Unorthodoc and the Keiser Report: Predict the Future of Health Care By Building it Yourself

Unorthodoc, Direct Primary Care, and I found ourselves exposed to roughly 30 million viewers during an interview with the Keiser Report, a global financial video podcast by Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert (interview 15 minutes into episode 1069). What happened next was sensational! We only knew the program had aired when our office phone started ringing off the hook, and our inboxes exploded. We were elated by the response, but a word about what Unorthodoc can and cannot do may be warranted since Part 2 of this interview is airing in the upcoming week!

 

Reading the mass delight in the idea of Direct Primary Care (DPC) is heartening. If you are in the US, I will tell you how to find other doctors using this model at the end of this post. Unfortunately, there is only one of me, in a cozy office in Carrboro, North Carolina near Raleigh-Durham. My medical license allows me to take care of legal residents of my state only. No matter how agile our use of digital communication, we are still bound by laws of time, energy, and malpractice.

 

DPC practices save you money by bypassing the middlemen. You pay your “primary care” doctor “directly”. These practices are defined by three characteristics. First, they charge a periodic fee (subscription or membership) that includes a defined set of medical services (typically an annual exam, chronic illness management, urgent care, and a specific set of basic tests like EKG, cholesterol, chemistry, thyroid, strep tests, etc and improved access to the doctor). Second, they do NOT bill third parties. Third, they keep any per-visit fees (some states require these) to less than the monthly membership fee. That is the business structure of DPC, but there are so many more benefits. DPC doctors who can control their time and destiny do strange things like smile, sit, and look you in the eye while you’re talking.

 

After the interview, people reached out to me from all over the world. I didn’t expect that. I myopically assume that only the US system is a mess. But there is one universal occurrence in health care worldwide. People mostly go to doctors (and therefore doctors are only paid) when people are sick or scared. That means doctors are set up to profit from illness, death, and fear whether they want to or not. In a membership model like Unorthodoc, the doctor profits more from keeping people healthy. And in a membership NOT backed by an insurance company, patients retain the greatest power of all. If patients don’t get value from the membership, they leave.

 

That is a big (and simple) motivator for me as a doctor to do my best. We are accountable to each other.  That’s not only good for your wallet and your health, it’s good for your doctor’s soul. Speaking of souls, if you like what you hear and read about DPC, and are worried about a doctor you love, talk to them about DPC. Look them straight in the eye and assure them you would follow them to a new practice. You have no idea how powerful your genuine attention is. Not only might it bring back their smile, it could save their lives.

 

Direct Primary Care (DPC) is growing so rapidly that no one directory can keep up with all the new practices that are opening around the country this year. Besides checking out the links below, consider setting up a Google alert titled “Direct Primary Care” (or “Subscription” or “Membership” medicine) and the name of your state. When an item appears on the internet connected to your search, you’ll be notified.

 

 

It’s maddening to realize that no one is coming to save us. However, it’s empowering that we, together, need no one else’s permission to enter into mutually beneficial relationships with each other. We only have to decide when we are going to stop waiting.

Comments

  1. No L Waiting says:

    Thank you for this great blog. Unfortunately for myself I will now be living in a rural area that the only access is between 20 and 25 miles away. They do take the uninsured and underinsured. Have to go there when my insurance runs out at the end of this month.

    Appreciate someone being there that understands. All my friends keep waiting for Single Payer to come along and save them. In the meantime they become houseless etc etc.

    “No Longer waiting in Colorado”

    • Unorthodoc says:

      Dear NLWC
      Thanks for commenting. Check out this blog post from yesterday to see if someone is coming to your area.
      Until the US understands fairness again, best wishes.

  2. At last someone else has realised what I have been trying to do. The Keiser Report featured a chart showing how the administrators outweighed the doctors in an ex-potential graph covering several decades. In the United Kingdom, it has been calculated that in the next 5 years, 35% of our General Practitioners are due for retirement, and it takes 10 years to train one. Back in 1980, I was concerned about our own increasing ratio of admin to doctors/nurses, and wrote to my local Member of Parliament, (Norman Tebbitt). He sent me back the figure, which, at that time, were not as bad as today. Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert might like to know that latter point. So I would be grateful if you could pass this e-mail on to them. Thank you for your sensible work, which I applaud.

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