Dr. Joel Bessmer started Strada soon after the Nebraska Legislature unanimously adopted a law in 2016 opening the door for direct primary care practices. Currently three providers — a doctor and two physician assistants — practice at Strada’s main office south of 90th Street and West Dodge Road and in an office in Council Bluffs.
New primary care model lets patients skip insurance claims and copays, pay doctor directly
With her allergies showing no signs of letting up, Lené Larson met recently with her physician at Strada Healthcare. Dr. Barry Ford offered options, including trying a different over-the-counter antihistamine and adding one at night. If that didn’t help, there was a test they could try. He also assured her that she could contact him with health concerns from overseas on an upcoming trip. And she left without paying a copay. Six months in, Larson says she’s pleased with her family’s membership with Strada, which operates under a relatively new model called “direct primary care.” Under the arrangement, patients pay a monthly membership fee to their doctor, generally under $100 a person. Patients, in turn, get their primary care needs met, all without having to file insurance claims, meet deductibles or pay copays. Patients generally get longer appointments and increased access to their health care providers through unlimited visits and contacts via cellphone, text, websites or secure apps.