Employers throughout the United States have been facing a major dilemma and it’s not just the rising cost of Health Insurance. Employee accessibility to high quality primary care physicians has taken a backseat to many cost related issues, but has been a steadily growing challenge with serious implications.
Fifty years ago roughly half of America’s physicians were considered primary care doctors. Today that number is less than one third. That trend is likely to worsen as the large majority of major medical school graduates are opting to pursue specialty practices. Meanwhile, many older primary care doctors are opting for retirement out of frustration in spending more time trying to make ends meet than actually practicing medicine. It’s important to note that primary care physicians don’t just handle “simple things”. They’re highly trained and experienced in caring for chronic illnesses such as diabetes, and heart disease. With less of them, the quality of care for such conditions suffers. Chronic diseases account for 75% of every healthcare dollar spent on healthcare in America, and 1 in 5 ER visits could be avoided by having timely access to a primary care provider.
When an attempt to make an appointment with a physician typically one has to wait a month to schedule a visit. Many practices are overbooked trying to make ends meet, and you do not receive the proper care for a Minor condition which can easily turn into a Major condition requiring an Emergency Room (ER) visit. The net effect is that you are now faced with a large deductible expense versus a simple office visit copayment, for an ER visit. All avoidable if you had ACCESS to high quality Primary Care.
In an effort to thwart the primary care shortage and accessibility dilemma that is plaguing our country and, most importantly, our community, The Florida Healthcare Consortium is offering concierge Primary Care directly to Individuals as well as Employers.
Tod Mazzocco, Executive VP with McCoy Federal Credit Union, member of the Florida Healthcare Consortium, believe they’ve found a solution to this primary care dilemma via Direct Primary Care.
“McCoy FCU offers a very rich medical benefit portfolio to our employees but these benefits mean NOTHING if our employees don’t have access to the care they need,” according to Tod.
On August 1st, 2018 McCoy Federal Credit Union offered Direct Primary Care to their employees. In the first 2 months 60% of the staff has utilized our state of the art facility for their Primary Care, lab work & pharmacy needs. All occur with one stop to the nearby health center, so employees don’t have to take additional time off work to make multiple visits for lab-work, or to pick up prescriptions. The idea is to bring care “to the employee”, thus breaking down barriers to access. Patients can schedule appointments quickly through a mobile phone application, and wait times at the center are typically less than 5 minutes.
Tod added, “The employees are ecstatic to have the ability to utilize this facility which allows them to see their physician, receive lab work and up 250 generic medications all for $0; this is an actual benefit that goes beyond the offering of a health insurance plan.”
It is important to understand that there is a difference between Health CARE and Health INSURANCE. By providing direct Primary Care, over time, Individual AND Employers will save on the actual health insurance costs as unknown or chronic conditions, which could result in a large emergency room bill, will have been avoided.
The Florida Healthcare Consortium Direct Primary Care model is a patient-centered delivery model that improves access while maintaining affordability. The health center staff spends the time needed to learn about their patients’ conditions and objectively measure & monitor their results. Ultimately that means better health, better medical care, and a much reduced total cost of healthcare for all stakeholders.
Specialty Rx Program
Urgent Home Care
Primary Care Provider
Born in Maryland, James spent most of his childhood in Mountain Top, Pennsylvania, where he lived with his mother, two brothers, and sister. He attended Misericordia University for his Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Mr. Carpenter worked as an Emergency Medical Technician, a Lifeguard, and a Nursing Aide during that time. Shortly after completing his degree, he moved to Orlando, Florida, where he trained as an emergency room nurse. James loved his chosen career, but early on noticed the impact of long, stressful hours on his colleagues, which was primarily due to hospital administrators always demanding more work for the same pay. Early on, he saw that greed had taken over the healthcare system, which had a detrimental impact on everyone involved.
He traveled around to a few different cities and found that burnout was everywhere- patients, families, and staff were suffering. In his travels, Mr. Carpenter was also fortunate to meet many talented individuals, people who went above and beyond without asking for anything in return. These people who challenged him and made him want more for himself pushed him to become a Nurse Practitioner. After ten years of working for a fractured health care system, one that thrives on its members’ illness, Nurse Practitioner James finally decided it was time for a drastic change.
During the COVID epidemic, James stumbled upon a new care model that would open his eyes to the possibility of a model that fostered health rather than burnout- Direct Primary Care. He would utilize this new model, but tailor memberships to fit the individual, leading to significantly reduced healthcare costs. The integration of medicine with technology ensures that patients have continuous access to their providers from wherever they may end up. James hopes to create a healthcare system where people no longer have to choose between buying dinner and receiving excellent health care. It is time to put humanity back in health care. Together, we can build a healthier, happier tomorrow.