In late 2015, I gave myself a $10,000 raise by changing my healthcare provider and insurance. After extensive research, I became a part of Dr. John Davidhizar’s practice at MyMDbcs via Direct Primary Care and Liberty Health Share. When we first met, Dr. John made three promises to me. I would always be able to see him on the same day or the next business day, I would never have to sit around in the waiting room, and he would dedicate at least 30 minutes to each visit with me.
When I wrote the January article for The Eagle, I reported that Dr. John had kept each of those three promises. Since then Dr. John has moved to The Physicians Centre Hospital. Not only has the quality of his service continued to be high, but I now get the added benefit of having access to radiology services, stat lab results and other ancillary services in the same building.
However, back in January I had not had the chance to test-drive one important part of Direct Primary Care service – what would happen if I had to be hospitalized. I am here to report that I have now had that experience. Having a hospital stay is never fun, but the upside is that I can update you on what happened.
I got very sick in the spring of 2016. When I called Dr. John at 3 AM, I was fully expecting to leave a message with his answering service. What I did not anticipate is that he would personally answer the phone, sounding like he was on his second cup of coffee. On his advice, I headed to the ER. Two days later, I was in very bad shape with new symptoms. He directed me to come to a local ER, where he was working at the time. As soon as I arrived, he took over my care and ordered new labs. Feeling better, I headed home and within two hours, he instructed me to immediately head to a local hospital where he had already registered me in. As I walked in the door, the aides were waiting for me with a wheelchair. I thought that only happened to famous people.
During my entire hospital stay, Dr. John kept true to his promise of including me in his daily rounds. He was in touch with all my doctors, took the time to personally explain all lab results and post-surgery reports, and made sure I was well-informed and taken care of every step of the way. In fact, one of the nurses was so impressed by his daily visits that she asked me for his name – she had never seen this level of personal attention from a doctor before. After I was released from the hospital, Dr. John went over every one of my prescriptions, explaining when and how to take them and double-checking for possible drug interactions.
Dr. John went above and beyond what I expected from a personal care physician. A few days later, he spent nearly an hour painstakingly removing the bandage that was glued to my skin to protect the surgery site – moving carefully and slowly so as not to injure my skin or cause me any discomfort. He could have easily delegated this less than glorious task to someone else, and yet he chose to do it personally.
In the interest of full disclosure, I do have to share that among my visits to two different emergency rooms, two hospital stays and two surgeries, my medical billing was a bit messy. However, Liberty Health Share did not cause any of the messiness. In fact, the support staff at Liberty Health Share was tremendously helpful in unraveling the errors and sorting out the billing. They held my hand in everything from completing paperwork to anticipating additional questions from the hospital.
Overall, ten months into my Direct Primary Care experience I can confirm that this was the right choice for me. Dr. John has kept every one of his promises to me as a patient. He made a difficult time easier, and went above and beyond what I had expected.
In the January article, I mentioned that I expected to save $10,000 per year with my switch from traditional health insurance to a health sharing arrangement and a Direct Primary Care physician. Since then I have had two ER visits, two surgeries, two hospital stays, about a dozen visits with Dr. John and a couple additional prescriptions. I have run the numbers. My prediction was correct. I have saved $10,000. Plus I understand my health better and I feel great.
In closing, my verdict so far is that Direct Primary Care and Liberty Health Share are strong and viable alternatives to traditional health care and insurance. It has saved me a lot of money and given me more personalized health care. You might consider looking into it to see if it would be a good fit for you, too.