SOURCE: Qliance

Qliance

December 06, 2011 11:13 ET

Qliance Applauds Bi-Partisan "Direct Medicare and Dual-Eligible Care Act"

New Legislation Would Create a Demonstration Program Providing Flat-Fee Primary and Preventive Care for People Enrolled in Medicare and Medicaid

SEATTLE, WA--(Marketwire - Dec 6, 2011) - Qliance Medical Management Inc., which operates direct primary care clinics -- also known as "direct primary care medical homes" -- in Washington State, today announced its strong support for language in the Direct Medicare and Dual-Eligible Care Act (Direct M.D. Care Act), which was introduced in the U.S. House this week by Representative Bill Cassidy, MD (R-LA) and Representative Jay Inslee (D-WA). The bill would establish a pilot program that provides payment for direct primary care to Medicare "dual-eligibles," the low-income elderly and persons with disabilities who are enrolled in both Medicare and Medicaid. Under the legislation, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) would measure the downstream cost savings and health benefits that result from providing access to a direct primary care medical home for Medicare and Medicaid recipients.

"We applaud the efforts of Representatives Cassidy and Inslee in creating a bill designed to improve the health of people enrolled in Medicare and Medicaid while simultaneously reducing federal and state costs associated with these programs," said Erika Bliss, MD, president and CEO of Qliance Medical Management Inc. "Our direct primary care model has already significantly reduced downstream costs for patients in Washington State by providing exceptional access to quality primary care; and, we are thrilled to see Members of Congress recognize direct primary care as one potential solution for reforming health care."

Direct primary care practices, such as Qliance, do not take health insurance but instead charge one low monthly fee for unrestricted access to primary, preventive and chronic care. These flat-fee practices are designed to handle and treat the majority of reasons people see a doctor, including but not limited to vaccinations, routine blood tests, women's health services, pediatric care, common injuries, as well as ongoing management of chronic diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity. By eliminating insurance, co-pays and deductibles from such routine and predictable care, the direct primary care model significantly reduces the cost of health care.

Qliance has collected and analyzed data from its patient base in Washington State since 2009, illustrating the significant downstream cost reductions that result when the direct primary care model is implemented and quality of care improved. For example, Qliance patients experienced 65% fewer emergency room visits in 2010 than the benchmark for the region. Qliance patients also experienced 43% fewer hospitalization days, 66% fewer specialist referrals, 63% fewer advanced radiology visits and 82% fewer surgeries. For more information about this research visit: http://www.qliance.com/pdf/Qliance+Executive+Summary+March2011.pdf

Direct primary care is ideal for patients with chronic diseases and other health conditions that require regular attention and monitoring. It keeps people healthier, reducing the need for expensive emergency room and specialty care that often result when small issues turn into big issues. This, in turn, helps reduce the overall cost of health care.

At Qliance, patients enjoy:

  • Monthly membership fees as low as $49 to $89 in lieu of insurance with no deductibles or co-pays for all routine care
  • Unlimited visits with no co-pays
  • Unhurried 30- to 60-minute office visits (compared to 10- to 15-minute averages nationally)
  • No limits or restrictions for pre-existing conditions
  • Same- or next-day appointments for urgent care needs
  • Office hours 7 days per week, with extended hours on weekdays and 24-hour phone and email access to a physician
  • On-site x-ray, laboratory and free "first fill" prescription drug dispensary
  • Coordination of any needed specialist and hospital care

For more information about Qliance, visit www.Qliance.com.

About Qliance Medical Management
Qliance Medical Management was founded in 2006 and provides operating and management services to Qliance Medical Group of Washington PC, which operates clinics under the Qliance® brand. Qliance 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 $49 and $89, depending on age, for its core service level. Qliance does not exclude anyone for pre-existing conditions and offers 30- to 60-minute same- and next-day appointments, 7-days per week. Through Qliance, patients and employers are getting exceptional care and saving up to 50 percent on comprehensive health care costs when bundled with a lower-premium insurance plan. Qliance has raised approximately $14 million, led by Second Avenue Partners with participation by Clear Fir Partners LP, New Atlantic Ventures, Bezos Expeditions, MSD Capital and other private investors. For more information, visit www.Qliance.com.