How To Put The Care Back In Healthcare (w/Dr. Eric Crall)

This episode of ZDoggMD features DPC physician Eric Crall, MD from Tampa. He’s a leader in the DPC community. As always it’s a great discussion and highlights what is right around the corner for the DPC world. (Hint: wouldn’t it be great if you could purchase cost sharing cooperative coverage for catastrophic medical care from your DPC doctor along with membership?)

You can bring the joy back to the practice of medicine. Here’s how. Dr. Eric Crall and Hint Health join us to talk about practical paths to Health 3.0.
— Read on zdoggmd.com/incident-report-186/

DPC is growing with all generations

This morning I enrolled my 500th patient to the Direct Primary Care program.  I’m thrilled to have crossed this milestone.  It has been a rich blessing to meet new patients every week who participate with us in a vision for better healthcare.  I’ve met and cared for patients from all walks of life, from all backgrounds, and from all demographics.

affection-baby-baby-girl-377058My youngest patients and their parents share with me that DPC offers easier access for those sudden illness like fevers and strep throat both in appointment scheduling and communication with me.  Even today I’ve been able to address several issues with young mothers about their children which kept them from coming in for an office visit.  When we can appropriately deal with the concern remotely there is no need for them to pile everyone into the minivan and drive down to the office.  I can communicate and care for my patients in ways that simplify their busy lives.

Tachievement-adult-business-937481he young adult and middle age group see DPC as a way to address their growing list of minor (and not so minor) health issues.  So often they only need someone to counsel them on making good health decisions as they plan for their family’s future.  An unusual chest pain or new onset heartburn often enough is harmless but, occasionally, concern sets in and they need someone to evaluate their symptom with an eye for resolution.  Spending time addressing issues of nutrition, exercise, and sleep management yields large dividends for adults interested in choosing a future full of health and vitality.  With many of our labs included in membership and the time to review them with each patient in person, I get to teach them how to manage their own health without the need of many ‘experts’ in their life and at a fraction of the cost.

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Today’s 500th patient is now my 5th oldest patient.  My elderly patients express to me that they value having someone with whom to sit and spend adequate time on their complex issues of multiple concerns, multiple medications, and multiple specialists.  Modern insurance based care often runs too short on time for patients more deliberate in their movements and conversation.  The extra time and energy to go the extra mile for these patients is so satisfying.  Medical training teaches us what the right answer is but DPC let’s me provide the right answer for my patient in the right way.

If you’ve been following along with our progress over these last 2.5 years but haven’t jumped on board yet, now is the time to join.  Come be part of a better healthcare world.  DPC is a model where patients are the focus again.  Call today at 244-1800 or sign up at trinitydpc.com.  Feel free to email me directly at mbmccoll@trinitymedical.net if you have questions.  We’re always happy to help.  We are healthcare without hassles, built for you.

Anti-aging molecule produced by fasting

A recent study showed that the effect of aging on arteries can be delayed by a molecule your body makes during a fasting.

Fasting-induced anti-aging molecule keeps blood vessels young

When the body fasts from food intake it enters a unique period that restores and resets many of the normal body functions.  The general flow of energy shifts from a net storage mode to a net utilization mode.  Energy, often in the form of triglycerides, having been cleared from the blood stream by a few hours of no food intake is now being called out of storage to fuel various organ systems.  As the triglycerides come out they are converted into three ketone byproducts; one of which is beta-hydroxybutyrate.  This particular molecule was shown to induce cell growth and proliferation within the vascular system in a recent study.  Rejuvenation of the cells within a blood vessel can help keep them flexible and compliant as opposed to the chronic pressures for them to stiffen and calcify during atherosclerosis.

Ketones and ketosis have had a bad rap over the years but as research and experience progresses, we see many beneficial effects.  It is something I teach regularly to my patients and have found it to be a powerful tool that can reverse diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.  Weight loss is a given with measurable ketosis but, more importantly, people feel so much better.

Consider what a primary care practice dedicated to proper nutrition AND exceptional medical care could do to help you reach your health goals.  Don’t let an eight minute appointment turn into a lifetime of prescriptions.  Find a physician with a heart of a teacher who can help you understand how medications might not be necessary with a few simple changes.  Contact our office for more information on our nutritional education program.

 

 

Opinion: “Carbs, Good for You? Fat Chance!”

Nina Teicholz, author of The Big Fat Surprise, published an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal yesterday concerning the recent ‘low carb equals an early death’ study.  Junk science and flashy headlines are really bad for public health.  Let’s focus on good studies that show causal effects.

What I see every day in my practice is how good nutrition reverses and cures many chronic diseases, restores vitality and health, and allows patients to regain their lives.

Carbs, Good for You? Fat Chance!

Latest Low-Carb Study: All Politics, No Science | Psychology Today

Here is a very nice critique of the recent ‘low carb will kill you’ study. It’s helpful to pull away the hype and expose the truth behind how this study failed to accurately gather dietary data over time and didn’t actually study low carb nutrition. I consistently see in my practice how LCHF reverses health problems like diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and obesity.

Are low-carbohydrate diets, which are delivering so many people from chronic disease, really also potentially deadly?
— Read on www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/diagnosis-diet/201809/latest-low-carb-study-all-politics-no-science

35% of Americans have been surprised by an imaging bill

Fifty-seven percent of adults in the United States have received a surprise medical bill for services they thought would be covered by their insurance, according to a new survey from NORC at the University of Chicago. For 35 percent of adults, that surprise bill was for imaging services.
— Read on www.radiologybusiness.com/topics/healthcare-economics/surprise-billing-imaging-services-survey

At Trinity DPC we put all our prices in plain view and talk about them before anything is ever done. I’ll be honest though, I feel like some people get a little annoyed at me when I keep telling the price of stuff. ‘Mr. Jones, I recommend we do these five blood tests. Four of them are free with membership but the last one is $9. Does that sound okay to you?’

I do this for imaging services that coordinated for you too. If I recommend a CT scan for a suspected kidney stone, I know the price is going to be $250 which is about 90% off the full charged price elsewhere. However, when Kristen calls to schedule it she always reconfirms the price. No surprises from us and, as far as we can help, no surprises from anyone with whom we work. That’s just the way Primary Care should be.

We are healthcare without hassles, but for you.

Small businesses benefit from big solutions with Trinity Direct Primary Care

I’m a big fan of small businesses.  As a small business owner myself, I go to work everyday with the understanding that I’m working to benefit my community, my staff, and my family.  If I lose sight of these responsibilities, then everyone will suffer.

Trinity Direct Primary Care offers other small business owners an option to care for their staff members through sponsored memberships.  We all want team members who are healthy but have access to good quality care when needed at an affordable price.  For the month of September I’m offering other small business owners a discount on sponsored membership.  If an owner signs up their business which includes themselves and at least one non-family staff member then we’ll discount the registration fee to $35 per person and offer 10% off membership for everyone signed up.*

adult-business-commerce-375889The sponsored membership plan works much like an individual plan does.   The employer can purchase a membership plan for their employee which gives them full access to all the benefits of membership including no cost office visits, discounted labs, full access to their physician by phone and email during the business day, discounted medications mailed to their house, and discounted advanced imaging.  Anything not covered by the membership would be the shared responsibility of the employee.   For instance, if the employee needed a B12 injection the cost would still just be $6.40 to the employee billed at the time of service.  This keeps the costs fixed and known to the business owner and allows the employee unparalleled access to exceptional, low cost care.  Nothing fishy or hidden.  We offer straightforward healthcare at transparent prices.

brainstorming-business-plan-close-up-908295If you are a SBO and have been trying to figure out how to offer a competitive benefit to your staff, then this is a great opportunity for you.  If you have any questions or if you need to sign up then please contact me directly at mbmccoll@trinitymedical.net

*Discounts apply only to new employer sponsored membership contracts and for one year as long as at least one non-family staff member remains enrolled.

 

 

I hate it when patients get ripped off

As so many of us are aware, the cost of healthcare, basic primary care, is skyrocketing.  Patients are at the mercy of the industry pricing and they rarely know the cost before deciding to seek care.  Many times the charged price is 10 times as much as the negotiated rate set by insurance companies and 20 times as much as the lab test actually costs to perform.

I joined the Direct Primary Care movement in 2016 to help patients find lower cost options for their healthcare.  TDPC’s parent company, Trinity Medical Associates, has been innovating new ways to lower the cost of care for our community for years.  Direct Primary Care has become a powerful force benefiting patients regardless of insurance coverage.  When we are able to push the price lower everyone benefits.

In our program, we’ve been working with our national lab vendor to seek out lower cost prices.  How has this worked out?  So far we’ve been able to secure 60-90% savings off most all labs and many common labs are now so inexpensive for us to purchase, we provide them for free with membership.

For instance, the standard labs I use to manage diabetes like a Hgb A1c, a lipid panel, a kidney and liver function panel, and an insulin level are all free four times a year.  That’s the normal follow up schedule for diabetes.  These labs are so inexpensive it felt like the right thing to do to give them to patients without cost.  I mean, I don’t charge for checking your blood pressure either.

Recently, one of my colleagues showed me a price list for common labs available to his patients.  Generally, these prices are already at a discount from what is charged by medical practices so retail pricing might be even higher.  I’ve overlaid the prices for my practice for comparison.

Lab price comparison

 

Well, you can see for yourself the cost differences in what you might pay somewhere else and the savings you’ll get through the Trinity DPC program.  By lowering the cost of labs, patients have better access to primary care services regardless of insurance coverage.  They can monitor and manage their chronic illnesses easier and, maybe, those illnesses become a little less chronic.  Complications of these illness could improve which would lead to less death and disability in the people about whom I care.  How much better would it be to not need dialysis or an amputation?

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If you take this price list in total, the cost of all the labs through the Trinity DPC program is only $165.  Through the regular, insurance based system the cost is $2562.74.  Imagine meeting your deductible every year just because of the cost labs.  We can offer patients a  $2397.74 discount, a savings of 93.6%, just by avoiding the price fixing scheme of modern healthcare.  What would you do with an extra $2397.74 in your pocket each year?

-Dr. Mark B McColl

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kids are not just little adults

baby-birth-born-734541Here at Trinity DPC we love taking care of kids.  I’m board certified in Pediatrics and Dr. Hone is board certified in Family Practice so we’ve taken care of lots of children over the years.

The really fun part of direct primary care with children is the ability to work with parents through all the common hurdles of life.  Being able to email or call us directly gives new moms a lifeline that doesn’t involve loading up the minivan making sure the extra diapers and snacks are packed then waiting in a crowded waiting room with sick people for a simple conversation about constipation.  When visits occur there’s lots more one on one time in a more relaxed environment.  Even today, Lainy played babysitter for one of our infants to help her mom out.  I got to spend some time entertaining a five year old as he sat upside down in the waiting room chair telling me about his friend from school who said bad things one day but didn’t really mean it so they are still friends.  You’ll be happy to know it all worked out okay in the end.

If you’re interested in a different experience with your child’s physician, consider how Trinity Direct Primary care can change the dynamic of pediatric medicine.  Give us a phone call or email me directly if you have any questions.  We are healthcare without hassles, built for you (and your kids)!

Knee pain: Urgent treatment or virtual visit?

Knee injuryLast week one of our patients suffered a knee injury while testing the terminal velocity of his slip and slide.  The circumstances and timing of the injury were such that they couldn’t be seen in the office immediately and the advice by a well meaning allied health professional on scene at the time of the injury was to be evaluated in an urgent treatment center.  So off the family went.

The patient’s father contacted me from the UTC waiting room for advice.  He sent me some pictures of the injury and we discussed the child’s symptoms.  After taking a history and asking about level, location and quality of his pain as well as any functional limitations, it was safe to recommend that they start with conservative measures at home overnight and follow up if symptoms didn’t resolve.  With a little rest, ice, and elevation he was feeling better and spent the next day at Dollywood.  I hope the $200-300 they saved on the UTC visit offset the cost of parking.

Trinity DPC strives to make conversation a part of primary care again.  We want to connect patients to their physicians so that long term care has meaning.  Come see what we are about and how our month to month membership will benefit you.  We are healthcare without hassles, built for you.