Q. Tell us about Birmingham Direct Primary Care and how it’s different than other primary care clinics?
Birmingham Direct Primary Care (Birmingham DPC) is a family medicine clinic providing comprehensive medical care to patients of all ages, ranging from newborns to the elderly. What makes our clinic unique is that we use a membership-based model that allows me provide direct and individualized care for my patients as opposed to the complicated, insurance-dictated practice operations that limit patients’ time and access to their primary care doctors. Our patients get unlimited, no-rush clinic visits with extended time up to an hour or more if needed with their physician, around the clock convenient access to the doctor via text, email or doctor’s cell phone.
Q. Ok , so you don’t take insurance. That’s like a concierge practice, right? Isn’t that pretty expensive??
It’s not expensive at all. It is similar to concierge medicine however a key difference is we keep it affordable to give this chance to everyone. A patient literally gets concierge-like medical care that is unrushed, individualized, and comprehensive. If a person can afford a cell phone plan, then they can afford good accessible primary care.
Q. So if someone has insurance, is this for them? If all of above sounds good, should they just get rid of insurance to join your practice?
Yes, this is for very much for them, and no, they should not get rid of their insurance. I don’t take insurance so that I can provide individualized, accessible and unrushed primary care that is just not possible through the fee for service insurance system. One should still have insurance to protect his or herself from unforeseen catastrophic events or other high cost medical expenses. However, when you try to use insurance for your primary care needs, your allotted time with the physician and often the care you receive is dictated by the insurance company. You often end up spending 2-3 hours for a doctor’s visit even though only 10 minutes is spent with the doctor. Sometimes you delay care because of how inconvenient insurance makes it for you. Sometimes you can’t even be seen when you need to be because the insurance makes the doctor have a patient panel of 2000-3000!
Q. How does your clinic help small businesses?
Birmingham DPC can help small businesses save money on healthcare insurance while providing their employees first-class personal, individualized and accessible medical care.
If they are currently not offering any kind of health benefit for their employees, just for starters this would be a very affordable way to give access to primary care by enrolling their employees in our clinic. Then acquiring a level-funded insurance plan built around the dpc clinic or a health-cost sharing community plan will help protect against the more costly, unforeseen or catastrophic medical expenses.
Q. You mentioned savings. If a small business is already offering health insurance to their employees, is this not an extra cost?
Exact opposite. Enrolling their employees in a direct primary care clinic and setting up a level-funded plan around it will provide easily accessible, convenient and high quality health care to every single one of their employees, while saving the small businesses a significant amount of money on health care coverage (up to 30-60%).