In 2013, I was introduced to the concept of direct care and the idea of practicing medicine without the interference of third-party payors. At the time, I saw it as an escape from physician burnout and a solution for ensuring the longevity of my private practice.
In the early 2010s, while direct primary care (DPC) was gaining traction in the primary care arena, specialists like myself faced unique challenges. The membership model of DPC didn’t quite fit the episodic nature of our procedural-based practices. There was no protocol, template or guide on how to do it, but I was determined to figure out a way.
I can’t even begin to tell you how many physicians told me “you’re crazy”, “that can’t work”, “you’ll go out of business”, and “patients won’t go for that.” I owe a debt of gratitude to my early mentors— Dr. Ellen McKnight, Dr. Kathleen Brown, Dr. Gerard Gianoli, Dr. Kris Held, and Dr. Keith Smith—who led by the example of just practicing medicine.
Despite the skeptics who called me crazy and predicted failure, I took the leap and went 100% insurance-free in 2017. It was the best decision I ever made! Since then, not only have I thrived in my third party-free private practice, but I promote, advocate and teach other physicians to transition to this business model!
Transitioning to third party-free medicine requires a willingness to challenge the status quo and think outside the box. It’s about developing a mindset that goes against the grain, breaking free from the limitations imposed by insurance company administrators. This is true for all physicians – primary care and specialists.
While administrators and regulators may have their own quality metrics, they cannot compare to the true measure of success—patient satisfaction, return visits, and referrals. Direct care private practice models have the evidence in their patient panels. Direct care medicine is pandemic tested!
For physicians contemplating a transition to third party-free medicine, it offers a comprehensive solution—a Private Practice Solution. It encompasses the core pillars of success: price transparency, integrity, improved outcomes, and increased patient satisfaction.
Price Transparency allows you to communicate the cost of your services clearly and upfront, empowering your patients to make informed decisions about their healthcare – what services they are receiving and from whom. It eliminates the complexities of dealing with insurance companies. There are no issues with coding, billing, and reimbursement—just a straightforward fee structure that puts you in control, allowing you to react to market forces and ensures financial stability.
Price Transparency allows you to communicate the cost of your services clearly and upfront, empowering your patients to make informed decisions about their healthcare - what services they are receiving and from whom. Click To Tweet
Integrity in medicine follows the Hippocratic tenet to First Do No Harm – not only to our patients, but to ourselves. In a third party-free private practice, you have the freedom to maintain your professional values and practice medicine with unwavering integrity. There are no misaligned incentives; there is no interference from insurance companies dictating treatment protocols and options. There is no influence on your schedule and no rushing through patient appointments. You can prioritize what truly matters—the well-being of your patients. There is time to build and nurture genuine relationships based on trust, empathy, and mutual respect. It creates an environment where patients feel valued and receive the highest standard of care.
Improved Outcomes can be seen in direct care private practices. With the flexibility offered by a third party-free model, you can deliver truly individualized medical treatments that yield the best outcomes for your patients. Your time and your patient’s time is intentional as you can offer longer appointment times because your patient load is less. That time is important because it gives you the opportunity to truly listen to your patients, understand their unique needs, and tailor treatment plans specifically to them. This proactive approach goes beyond merely managing symptoms—it allows you the opportunity to identify and address root causes, leading to truly optimized results in your patients’ overall health and well-being.
Increased Patient Satisfaction is what every physician wants their patient to leave with. Patient satisfaction becomes more than just a buzzword—it becomes the foundation of your third party free practice. By prioritizing quality time and personalized attention, you create a stronger doctor-patient relationship. When patients feel heard, valued, and cared for, their satisfaction soars. Positive word-of-mouth referrals become the bedrock of your reputation as a trusted physician—a true partner in their care. Your patients become your ambassadors and advocate to others on your behalf. They ensure and fuel continued growth and success of your practice.
For me, transitioning to a third party-free private practice has been nothing short of transformative. It allows physicians to truly thrive and defy the conventional norms to carve their own path to success. Glad I didn’t listen to the naysayers!
Join me and the many direct care physicians who have found the Private Practice Solution that offers a win-win and a brighter future for both patients and physicians alike. Dare to challenge the status quo!