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GOOD TIMES

Dr. Cathleen Hood

Dr. K aren O ttenstein

Making patients

primary

Talk with your doctor or any doctor practicing in the United States and it won’t be long before the subject of insurance comes up. Many doctors will tell you that the hoops through Greg which a medical practitioner must jump – the Jones paperwork, bureaucracy, and electronic data mining between the doctor and the insurance company – is easily the most onerous aspect of their chosen profession. The hours spent on red tape are not “billable hours,” either. At least not directly. You will not see that item on your insurance EOB, the explanation of benefits, but it is there, and it is considerable. The time that doctors spend doing insurance paperwork is “baked into” the cost of medical care, and it raises the cost of everything. More importantly, it diminishes their time with you, the patient. Additionally, the insurance company is now often the party that makes decisions as to treatment methods. Logic would lead one to think that decisions on medical care should be made by the patient, in partnership with the attending physician. That is not always the case. The insurance company can dictate testing and

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S ou th C oast P r ime T imes

treatments, often based on a cost/benefit algorithm derived from large studies.

Primary Care Partnership is just like any medical practice, with one very important difference: they do not work with insurance companies

M arch /A pr il 2018

With this is mind, and in an effort to restore ownership of medical decisionmaking to the doctor-patient relationship, two doctors have launched a medical practice with care based on a business model known as Direct Primary Care. Dr. Cathleen Hood and Dr. Karen Ottenstein converted their existing family medicine practice at 793 Main Road in Westport, Primary Care Partnership, to the new model in October.

Cutting red tape In some ways, Primary Care Partnership is just like any medical practice, with one very important difference: they do not work with insurance companies. With Direct Primary Care (DPC) there is no third party (the insurance company) standing between, and sometimes getting in the way of, the patient and the doctor. "DPC allows us to hew to our pledge that ‘the care of the individual patient will ever be our first concern,’” said Dr. Hood. “I suppose you could say it respects the tradition of the Hippocratic Oath.” Primary Care Partnership, with its DPC model, more nearly resembles the days when one had a family doctor. The physician knew all the patients and provided

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South Coast Prime Times March/April 2018  

The time has come to put our bulkiest jackets back in the closet. Unless you’re heading inland or to the mountains, you are just now waking...

South Coast Prime Times March/April 2018  

The time has come to put our bulkiest jackets back in the closet. Unless you’re heading inland or to the mountains, you are just now waking...