When it comes to quality of life measures, Louisiana ranks near last in every category – especially health-related categories like life expectancy, and rates of diabetes, cancer, hypertension and heart disease. And we have some of the worst outcomes of any state in the U.S. But entrepreneurially-minded medical and health experts are trying to help address this by using new models of health care delivery, and coming up with inventive ways to engage underserved communities.
Dr. Charles Sasser is a primary care doctor based here in Baton Rouge, whose practice, Sasser Direct Primary Care, represents a new and intriguing business model for health care delivery. Instead of a traditional fee-for-service model – where a doctor’s visit or hospital stay is paid for primarily by a third party like an insurance company – with Direct Primary Care, you join the group, pay a monthly fee that, depending on your age might be $50 or $75, and then when you need to see the doctor, you schedule and that’s it. No co pay, no bills! And labs and tests cost you the wholesale rate.
Yes, it’s the much-discussed “affordable healthcare” that is actually is affordable.
With healthcare costs skyrocketing and insurance rates increasing by double digits every year, the DPC model is growing around the country and could be the wave of the future. If it’s so sensible, why isn’t everyone doing it? Charles Sasser explains.
Ellen McKnight Hill is a registered dietician and public health advocate with The Maxine Firm, a nutrition, wellness and public health firm, whose primary objective is chronic disease prevention in urban and rural communities. The firm offers a variety of services including seminars, webinars and other community outreach efforts to bring wellness and nutrition education to those who may not know how to integrate healthy eating and regular exercise into their daily lives. Ellen is a principal with the firm and one of its founders. She’s also a part of the mayor’s Healthy City Initiative and an Adjunct Nutrition Professor at Baton Rouge Community College.