Vance Lassey, MD is the President of the Direct Primary Care Alliance and Owner/CEO/Family Physician of Holton Direct Care. As a DPC physician, Vance would like to see the DPC movement grow, but not at the expense of the quality of care or integrity of DPC clinicians. Dr. Lassey states that in “the free market, value is everything.”
If the value proposition is right in DPC, it’s a win-win for everyone involved including patients, the DPC practice, referred specialists, associated vendors, employers, TPAs, brokers, and self-funded insurers. Vance Lassey, MD emphasizes that middlemen are not always necessary as his practice, Holton Direct Care is completely retail focused. Holton Direct Care has 2 locations, both in rural Kansas, each 3,000 square feet and 5 clinical practitioners in total, built with no debt in less than 6 years.
Advocating for direct primary care to remain true to its origins while it expands, Dr. Lassey reminds the audience of the advantages of being a DPC doctor, which includes appointment times of 30-60 minutes and patient panels of less than 700 rather than on the inside of the fee-for-service system, which often only allows 7-8 minutes for appointments with patient panels of well over 1000. Volume pushes “watered down care” where physicians have to cut corners to keep up with everything and therefore are unable to establish strong relationships with patients, have high continuity of care, or learn and relearn information to help patients instead of immediately referring to more costly care with specialists. Direct primary care also expands access giving patients the opportunity to have open communication with their physician via text, phone calls and email.
The beauty of DPC is the ability and freedom to create value beyond the standard of care. Vance Lassey, MD encourages the audience to be different and to be available by emotionally investing in your patients and getting out of your comfort zone to learn procedures and add services. He references incision and drainage, skin biopsy, lesion excision, orthopedic procedures/casting and more as procedures direct primary doctors can get comfortable with and conduct.
Other services that DPC clinicians can offer may include weight loss, nutrition counseling, prenatal care, phlebotomy/lab, migraine therapy, IV therapy and testing such as sleep apnea, metabolic screening, cardiac monitoring, or spirometry. All of this strengthens the value proposition that a DPC offers and there are rewards that will surely follow. Dr. Lassey shares a story of how a patient of his, a 7-year-old girl suffered a 2-bone fracture in her forearm and he got her arm splinted and she did great. He saved at least $10,000 for the family of this young girl.
Dr. Lassey challenges DPCs to be more active and assures that it’s possible to build a practice and acquire 500-600 patients in less than a year because he did it and has seen others do the same. Watch this video to get more personal anecdotes and thoughts on how to grow your DPC practice.