By STEPHANIE BUNKER
Moapa Valley Progress
Dr. Michael Gorman, of Mesquite, paid a visit to the Overton Senior Center on Thursday to answer questions and explain details of a new type of practice he plans to open this fall, Direct Primary Care. The Seniors enjoyed seeing Dr. Gorman’s familiar face.
Gorman was there to answer any questions and address concerns the Seniors had about the new practice. When no one had questions about it he went ahead and gave some background on where this type of practice came from.
“In the early 90’s this type of practice was called concierges medicine,” Gorman said. “It was where some doctors decided they could be paid by the wealthy families, charging up to $10,000 per year to take care of the family.”
To meet their overhead the doctors only needed 10-15 families to sign up, Gorman said.
Gorman explained that his Direct Primary Care program was set up to be a form of concierge medicine. But Gorman has taken the idea and flipped the concept to fit, not just the very wealthy, a broad range of local patients and families. By eliminating the health insurance component from the equation, Gorman says he will be able to bring prices down and accommodate those in a more average income bracket. By taking 350-400 patients at a lower cost per month he believes that he can still provide quality service to his patients and be reimbursed for his time and effort.
For Gorman’s care he will charge $58 per month for ages 65 and older and $68 per month for individuals under age 65. A rate of $126 per month for couples and $158 per month for families is also available.
Gorman told the seniors that the monthly payments would be set up to automatically come out of their accounts automatically.
“I don’t want to have to send out statements,” Gorman said. “This way the patient knows it has been paid and I know it’s paid. It simplifies the issue.”
Gorman also made sure the seniors in attendance didn’t feel like they would be stuck with the program for a whole year if they didn’t like it. He explained that his services would be paid monthly and the patient can sign off at anytime without a penalty. The only stipulation being they can not sign back on for a years time after dropping off the program.
Gorman explained that, for the monthly fee, patients will receive a yearly check-up plus 5 visits. If the patient goes over the allotted amount of visits it only costs $20 for additional visits.
Included in the package is 24/7 access to Dr. Gorman through email and his cell phone. Through the email, patients can set up appointments, have questions answered or simply refill prescriptions.
Some seniors in attendance were concerned about getting to Mesquite for their care. In response to this Gorman said he has tossed around the idea of renting space from a medical office in Moapa Valley 1 or 2 days a month to see those with chronic illnesses and who have trouble getting to Mesquite for care.
“Most of my patients have signed up from Moapa Valley and it makes sense to schedule patients that have transportation issues on the same day in Moapa Valley and have a clinic day,” said Gorman.
For those interested in signing up for Direct Primary Care, Gorman asked for mailing addresses to send out a packet.
“I don’t want to pressure anyone into this,” he said.
Gorman explained he didn’t want packets lying around everywhere. So for those people that are interested he would gladly mail them a packet for them to look it over and decided whether it’s something they would like to do.
Gorman has had good responses from his current patients about Direct Primary Care.
“Probably 85-90% of my patients are intrigued by this or are signing up,” he said. “They see the services I will provide and they see the value in it.”