SOURCE: Qliance


August 29, 2011 12:00 ET

Qliance Expands 'Direct Primary Care' Network in Puget Sound Region, Offering Individuals and Employers Quality Flat-Fee Health Care Option

Guardian Family Care in Mill Creek Joins Qliance as an Affiliate; New Tacoma Clinic Opening in October

SEATTLE, WA--(Marketwire - Aug 29, 2011) - Qliance Medical Management Inc., which operates Qliance® direct primary care clinics (also known as "direct primary care medical homes") in Washington State, today announced it is expanding its network of clinics in the Seattle/Tacoma Puget Sound Region. Qliance is preparing to open a new clinic in Tacoma in early October, and Guardian Family Care, a direct primary care practice in Mill Creek, Wash., is now a Qliance affiliate.

The new Qliance locations offer individuals and employers in the Puget Sound region more cost-effective solutions for quality health care. Qliance will have clinics or affiliates in downtown Seattle, Kent, Mercer Island, Tacoma and Mill Creek, offering local businesses and groups with employees in different areas the convenience of common pricing, common registration forms and single billing to ease implementation and management.

"I am a strong supporter of the direct primary care model. This clinic brings Tacoma residents and employers a new option for quality health care that is both affordable and accessible," said Representative Tami Green, D-Lakewood.

"I'm very pleased to hear that Qliance's new office will help increase the amount of primary care available to people in Pierce County. Rather than waiting until a person gets sick, Qliance works with people in advance to cut costs over the long run," said Senator Mike Carrell, R-Lakewood. "They've been able to reduce costs of things like surgeries, ER visits and referrals by more than 50 percent."

The new clinic in Tacoma will offer the same primary and preventive care services as existing Qliance clinics, on the same flat-fee schedule, which ranges between $49 and $89 per month, depending on age. As an affiliate of Qliance, Guardian Family Care in Mill Creek will remain an independent practice but will also offer the same services as other Qliance clinics, on the same fee schedule.

"As Qliance grows to meet the demands from groups for a larger regional footprint, we remain committed to building primary care practices that share a common philosophy and commitment to putting the patient first," said Garrison Bliss, co-founder and chief medical officer of Qliance. "As we expand our network of clinics, we offer individuals and employers more options for high-quality care at a reasonable cost. When bundled with lower premium wrap-around insurance plans, the cost is typically 20 to 50 percent less than traditional insurance-only programs."

Direct primary care practices are designed to address about 90% of issues people need to see a doctor for, including all routine primary and preventive care. This may include, but is not limited to: women's health services and pediatric care; urgent care (such as broken bones, stitches, severe fever); wellness education; ongoing chronic disease management (such as diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity); select onsite procedures and diagnostics (such as splinting and casting, suturing, mole removal, chest and extremity x-rays, EKGs and urinalysis), and coordination of all outside specialist and hospital care by a Qliance provider. By enhancing access to unhurried, thorough care at the primary care level and eliminating insurance, co-pays and deductibles from such routine and predictable care, the direct primary care model significantly reduces the cost of health care and keeps people healthier with fewer sick days.1

Through Qliance, patients enjoy:

  • Low, predictable monthly fees between $49 to $89 for all routine primary and preventive care and chronic disease management
  • Extended office hours to better accommodate patients' busy schedules with same- or next-day appointments for urgent care needs
  • Unhurried 30- to 60-minute office visits (compared to 10- to 15-minute averages nationally)
  • Daily office hours, with 24-hour telephone access to a physician. (The Guardian Family Care clinic is open from 9:00 am to 5:30 pm Monday through Friday, and weekend office hours are available by appointment)
  • On-site x-ray, laboratory and free "first-fill" generic prescription drug dispensary
  • Coordination of any needed specialist and hospital care as a "medical home" model
  • No limits or restrictions for pre-existing conditions

For employers, Qliance offers a cost-effective solution to providing health care coverage. By replacing a traditional insurance plan with a Qliance membership, supplemented by a lower-premium wrap-around insurance plan, businesses can lower health care costs by up to 50 percent and reduce annual premium increases. Qliance already serves approximately 100 businesses (small, mid-size and large) in the greater Puget Sound region, including MacDonald-Miller, Becker Trucking, Tri-Tec Manufacturing and Glacier Fish Company. In Tacoma, several employers plan to offer Qliance as an option for their employees this year, including Tacoma Screw Products, Pacific Grill, Club Biella and California Closets. Benefit consultants, such as Brown & Brown of Tacoma, are helping companies integrate Qliance into their employee benefit plans.

Qliance's Tacoma clinic, which is projected to open October 1, 2011, will be located at 2420 S. Union Avenue, Suite 100, Tacoma, Wash. The Guardian Family Care clinic is located at 805 164th Street, Mill Creek, Wash. Qliance expects to open additional clinics in the region and is currently exploring locations in Seattle's Eastside, and Everett.

Individuals, employers and other groups interested in learning more about Qliance or Qliance/Guardian Family Care multi-location memberships may contact Clarence Williams, Vice President of Membership for Qliance, at or (206) 913-4748.

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

About Guardian Family Care
Guardian Family Care is a two-physician direct primary care family practice, patterned after the same philosophy of health care developed by the founders of Qliance. The office first opened in Mill Creek, WA in 2001 and continues to offer the full spectrum of primary family care for patients of all ages, from infants to the elderly. Guardian offers unrestricted access to primary, preventive and chronic illness care for one low monthly membership fee. There are no co-pays, no deductibles and no long waits to see a doctor. Through Guardian, patients and employers can receive exceptional care at a lower cost than traditional insurance-based health plans. Guardian is affiliating with Qliance to enhance growth of the clinic and be part of a larger system of direct primary care practices that are significantly impacting health care in the Pacific Northwest, and beyond. For more information, visit

1 In 2010, Qliance patients experienced 65% fewer ER visits, 43% fewer hospitalization days, 66% fewer specialist visits, 63% less advanced radiology, and 82% fewer surgeries than regional benchmarks. "Qliance Direct Primary Care Medical Home Decreases Downstream Healthcare Costs," Dr. Erika Bliss, March 2011. Download full report: