SOURCE: MedFirst Partners

MedFirst Partners

February 18, 2015 10:42 ET

MedFirst Partners Introduces Affordable Membership-Based Direct Primary Care Healthcare Option Now Available in Atlanta Area

Tyrone Primary Care Physician Offers New Insurance-Free Model That Lowers Employer Benefit Costs, Improves Patient Care

ATLANTA, GA--(Marketwired - Feb 18, 2015) - MedFirst Partners (MFP) today announced the Atlanta-area launch of Direct Primary Care (DPC), a flexible, membership-style approach and growing national trend currently offered by more than 4,400 U.S. physicians1 that provides an affordable, easily accessible, high-quality healthcare option for individuals and employers. Erinn R. Harris, M.D., a Tyrone-based internist, has signed on with MFP as one of the first true DPC physicians in the state. Her new primary care practice, Harris Internal Medicine, does not accept health insurance but instead offers patients unlimited visits, same-day appointments, optional home visits, and 24/7 email and cell phone access for a flat fee.

DPC removes co-pays and insurance billing from the equation. This approach enables lower-cost tests, labs and ancillary services with an aim at keeping patients in a primary care setting instead of referring to specialists for potentially more expensive and invasive care. At Dr. Harris's practice, patients pay a $375 flat quarterly fee for this comprehensive care, which includes an annual physical exam and covers costs associated with basic lab tests. A 10 percent discount is available for annual fees paid in full upon membership enrollment. 

"Primary care physicians struggle to balance patient care with escalating insurance reimbursement and billing burdens -- it is shocking but true that about 50 percent of our workday is consumed by insurance-related administration," said Dr. Harris. "After a decade practicing within the traditional healthcare system, I sought a simpler, more patient-focused approach. Direct Primary Care allows me to devote quality time to each patient visit and build a trusting doctor-patient relationship, something many would agree is often lacking in the medical world today."

DPC offers physicians a stable, predictable financial model, while allowing patients to better manage healthcare spending with a flat fee that covers a comprehensive list of services. In DPC-based practices, laboratory tests and other ancillary services are usually charged at a reduced rate since they can be conducted in-house. For example, a cholesterol test could cost just $3 with DPC compared to $90 with a traditional health insurance plan.2

Georgia businesses are exploring DPC-based plans as a cost-effective, acceptable alternative to ObamaCare when offered with a wrap-around catastrophic insurance policy. DPC plans can serve as a stand-alone benefit, or can be combined with employers' group plans, self-funded group plans, or Medicare to offer supplemental coverage, improve employee health and reduce absenteeism.

Susan Olvey, operator of a family owned Decatur restaurant, is pleased with the peace of mind DPC health coverage through Dr. Harris offers both her and her staff. "With the arrival of ObamaCare, my private corporate insurance policy's premiums and deductibles skyrocketed and became completely unaffordable," she says. "The structure of Dr. Harris's practice appealed to me. It has been such a great addition to my small business -- my employees have full access to a top-notch doctor who knows them well and I am able to keep building my business since healthcare benefit costs are kept to a minimum."

"It's important to understand that DPC only covers primary care services, so supplemental insurance is encouraged to cover other medical needs or emergency situations," says Dr. Harris. "This 'old school' style of medicine can be the right fit for many individuals, families or companies looking for a practical alternative to the standard primary care model. I look forward to growing my practice and introducing Atlanta-area residents to the benefits of DPC."

Town Hall Information Sessions
Dr. Harris will host three Town Hall meetings for employers and individuals interested in learning more about DPC on Tuesday, March 3, 2015 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. ET and 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET, and Thursday, March 5, 2015 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET at:

Hilton Garden Inn
2010 North Commerce Drive
Peachtree City, GA 30269
P: 678-827-8400

Please RSVP to Susan Abramovich at 1-800-939-1850 ext. 1 or susan.abramovich@medfirstpartners.com by March 2 to secure a spot. Custom Medical Plans will also be on hand to explain optional healthcare plans for individuals and employers that include membership to Dr. Harris's practice. Healthcare providers interested in exploring a DPC model are also welcome to attend. Appetizers and refreshments will be served. 

For more information on Dr. Harris and her practice, please visit www.harrisinternalmed.com

1 Elizabeth O'Brien, "Why Concierge Medicine Will Get Bigger," The Wall Street Journal MarketWatch, January 17, 2013. Accessed on October 28, 2014 at: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/why-concierge-medicine-will-get-bigger-2013-01-17.
2 Hargreaves S. Cash-only doctors abandon the insurance system. CNN Money. http://money.cnn.com/2013/06/11/news/economy/cash-only-doctors/index.html. Published June 11, 2013. Accessed October 28, 2014.

About MedFirst Partners
MedFirst Partners provides comprehensive conversion and marketing services to physicians seeking a return to a customer service focused private practice where there is no insurance billing. The MedFirst Partners team has 50+ years combined experience in Healthcare Operation and Marketing to help efficiently and sustainably convert practices to a Direct Primary Care model with customized, flexible programs that meet both doctor and patients' needs. For more information, please visit www.medfirstpartners.com.