Mondays with your MD – Telemedicine: Back to the Future

2022-07-11T13:33:18+00:00July 11th, 2022|Adults, Direct Primary Care, Family Practice, Health Care, Telemedicine|

Reminiscent of a time where patients could receive medical advice by simply calling their doctor on the phone….telemedicine, popularized with the pandemic, has always been a structured integral part of Direct Primary Care (DPC). Virtual care has been shown to increase access to health care and lead to improved health outcomes when utilized correctly.

Telemedicine

Telemedicine allows for an ongoing dialogue between patients and physicians about shared health goals and decision-making. This improves adherence to the medical plan of care by providing a platform for a collaborative approach to health, where chronic conditions can be managed.

Telemedicine provides flexibility for scheduling and eliminates barriers between physicians and patients. Follow up appointments are made easier by removing travel times, childcare concerns, and time off work.

Virtual consultations can prevent unnecessary in-person referrals to specialists and lead to shorter waiting times to see specialists.

Telemedicine has always been a structured integral part of (DPC). When patients have an urgent care need or a follow up concern from previous visits, DPC physicians are able to quickly troubleshoot those problems with patients and determine the best course of action for each individual.

Mondays with your MD: What is Direct Primary Care?

2022-06-10T03:49:57+00:00June 10th, 2022|Direct Primary Care, Family Practice, Health Care, Membership, Urgent Care|

People ask me all the time…. What is Direct Primary Care?

Focused on your health.

In a traditional fee for service primary care practice, doctors are paid based on how many people they see, number of tests they order, or type of procedures they do. This leads to our current system of rapid visits with many tests and quick referrals. Many times doctors cannot take the the time to really listen, or think about what is best for your health from the patient perspective. In the existing system, doctors are not reimbursed for emails or phone calls and this creates a system where it becomes difficult to speak to your doctor outside of a harried office visit that you may have been waiting a long time for.

In direct primary care, instead of paying for each visit or procedure, you pay a monthly fee. This monthly fee frees the physician from the model that promotes productivity over quality and allows your physician to focus on you and what you really need. This leads to more time with your doctor when you need it and convenient easy access outside the doctor’s “office visit” by phone, text, email, etc.

The doctor you call. The doctor you trust.

Direct primary care doctors are dedicated to provide the high-quality unhurried care that is essential for your wellbeing and ongoing maintenance of your health. You can see your direct primary care doctor for all routine and preventive services like checkups as well as urgent care and chronic care management. Many times having this relationship with your physician and the access it provides, can save you visits to more expensive venues like the urgent care, hospital or emergency room.

Mondays with your MD: Keeping medications affordable

2022-06-06T13:57:34+00:00June 5th, 2022|Adults, Direct Primary Care, Health Care, Membership, Prescription Costs|

Medications do not need to be expensive.

At Roots Health DPC, we are making medications affordable for our patients. How?

We buy medications at wholesale pricing and sell them to our patients directly at wholesale cost – without marking them up. We remove the profit takers, pharmacy benefit managers, and retail pharmacies between patients and their medications, effectively lowering the cost of prescriptions by 50% to 90%.

Examples of medications for under $5/month

Medication Dosage
Metformin 1000 mg
Ibuprofen 600 mg
Lisinopril 10 mg
Amlodipine 2.5 mg
Sertraline/Zoloft 50 mg
Lovastatin 40 mg
Sumatriptan/Imitrex 100 mg
Lortadine/Claritin 10 mg

A simple idea to solve a complex problem

DPC stands for Direct Primary Care – we deliver health care services, including medications, directly to our patients. We provide medications at these rates because we believe that the people in our community deserve fair pricing on the medications they need to stay healthy. At Roots Health DPC, we are uniquely qualified to partner with our patients to determine which medications will best treat their medical conditions.

Mondays with Your MD: Transparent Pricing is your Right

2022-05-09T12:04:16+00:00May 7th, 2022|Copays, Deductibles, Direct Primary Care, Membership, Prescription Costs|

Your Rights

We all know that transparent pricing in health care services is rare. It can be different now.

In the traditional health care system, patients often asked me why they had received outrageous bills for their medical care and what they could do about it. I got tired of watching patients struggle with medical bills. I felt powerless in my ability to deliver the health care my patients deserved. Even worse, I knew that the financial health of my patients directly affected their physical and emotional health.

Did you know that medical bills are the most common cause for U.S. bankruptcies? Common sense would dictate that transparent pricing is an integral part of excellent health care.

Most hospitals are still NOT compliant with posting prices to their website even though it has been a law since Jan 1,2021! It is now your right to know the financial implications of the care that you receive.

Excellent health care does not have to be expensive.

There are numerous services that allow you to compare the price of health care. One of my favorite sites is “turquoise.health” where the cost of local medical procedures/tests can be compared.

I believe patients should always know how much a service will cost be before they receive care.

 

An Example…

At Roots Health DPC, we negotiate lab costs directly with the laboratory and obtain lab studies at significantly discounted prices which are listed on our website. Shortly after we opened our doors we charged one of our first patients $32.45 for a panel of standard labs. When that patient received another bill for $927.86 from the lab she contacted the lab directly and was offered a “self-pay” discount of $250.00. Since the bill was an error, ultimately she did not incur a charge at all. The value of this experience was priceless for my patient and myself as we realized just how wildly variable pricing can be, and just how little transparency exists.

No one deserves to be saddled with an insurmountable pile of medical bills.

All of us deserve transparent pricing and, in fact, it is our right.

 

The Pandemic. Deferred wellness. Navigating health today.

2021-05-13T18:23:04+00:00May 8th, 2021|Community, Copays, Deductibles, Direct Primary Care, Family Medicine, Membership, Pandemic, Telemedicine, Urgent Care|

As we pass one year since the pandemic started, it is time to take stock of our overall health and what it means to us as individuals.  It’s important to note the collateral effects that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on our individual health as well as the overall wellness of our community.  Many avoided or delayed care (both urgent and routine) to lower the risk of acquiring COVID-19.   We now have evidence that this shift has led to delayed diagnosis and treatment which results in poor outcomes.

While we can celebrate some success as the number of vaccinated individuals increases in the United States, we still struggle with effects of social isolation and the surge of mental health problems that accompany it.

Prior to the pandemic, it was common for patients to avoid the “hassle” of the traditional health care system. Patients disliked the “big production” around getting an appointment and waiting to be seen as well as the amount of time and energy spent to engage with the insurance-based model of care. Often patients delayed care because the cost was not transparent and surprise billing was never popular.  Between copays, deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums most people have no idea what costs to expect when they seek the care that is recommended.

The pandemic has accentuated the difficulties of getting care… we have witnessed that our health care system is beyond broken.  It does not serve patients and the time for change is past due.

What if getting care was as easy as scheduling online and speaking directly to your doctor via phone text or email whenever needed?  What if there was no “hassle” to get an appointment and no wait to see your doctor?  The Direct Primary Care (DPC) model has made this a reality.  Your physician is easily accessible with time to address all your health concerns.  DPC is the future of health care and is championed by physicians around the country dedicated to doing what is best for their patients.  DPC takes away the “pain” of seeing the doctor.  It emphasizes the value of the patient-physician relationship and creates space for shared decision-making around health and wellness.  DPC provides excellent care, transparent pricing, and unparalleled accessibility.

During the pandemic, DPC patients had unlimited access to their physician.  They were engaged in healthcare prevention and maintenance conversations with their physicians.  They received superior care by having direct communication with their physician.  There were no “surprise” bills because DPC membership fees are transparent and extremely affordable.

As with anything difficult, we can always find a silver-lining… and we must if we want to continue to grow and improve. The pandemic has made the case for DPC.  We all deserve better health care. The foundation for improved health outcomes lies in the rebuilding of a solid physician-patient relationship.  How we get through it all… will always depend on… who we get through it all with.

>>LEARN MORE ABOUT ROOTS HEALTH DPC<<

>>Click here to call ROOTS now 708-613-7916<<

Open Enrollment – Information

2021-05-08T12:59:32+00:00October 14th, 2020|Copays, Deductibles, Direct Primary Care, Family Practice, Membership, Prescription Costs|

 

OPEN ENROLLMENT…. IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER!
Whether your health insurance is through your employer or you have a private policy, you’re headed for open enrollment. This is when insurers make cost and benefit changes that will be effective January 1 st . Your insurer is required to notify you in writing of upcoming plan benefit changes. Take the time to study those changes and the benefit details in any plan you are considering for your 2021 coverage. The choice you make will be in effect through December 31, 2021 unless you have a qualifying event, (such as loss of coverage) that allows you to change coverage mid-year.

Here are three common changes to look for:

  1. Increased Costs: An increase in your premiums and/or what you pay for medical treatment, such as: lab work, x-rays, or hospitalization. Direct primary care members receive enormous savings on labs and imaging servicess.
  2. Prescription Drugs: Two common benefit changes for the drugs you take are:
    i. They are no longer covered. Direct primary care members are offered steeply discounted medication pricing.
    ii. The drugs have been moved to a different tier, which often means moving from a lower-cost tier, such as Brand Name, to a higher cost tier, like Specialty Drugs.
  3. Physician services. Many times with changes to insurance, patients find their physician is no longer “in-network.” Check that your specialists are still in network. Good news…direct primary care physician services are not affected by these changes.

Choosing the plan with the highest deductible/lowest premium can save thousands of dollars per year when paired with a direct primary care membership. You never have to worry about your changes to your direct health care services regardless of benefit changes in the policy. Open enrollment only comes once per year. Make the most of it and choose the best plan to meet your health care needs.

TRANSITIONING JOBS/ LAPSE IN HEALTH BENEFITS?
Direct Primary Care offers an excellent opportunity to obtain health care with transparent pricing that covers the vast majority of health care needs. We recommended you maintain catastrophic coverage. Some good options are:

  1. Short-term health insurance (STHI): as of mid-2020 there were at least 9 providers of STHI in Illinois.
  2. Medical Cost Sharing Plans

>>LEARN MORE ABOUT ROOTS HEALTH DPC<<

>>Click here to call ROOTS now 708-613-7916<<

Staying well during a Pandemic

2021-05-08T13:05:37+00:00September 4th, 2020|Direct Primary Care, Family Medicine, Membership, Pandemic, Telemedicine|

 

What is different about Direct Primary Care?

For the past 6 months, most of us avoided going into enclosed spaces with sick people. For this very reason, many people do not feel safe going to an urgent care or traditional medical office. Unfortunately, our health care needs do not disappear during a pandemic. Neglecting our necessary urgent and routine health care needs can lead to poor outcomes. What is the best way to address this problem?

Virtual care and limiting the number of in-person office visits are solutions we have implemented, at Roots Health DPC, to keep our patients safe while providing necessary care. We offer unlimited text, phone, and telemedicine availability. We limit our in-person office visits, take necessary precautions to decrease transmission of the virus, and thoroughly disinfect between patients. Home visits are also available to members. The direct primary care (DPC) model places patients first and removes the mal-aligned incentives that accompany the health insurance model. DPC focuses on providing accessible and personalized health care. It provides patients with the affordable transparent pricing they want and the safe delivery of the health care they need.

>>>Reach out and set up a free Meet and Greet with Dr Diaz at Roots Health DPC<<<

>>>Read about how direct care practices are perfectly positioned to help patients during coronavirus outbreak<<<

 

Roots Health DPC – Part of the solution

2021-05-08T13:20:44+00:00August 28th, 2020|Community, Direct Primary Care, Family Medicine, Membership, Pandemic|

 

 

Your Health is more important now than ever before.

Our communities continue to struggle to handle this pandemic and I have more questions than answers.  What will be the long term effects on the bodies of patients who have had Covid-19?  How will we ensure that children have appropriate social-emotional development and education? Who will bear the economic burden of a failed health care system?

If I spend too much time in the future, I become quickly overwhelmed.  What I believe is true, is that we have today.  Today, I am grateful for my health, nutritious meals, my home, and my family.  I can take action today, to take care of myself physically and emotionally.  I can ensure my body gets the sleep and exercise that it needs. I can take precautions to protect my health and well-being and I can reach out to others in service.

I created Roots Health DPC to be part of the solution for a broken health care system.  I believe people deserve health care that is affordable with transparent pricing. I know that sick patients have improved outcomes when they have a physician who advocates on their behalf.  It is my belief that patients and physicians should be the only ones involved in medical decision-making and that third party intrusions actually make outcomes worse and increase costs.  This becomes evident when we look at US health care spending and mortality rates.

I encourage you to take action today to take care of yourself and your family.  As a member of Roots Health DPC, you can be reassured that you have unlimited access to your physician at all times in the event that you or a loved one becomes ill.  When we are sick, we are not able to advocate well for ourselves.  As a patient or caregiver you might question whether you or your loved one needs an evaluation urgently.  As a board-certified physician with experience in Emergency Medicine, I can evaluate and assess your health care needs quickly and accurately to help you navigate difficult health concerns.  Roots Health DPC members have virtually unlimited access to their physician and they find a strong health care advocate by their side when they are in need.

I encourage you to consider enrollment in Roots Health DPC and join the health care solution to build healthy families and communities.   Set up a time to meet me, Dr Diaz, and learn more.

Modern medicine with old school service

2021-05-13T18:06:02+00:00August 12th, 2020|Direct Primary Care, Family Medicine, Membership, Pandemic|

The pandemic has made one thing very clear. The health care system is broken. At a time when people most need health care to be available and affordable to them, the pandemic has highlighted the current inefficiencies, limitations, and obscene costs to individuals who need that very same care. One could even argue that the corporate health care industry is doing more harm than good.

Having a trusted primary care physician that patients can speak with directly when they have concerns or questions is important. Direct Primary Care (DPC) is a new model of healthcare that addresses the accessibility, quality, and affordability of health care in this country. It is modern medicine with old school service. DPC provides higher quality care by answering questions, evaluating patients urgently as needed, and helping patients navigate uncertainty. DPC operates on a monthly membership fee schedule, free of insurance constraints, allowing patients to engage in health care that is both higher in quality and more convenient.

What is different about DIRECT PRIMARY CARE (DPC)?

2020-08-04T13:38:46+00:00August 4th, 2020|Direct Primary Care, Family Medicine, Membership, Telemedicine|

Have you ever had a direct line to your physician?  Not a mid-level or answering service.  Continuous access to answers about your health as your medical needs dictate, not as your ability to get an appointment dictates.  Telemedicine, phone, email, text has always been an integral part of communication in DPC and supplements in person visits.  DPC has known for years that communication is one of the foundational blocks for excellent health care.  Your health care needs are addressed by your physician and follow up care is meticulously coordinated for your benefit.

Over the years, I can attest to how difficult it is for patients to navigate the complex health care system when health care needs arise.  The coordination of care between providers and different health care systems are poor at best and this leaves patients with unanswered questions and often inadequate care.

At Roots Health DPC we prioritize the patient-physician relationship.  We make sure your health care is accessible, personalized, and affordable.  Book a free Meet and Greet with Dr. Diaz to learn more.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/katherinerestrepo/2017/09/18/telemedicine-pairs-well-with-direct-primary-care/

One of the defining characteristics of DPC is that these physicians keep their practices small so they can spend more time with their patients. Telemedicine further restores their physician-patient relationship by extending access to health care beyond the exam room.

No waiting. Healthcare delivered when you need it.