DR. MOLLY RUTHERFORD MD, MPH
Direct Primary Care (DPC) is an innovative model that is growing in popularity in the United States. Unlike other self-pay or “concierge” medical practices, DPC is affordable for anyone. If you can afford a smartphone, you can afford to invest in high quality, convenient, and comprehensive healthcare. In a traditional primary care practice, office visits are expensive, with most of the cost attributable to administrative overhead, due to burdensome insurance paperwork and government regulations. Paying a membership fee to your physician allows him/her to limit the patient panel, and thus spend more time with you at your appointment and interact with you via email and phone.
If you are out of town and get sick, you can contact your physician to determine whether you need to see someone immediately or if you can wait a few days. When you do need to be seen, you can get a same day appointment with your physician, who knows you. In a traditional practice, often there is a 2 week wait to see a physician. So, you must see a nurse practitioner or visit an urgent care. Evaluations by providers who do not know you well can lead to overtreatment and unnecessary costs.
In a traditional primary care practice, physicians do not have time to communicate with patients directly over the phone and do not get paid to offer advice online or over the phone. For this reason, they are reluctant to help you with your problem without an in-person visit. If you are able to schedule a visit in a timely fashion, you inevitably must take time from work to visit a crowded office and wait hours to see your doctor for 3 minutes…often to be told that you have a “viral illness.” Understandably, you might feel like you have wasted your time. In contrast, Dr. Rutherford is available to speak to you on the phone and if a visit is warranted, she will schedule you and spend as much time as necessary to diagnose and treat your problem.
Since Bluegrass Family Wellness dispenses medications from the office, you also save money on prescriptions. We order the medications wholesale and pass that savings onto you. In some cases, a monthly supply of medication can cost hundreds of dollars at a pharmacy and only $3 at Bluegrass Family Wellness. Common labs are provided at cost as well, and certain labs and tests, such as EKG, lung testing, and strep/flu tests are included in your monthly fee. Also included are minor surgeries and joint injections. Any specialist referrals or hospitalizations will be covered by your insurance plan, and we will help you find an affordable insurance plan with appropriate coverage. Since our doctors are available by email and phone, you should not need to visit the ER or urgent care except in “true” emergencies, such as chest pain, which requires EMS transportation.
If you have an HSA or FSA, use it to pay your monthly fee.