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Press Coverage for Direct Primary Care in Detroit and Michigan

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:

Dr. Paul Thomas of Plum Health DPC interviewed by Craig Fahle of Deadline Detroit on the Craig Fahle Show. The conversation focused on the Direct Primary Care model and the impact that it is having in the Detroit market.

Dr. Paul Thomas of Plum Health DPC interviewed by Craig Fahle of Deadline Detroit on the Craig Fahle Show. The conversation focused on the Direct Primary Care model and the impact that it is having in the Detroit market.

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.

Paul Thomas MD of Plum Health DPC was mentioned by Stephen Henderson of WDET and Abdul El-Sayed during a comprehensive conversation of healthcare costs during the Detroit Today radio program.

Paul Thomas MD of Plum Health DPC was mentioned by Stephen Henderson of WDET and Abdul El-Sayed during a comprehensive conversation of healthcare costs during the Detroit Today radio program.

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”

Michigan Radio Discusses Direct Primary Care.png

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

Paul Thomas, MD of Plum Health DPC. Direct Primary Care allows doctors and patients to develop deeper, more trusting relationships that can result in better health for both patients and doctors.

Paul Thomas, MD of Plum Health DPC. Direct Primary Care allows doctors and patients to develop deeper, more trusting relationships that can result in better health for both patients and doctors.

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 DPC on WDET

This week, we ran an advertisement on WDET with the Corktown Business Association. I have been a long-time fan, listener and supporter of WDET and it’s one of the best places to advertise for our business because the people who listen to WDET are those who think and care deeply about Detroit and the issues facing the city.

Also, WDET does an excellent job of informing the public about important issues of the day and it’s a great platform for community-level information and journalism.

At Plum Health, we are addressing the lack of health care and primary care resources in the City of Detroit, and we know that this mission resonates with people who care about the city and its future.

As a part of the Corktown Business Association, we work with other business owners in the neighborhood to make it a better place to live, work, shop, eat, play, and be healthy. I’m proud to be in the Corktown Business Association and I’m glad we had the opportunity to tell the story about a wonderful place to be with vibrant businesses, Corktown Detroit.

Here’s the spot that we sponsored on WDET, with some images added from our archive:

Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful day,

Dr. Paul Thomas, Physician with Plum Health DPC