A new healthcare model eliminating the middleman between providers and patients is sweeping the country, and Grace Family Medicine Direct Primary Care of Wellington, the first example of the subscription service providing medical care with a nurse practitioner and a physician, opened recently in the community.
“This is like a health movement that is new with the public, and it’s gaining a lot of steam across the U.S.,” said Carlos Poveda a seasoned healthcare administrator, who operates the practice with his wife Jessica Poveda, a nurse practitioner, and his father Dr. Leon Poveda, a family medicine and internal medicine physician. “Our families have been in healthcare for a long time,” Jessica added.
Carlos explained that healthcare providers want to take back control of healthcare and put it into the hands of the patients and the providers.
“We have seen changes that we don’t really like because the landscape is creating a lot of barriers for patients as far as obtaining quality, affordable healthcare,” he said. “And for the provider side, barriers to actually providing that kind of personalized care.”
That is when they decided as a family to find out what we they could do to actually practice medicine in a better way.
The approach of direct primary care, known as DPC, offers subscriptions to a medical practice with primary care covered by the subscription and other services available at a reduced rate from insurance co-pays and deductibles.
“The membership-based model is pretty straight forward,” Carlos said. “It removes the middleman, so we don’t bill insurance, and that’s good. We contract directly with the patient to deliver comprehensive primary care with discounts on labs, imaging services and a growing network of specialists. But most importantly, what they get is our time, the opportunity to build a relationship with us, and the providers have time to really dig into the patient’s conditions and goals.”
He was quick to explain the difference between DPC and what is known as “concierge medicine.”
“Distinct from concierge medicine, which is more expensive, charges a retainer and bills insurance, DPC allows us to have that relationship with our patients, and it’s affordable. Our plans start at $50 a month, and $100 a month is the maximum for 65 and up,” Carlos said. “We have families with two teenagers and subscription rates of $200 a month.”
The goal is to keep the service affordable. “Because our pricing is just right, it’s accessible to most people, who want personalized care with 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week access to their medical provider, same or next day appointments, extended visits of 30 minutes to an hour, and the ability to talk, text, video chat or message the doctor,” Jessica said. “Insurance is not required, although 90 percent of our patients have a high-deductible, more affordable or a catastrophic plan if they have to go to the hospital. It just makes financial sense for so many people.”
What they don’t want to see are patients delaying care because they can’t meet their deductible.
“American families are getting priced out with so many health insurance plans,” Carlos said. “I always say health insurance does not equal healthcare.”
The Povedas are proud residents of Wellington. “We are growing our family here. We live in Wellington. We are here for the long-term to establish a family-owned and operated business that brings quality and value to our fellow residents,” Carlos said. “We’re very much involved in the community.”
“Our kids are going to school here, we’re part of nonprofit boards, we coach our kids’ basketball teams,” Jessica noted.
Establishing a new type of medical practice does have its challenges.
“It has been a challenging journey because it’s the first time many people are hearing about DPC,” Carlos said. “Education is a big aspect of our marketing.”
He also added a little background on the name Grace Family Medicine.
“Our faith does not affect how we treat any patient,” Carlos said. “Grace, to us, is an unmerited gift from God. That’s why we started this business here in Wellington because we know it’s going to bring a lot of value to everyone.”
Grace Family Medicine Direct Primary Care of Wellington is located in the Wellington Plaza at 12785 W. Forest Hill Blvd., Suite 8E. For more information, call (561) 331-5155 or visit www.dpcwellington.com.