Business

STARTUP: Topeka doctor opening practice that won’t take insurance.

Jennifer Harader decided it was time for a change when she felt she had to spend more time satisfying insurers than her patients.

Harader will open Oasis Family Medicine Associates in March. It will provide most of the same services as any other family medical practice, but won’t accept insurance or charge a fee for each visit, she said.

Instead, “members” will pay a monthly fee of $50 for someone aged 19 to 44, $75 for a person aged 45 to 64 and $100 for someone 65 or older. Families can add children 18 and younger to their membership for $10 per child. That fee will cover as many office visits as a person needs, Harader said.

“They can have access to the office for any kind of appointment,” she said.

Dr. Harader is an established Family Medicine physician in the community and has worked as an employed provider for St. Francis Health in Topeka for the last seven years. She graduated from the University of Kansas School of Medicine and completed her residency at The Washington Hospital, Washington, PA, where she served as Chief Resident. She is Board Certified in Family Medicine, is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians and holds a license in good standing with the Kansas State Board of Healing Arts.

Dr. Harader is an established Family Medicine physician in the community and has worked as an employed provider for St. Francis Health in Topeka for the last seven years. She graduated from the University of Kansas School of Medicine and completed her residency at The Washington Hospital, Washington, PA, where she served as Chief Resident. She is Board Certified in Family Medicine, is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians and holds a license in good standing with the Kansas State Board of Healing Arts.

Patients also will have her email address and cellphone number so they can reach her at any time, Harader said. That will make service more convenient if a patient has a routine concern and doesn’t want to take time off work for an appointment, for example, she said.

Harader said she and other providers will schedule patients so that they aren’t likely to have to wait for their appointments. An average visit probably will take 30 to 60 minutes, more than double the 15 minutes doctors in traditional practices normally get with patients, and most people should be able to get appointments within one or two days, she said.

They can do that by taking fewer patients than a traditional practice, Harader said. The practice where she previously worked assigned about 3,500 patients to each provider, but she and any other providers who join Oasis will have only 600 to 800 patients, she said.

Not taking insurance also means they won’t have to spend time going through questions that the insurance company wants answered, but which don’t address the patient’s concerns or what the doctor knows she should focus on, Harader said. Insurers also often have their own preauthorization protocols that make it difficult to prescribe the treatment she thought best for a patient, she said.

“My agenda of what screenings the patient needs can get met and the patient’s agenda of their concerns can get met,” she said. “There’s no third agenda in the room.”

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The practice will start with just herself and a nurse, Harader said, though she expects additional providers to join as more patients sign up. She or the nurse will greet patients at the reception area and answer questions by phone, she said.

“The goal with direct primary care is to be very lean,” she said.

The practice will have some onsite lab services, Harader said. Patients can get their blood drawn at the office, though the actual testing will be done elsewhere through a contract, she said. She estimated a cholesterol screening would cost about $6.

“Our patients who are members can get their blood drawn here, and we’ll have the lab done at wholesale cost,” she said.

The onsite pharmacy will offer common generic medications, Harader said, and they can order less-common medications. Patients also could go to another pharmacy and use prescription insurance coverage if they chose, she said.

Though patients won’t use insurance for their primary care visits, Harader said she will recommend that her patients buy a “major medical” policy to cover emergency room visits and hospital stays. They won’t have X-ray services onsite, but are working with nearby offices to offer low-cost imaging, she said.

Oasis will be in a remodeled financial services office at 2850 S.W. Mission Woods Drive. The first patients are scheduled for March 2, Harader said. For more information, call (785) 286-6816, email DrHarader@OasisFamilyMedicine.net or visit OasisFamilyMedicine.net.

SOURCE: http://cjonline.com/news/business/2015-02-21/topeka-doctor-opening-practice-wont-take-insurance

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