The other day, I was at a business-to-business marketing event in which I had to give my one-minute elevator pitch for CovenantMD, six times over. I always love the reactions I get. “I feel like I should give you a standing ovation,” said one attendee. Another said, “I’ve never heard of doctors doing such a thing! That’s amazing!” It’s fun living outside the box.
CovenantMD is a Direct Primary Care practice. For a detailed, three-blog-post explanation of exactly what that is, see here, here, and here. For a more concise answer, I now offer you my one minute pitch. (Sip of water.) Here goes:
“I’m Patrick Rohal, and I’m a family doctor. I started CovenantMD in January, 2016 on a premise, which is, ‘When it comes to the common, less expensive things in healthcare, health insurance hinders more than it helps.’ So what would happen if we remove health insurance from our primary care experience? At CovenantMD, we do something called Direct Primary Care. We don’t bill health insurance. Instead, our patients pay us a monthly fee, anywhere from $10/month for kids up to $80/month for seniors. Our patients then enjoy many benefits which I group under ACCESS, VALUE, and TIME:
- In terms of ACCESS, our patients enjoy unlimited visits to the doctor with no copay. We have same and next day availability. We do housecalls and worksite visits at no additional charge. Our patients can call us on our cell phones, text us, or email us. We are on call 24/7 for our patients. That includes evenings, holidays, and weekends.
- In terms of VALUE, our patients enjoy discounted medications (often priced 95% off of wholesale), which we dispense from a pharmacy right in our office. They enjoy substantial discounts on labwork (for example, we can check a complete blood count, or CBC, for $2). There is no additional cost for procedures, like stitches.
- In terms of TIME, our patients get all the time they need with their doctor. This is the key ingredient in the doctor/patient relationship. It’s not unusual for me to spend 90 minutes with a patient at her first visit.
Our patients get all of these benefits for less than the price of cable. They can then reserve their health insurance for the less common, more expensive things. Isn’t that the definition of ‘insurance’? Let's simplify primary care."
So there you have it. Direct Primary Care in one minute.
Patrick Rohal, MD, FAAFP is a family doctor and the founder of CovenantMD, a Direct Primary Care practice in Lancaster, PA. He lives in Landisville with his wife, Lynn and three kids.