Though I love to eat, I cook out of necessity and making something beyond an hour preparation time is definitely not my style. Starting a business from scratch is like handmade pasta, is it really necessary? The box pasta tastes fine and there are so many options now, but fresh made pasta allows you to take out or substitute ingredients to preference (or out of necessity) and tastes much more delicious.
In my search for a solution, and after outlining obstacles, I began to read articles about different practice styles. I stumbled upon a “direct primary care” model. I had read all about (and lived through) the differences in medical offices: from charging a co-pay then billing as in-network providers to private insurance vs. Medicare vs. Medicaid vs. Worker’s Compensation; to having a cash-pay structure where patients could be reimbursed directly at out-of-network rates (also realizing that not too long ago this is how the system operated); or using the in-network physician insurance model with a concierge twist, among other options. But what was this? I never even heard of direct healthcare prior to reading it in a random article.
Direct Primary Care (DPC) or Direct Healthcare—for the most part—takes the insurance out of the routine decision making, hence “direct”. It makes the doctor accessible to the patients, thus also “direct”. Plus, it allows for appropriate reimbursement of physician time while being affordable to the patients. Wow. This is amazing. But I’m not a primary care provider (PCP), i.e. I’m not a family or internal medicine doctor. I’m a specialist, a sub- sub- specialist at that! Could this concept help my headache patients?
Well, for all practical purposes, much like a PCP, I’m the point person and a florid advocate for my headache and facial pain patients, often coordinating between multiple faculties to optimize care. There’s that similarity, and the fact that my practice is clinical visit focused. That is, though I offer and am trained in clinical procedures, my practice is less procedure heavy and more about listening to patients, their progress and devising a treatment strategy. Which means that my visits tend to be lengthy, and is part of the reason I didn’t fit previous molds.
Direct Healthcare is a membership based model that would give me the ability to focus more on quality and to a lesser degree on quantity in order to properly treat patients, but also to provide a source of income for my family while devoting a career to the headache and facial pain population. This is it!
Alright, pasta from scratch it is! And onward with building, to my knowledge, the first direct care clinic for headache and facial pain.