There is an exciting new primary medical care concept emerging that is bringing the kind of health care reform consumers can all be happy about. While the subject of health care reform has been a controversial one, I can’t see where anyone could argue with a change that will give you guaranteed same-day or next-day appointments, and thirty to sixty minute appointments with your health care provider. These longer appointments offer the invaluable perk of a real relationship between you and your doctor. In my experience, when my doctor knows me, she trusts me to help with my own health care and will listen to my feedback. But the best part of the concept is that it is outside the control of insurance companies, giving consumers and their care providers a refreshing alternative to the super high cost of traditional medical insurance.
The concept is called “direct primary care medical homes”, or insurance-free direct primary care clinics. A monthly membership fee covers everything that the clinic has to offer with no co-pays. Employers, unions, and individuals are buying into the idea on the premise that good preventive and early symptom heath care can save a lot of money on hospitalization and long-term health conditions. This can save up to 50 percent when bundled with a lower-premium comprehensive insurance plan.
I was fortunate this last year to become involved in such an arrangement when my union offered a health care alternative called Qliance to members that lived within a certain radius of the three clinics that have recently opened in our area. I jumped on the chance when I learned about longer appointments and same-day appointments since I had just had yet another doctor relocate and found myself having to start from “scratch” again.
I started with Qliance in January 2010 and I have nothing but high praise for my neighborhood clinic. Just ten minutes from home, and accessible 24/7 through front desk, phone, or email, my Qliance clinic is covering the health care needs of my family with professionalism and compassion. I have been sick over the last week and have visited my Qliance office three separate times. Normally, this would have been extremely difficult, being as sick as I was, but Qliance made it easy and my health care provider has taken me safely through a severe asthma reaction and, I’m happy to say I will return to work tomorrow after having had to take several days off.
As employers and unions look for more cost-effective health care plans for their employees and members, more and more will be choosing this new model. Watch for it in your community so that you, too, can take advantage of a smart idea.