SOURCE: Qliance


January 11, 2010 12:49 ET

Qliance Opens Third Insurance-Free Clinic on Mercer Island

Further Expansion of Qliance's Direct Primary Care Medical Home Model Is Anticipated With Passage of Historic Health Reform Bill

SEATTLE, WA--(Marketwire - January 11, 2010) - Qliance Medical Management Inc., which operates insurance-free direct primary care clinics -- also known as "direct primary care medical homes" -- in Washington state, today announced it has opened a new clinic on Mercer Island, illustrating the growing demand for flat-fee direct primary care. The clinic joins Qliance's existing clinics in downtown Seattle and Kent, Wash. and provides internal medicine, with plans to add family practice providers soon. Mercer Island is also a convenient location for Qliance patients who live on the Eastside.

"There is high demand on Mercer Island for more local quality care with easy access at an affordable price -- and this is exactly what Qliance does," said Garrison Bliss, MD, Chief Medical Officer for Qliance. "We are thrilled to join the community, and look forward to caring for more patients here as we grow."

"I was approached about this type of health care model when it came before the 2007 Legislature and was a strong supporter. It is great to see the arrival of a new option for quality care and more choice in our community," said state Rep. Judy Clibborn of Mercer Island.

Qliance reduces the cost of primary care, and provides access and quality of care that is dramatically better than most people have today. Patients pay low monthly fees -- between $39 and $129 a month, depending on their age and service preferences -- for unrestricted access to Qliance physicians and nurse practitioners for the 90 percent of medical issues classified as primary, preventive or chronic care. This includes all types of routine care such as vaccinations, routine blood tests, women's health services, pediatric care, broken bones and ongoing management of chronic diseases like diabetes and obesity. By combining Qliance with a low-premium, "wrap-around" insurance plan that covers more costly and unpredictable care like emergency room visits and chemotherapy, patients and employers can lower their health care costs by 20 to 50 percent. Some of the benefits patients enjoy include:

--  Unhurried 30- to 60-minute office visits
--  No restrictions or membership denial due to pre-existing conditions
--  Same- or next-day appointments for urgent care needs
--  Open 7 days per week, with 24 hour cell phone and email access to a
--  Low, predictable monthly primary care fee plus significant savings on
    wrap-around insurance plans
--  On-site x-ray, laboratory and "first-fill" prescription drug dispensary
--  Coordination of any needed specialist and hospital care as a "medical
    home" model

In addition to individual membership, Qliance works closely with a number of small, mid-sized and large employers throughout Washington to provide quality health care for their employees at a fraction of the typical cost of comprehensive health insurance plans.

Long-time local Mercer Islander, Ryan Allison, is the owner of local wine shop and restaurant Cellar 46. Allison has watched the cost of providing health insurance for his thirteen employees climb year after year, to the point where offering health insurance has become too expensive for his business to sustain. "I can't afford for my staff not to be healthy," says Allison. "I want to be able to ask my employees who come in sick to go see the doctor, and I want to know they can afford to do that."

Allison now subsidizes a percentage of the cost of health care for his employees, and leaves it to them whether to apply the funds to an individual insurance plan, or another form of care such as direct primary care. A few of his employees have chosen to join Qliance, and Allison (also a Qliance member) thinks more will follow.

"I am a huge fan of Qliance, and was even one of the original members when they first opened," says Allison. "The quality of care, the attention and access are outstanding. It's affordable, too. I'm absolutely thrilled to be helping my employees afford this kind of care, especially now that I can look out my storefront window and see the Qliance clinic just up the street. I know they're getting great care, and they don't even have to go out of the community."

Qliance's Mercer Island clinic is located at 7707 SE 27th Street, next to Walgreen's in the heart of Mercer Island. Open houses will be held Monday, January 11, from 5-7pm, and Saturday, January 16, from 12-2pm.

Qliance Medical Management Inc. was founded in 2006. In 2007, the Washington State legislature recognized direct primary care as an innovative health care delivery model not to be regulated as insurance, paving the way for all Washingtonians to have access to affordable quality health care. In late 2009, both the U.S. House and Senate included language in their respective drafts of the health reform bill that would allow direct primary care medical homes such as Qliance to participate and compete in the proposed health insurance exchange (where Americans will eventually shop for health care options) if bundled with a new type of "wrap-around" insurance plan that covers a patient's needs outside of primary, preventive and chronic care.

For more information about Qliance, visit

About Qliance Medical Management

Qliance Medical Management was founded in 2006 and provides operating and management services to Qliance Medical Group of Washington PC. Qliance direct primary care offers people of all ages and incomes unrestricted access to all types of primary, preventive and chronic illness care for one monthly membership fee, ranging between $39 and $129, depending on age and service preferences. Qliance does not exclude anyone for pre-existing conditions and offers unhurried same- and next-day appointments 7-days per week. Through Qliance, patients and employers are getting exceptional care and saving between 20 and 50 percent on comprehensive health care costs when bundled with wrap-around insurance. Qliance is backed by more than $7.5 million from Second Avenue Partners, New Atlantic Ventures and Clear Fir Partners LP. For more information, visit