The direct primary care model of providing medical care has grown steadily in the last decade. In this model, insurance companies and other middlemen are removed, providing patients with quicker and easier access to their primary care provider. Clients pay a monthly membership fee instead of using insurance. Additional costs such as medications, lab work and procedures are transparent and provided at wholesale price.
“Providing insurance for employees is great, but that’s not necessarily providing care,” said Command Family Medicine Founder Dr. Luke Van Kirk. “Just because you have insurance doesn’t mean you get the care you need, when you need it and at the price you can afford.”
Dr. Van Kirk said a membership with Command Family Medicine guarantees employee care for illness or injury, usually on the same day and sometimes without even having to visit the office in person. “Fewer work hours are wasted with our model.” In some simpler injury instances, workers’ compensation claims can even be avoided.
Dr. Van Kirk said the model works especially well for employers who have self-funded insurance plans. “Those employers are paying a majority of employee claims right out of their pocket. With our membership, we can help them avoid things like urgent care for simple issues, we can get better prices on labs and prescriptions. That works out as instant savings for that company.” He noted that companies have seen up to a 60% decrease in health care spending.
Dr. Luke Van Kirk founded Command Family Medicine in Springfield in 2015 and opened a Branson location January 2021. Businesses of any size can sign on to use Command Family Medicine as their direct primary care provider.
Along with signing up more businesses as direct primary care clients, Command Family Medicine is recruiting doctors who are ready for a change. Dr. Van Kirk said many doctors are burned out from working in large corporate hospitals and are leaving to join direct primary care clinics for the freedom they provide along with competitive salary offerings, especially as more large employers traditional insurance plans for direct primary care.
“Since we do not charge for visits, we are not motivated to get as many people through the door as possible, but instead keep them healthy and take care of them in ways that are more convenient,” said Dr. Van Kirk. “Primary care can be very affordable without insurance and the healthier we can keep people, the better for all of us. Our goal is to be able to get patients in for appointments quickly and spend as much time with them as is necessary.”
Adrianna Norris became a first-time business owner with the opening of Finley River Chiropractic; PaPPo’s Pizzeria & Pub launched its newest location; and Huey Magoo’s opened its second store in the Ozarks.