DPC services. 

Here's the portion of the talk that featured Plum Health DPC and the services that we provide:

Senator Colbeck spoke about the legislative efforts to advance Direct Primary Care at the State Level in his speaking slot, and to conclude the evening, we took time to answer questions from the audience about DPC, insurance, and other concerns:

Overall, it was a great event, with a great turnout and excellent audience participation and questions. I'm looking forward to the next one! Below are some still shots from the event.

- Dr. Paul Thomas with Plum Health DPC

Plum Health out at America's Future Foundation Event

This week I was invited to speak at an America's Future Foundation meetup in Detroit. It was held at the Detroit Beer Company and the topic of discussion was free market healthcare. I was there representing Plum Health DPC and one of my colleagues, Chad Savage, MD of YourChoice Direct Care was there as well. 

We talked for an hour about free market options for healthcare services in Detroit and Michigan, specifically Direct Primary Care. It was a great event and the audience members asked some great questions.

For example, people often ask about the difference between Direct Primary Care and Concierge Medicine. I wrote a blog post where I discussed the differences in detail, but in a Concierge Medicine Model, doctors charge a membership fee that is often greater than $100/month, continue to bill insurance for visits, and they do not typically offer money-saving ancillary services. 

In contrast, Direct Primary Care doctors have membership fees in the $10 - $100/month range, do not bill insurance companies for services rendered, and typically offer money-saving ancillary services, like wholesale medications, at-cost labs and at-cost imaging. 

Another common question about Direct Primary Care is about the legality of the practice. In 2014, Senator Patrick Colbeck spearheaded an effort in the Michigan Legislature to make Direct Primary Care "legal" in the State. I place "Legal" in quotation marks because it was not illegal before, but a grey area. Senate Bill 1033 of 2014 clearly defines Direct Primary Care and similar retainer-based medical services as legal in the State of Michigan.

Another common question is "how is this possible?", in reference to the savings on medication, labs and imaging services. As in, where does all that extra money go between the insurance-based prices for services and the direct prices? I often give examples of how I save my members on their meds, labs and imaging, and the attendees at this talk asked specifically about how I was able to save on these services.

It starts with wholesaling the medications and setting up contracts with independent retailers for lab services and imaging services. This way, we can negotiate at-cost pricing for services that you may need. These are often based on volume, so the more people who demand these services, the lower the overall costs. Then, I am not paying any middle men between these ancillary services and you the consumer. I do not mark up the prices on my meds, labs, or imaging services, because I want to provide you with the greatest amount of value for your healthcare dollar. 

There were several other questions, but I will stop here! Again, it was a great meet-up and I'm looking forward to their next event! They have several chapters across the country, so you can see when and where their next events are happening on their Facebook page, just click "events".

- Dr. Paul with Plum Health DPC http://www.plumhealthdpc.com/

Plum Health DPC in Grosse Pointe

On Tuesday night we were invited to speak to a group called the Eastside Republicans at the Grosse Pointe War Memorial in Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan about Plum Health and Direct Primary Care. 

Other speakers were Chad Savage, MD of YourChoice Direct Care and Senator Patrick Colbeck, a staunch supporter of Direct Primary Care in Michigan. This is a part of a tour across the State, a series of events across Michigan where Senator Colbeck and Direct Primary Care doctors talk about free market options in healthcare. 

This was the largest crowd on this tour, and there were about 100 people in the audience. There were some great questions asked and good information shared about DPC, health shared savings plans, and unique solutions for employers. 

The next event will be in St. Clair Shores on April 24th - mark your calendars!

Thanks for reading and have a great day,

- Dr. Paul with Plum Health