Would you like to spend more time treating patients, and less time chasing reimbursement? Would you like a practice that is profitable seeing 8-16 patients per day, instead of 30?

Dr. Brian Forrest started Access Healthcare in 2002 with the goal of providing the best patient care at the best price -- and in the process re-discovered the power of running a Direct Pay practice. By not participating in any insurance plans, Medicare or Medicaid, Dr. Forrest realized he could save $250,000 per year in unnecessary expense -- and gain the clinical autonomy necessary to optimize patient outcomes as well as his own practice performance and personal lifestyle.

Are you ready to take control of your practice, patient outcomes, and quality of life?

The Happy, Well Compensated, Patient Centered Physician: A Model to Make It Happen

"You're crazy! It'll never work. You’ll go broke."

That is what a lot of my colleagues said 8 years ago when I decided to simplify medicine by kicking the insurer out of the exam room and restoring the Doctor/Patient relationship.

I did not want to see 30 patients per day, I did not want to spend all day doing more work for insurers than my patients, and I wanted to be able take the best care of my patients I could regardless of their insurance. After researching practice data from 43 different healthcare providers in the Triad Region of North Carolina, I developed a practice model that I call the Access Healthcare Model.

Fair Medicare?

Stark laws, RAC Medicare audits, Red Flag Billing rules, increased HIPPA scrutiny and bureacracy, delayed payments, unstable and uncertain rates with an SGR fix that just keeps getting kicked down the road like an old can -- the snares and landmines awaiting physicians keep growing in number and severity.

Witness this Congressional testimony by former NCAFP president Dr. Karen Smith on her experience undergoing a RAC audit:

COSEHC Meeting underscores value of innovative practice models

At the Consortium on South Eastern Hypertension Control meeting this past week in Charleston, SC, physicians learned the implications of innovative practice models for patient care. One plenary session was focused on the Patient Centered Medical Home and how practice redesign can be a win-win for patients and physicians. I presented the Direct Pay Model and showed how it actually represented a true patient centered model.

Physicians at AAFP annual meeting in Denver intrigued by Time to Talk Cardio Pilot

I recently returned from Denver where I discussed the Direct Pay Model to physicians from all over the country. Many were intrigued by the idea and had never thought it was an option. Some were surprised that they could spend more time with patients, charge patients less, and actually have a better bottom line. I presented research based on a pilot program I implemented in NC for improving cardiovascular outcomes called Time to Talk Cardio in the exhibit hall.

Red Flag Rules give another reason for Direct Pay

In the past, if a physican collected a copay and billed insurance for the remainder of charges, the insurance company would often submit payment to the physician with an explanation of any unpaid charges. Sometimes these unallowed amounts were contractual and other times it was just more than the insurance wanted to pay. It has in recent years become common practice for doctors to "balance bill" for charges that were not covered by the insurer. This policy may now make physicians be considered creditors.

Congratulations to Green Medicine: The Next Direct Pay Practice is Opening!

Dr. Schattauer is ready to open his new "Green" Practice in Oak Park Illinois.  Paul contacted me about 2 years ago and flew to NC to spend a half day with me at my practice.  I loved his ideas about having a practice that was environmentally friendly, and he liked my ideas about how to reform the health care system at the practice level by kicking the third party payer out of the exam room. 

Now, this innovative practice, not too far from Chicago is getting ready to open.  My kudos to Paul on his courage and innovation to take this step.  This will be a breath of fresh air for the patients he sees and mean a better quality of life for him as well. He sent me this nice note this am:

Even Surgeons are Flourishing in Direct Pay

This article, written by two CPAs, gives a third party objective view of dropping insurance on page 11.

The Medical Home Model Cannot Fix the System Without Payment Model Change

Today on KevinMD.com there was a discussion of some of the pitfalls of the medical home model. 

The Difference Between a SEED and a BRANCH.....

When I started helping practices to transition to the Direct Pay Model I had several levels of consulting that I would do for physicians depending on what level of assistance they wanted.  Some just flew into Apex for a half day and did an intense 4 hours of Q and A followed by a demo of office flow.  Others wanted to follow that up with a phone consult.  Some physicians wanted access to everything I could do to help them succeed and flourish, including ongoing troubleshooting and advice.  The physicians that I worked with in this manner I called SEED practices. 

UNC Medical Students Excited about the Direct Pay Model

I teach an elective class to students at the UNC School of Medicine Advance Practice Selective called New Models of Care.  Yesterday, while discussing Access Healthcare and the Direct Pay model, I received some great questions.  One of my favorites was- "Well it seems like this is taking care of all of the things we need in health reform....So why isn't everyone doing it yet-it seems like a no brainer!" My answer was essentially that- "Well they might be in a couple of years, but it takes courage and time to transition from such an ingrained payer focused rather than patient focus