BLACKFOOT — The business model for Peak Family Medicine is a return to practicing medicine the old-fashioned way in modern times.
It has a staff of three, consisting of Dr. Bryce Moser, D.O., family nurse practitioner Daniel Barney, and nurse Brianne Mecham. None of them are above handling any of the office duties, down to answering the phone.
The facility is a Direct Primary Care (DPC) clinic. What makes the business more unique these days comes down to a couple of areas: they don’t deal with medical insurance plans, instead they offer membership pricing of $65 per month with an additional $10 a month for children ages 0-18 with at least one adult , or there’s a cash price per visit for non-members, so clients pay the provider directly; plus, they offer house calls.
Peak Family Medicine has been open going on three weeks at 1495 Parkway Dr., Ste. C, in Blackfoot.
What’s helped push along the DPC concept nationwide, according to Barney, is the “mess” in the current system between insurance providers and mandates from the government.
“There are so many hoops you have to jump through, it all adds to the cost,” Barney said. “I like the (DPC) concept. Financially, it’s more responsible. We’re cutting out the middle man in our practice.
“We’re not enemies to the insurance companies. I have insurance myself, it’s important to have for catastrophes. But we save both patients and providers money in the long run because their insurance companies will never see a bill from us that they have to handle, and for the patients, their primary care is taken care of.”
Barney lives in Shelley, but he’s a 2004 Blackfoot High School graduate who says he’d like to come back to Blackfoot.
He says the business model for DPCs is simple, going back to the old days.
Memberships include a family atmosphere with personalized extended visits and plenty of time to ask questions; unlimited visits per month for primary care, urgent care, urgent visits, and wellness checks; increased availability through same-day or next-day appointments, minimal wait times, text messaging, phone calls, video chats, email, and home visits; and honest, up-front pricing, something Barney believes in strongly.
“So many people go in for care not knowing what the price is for the care they receive, because the insurance pays for it,” he said. “Here, we will tell people how much they can expect to pay.”
The clinic offers a variety of procedures in-house, and prices for those procedures even for non-members are well below traditional practices, Barney said.
They recommend that people keep their insurance with a membership. They expect to help with 95 percent of healthcare needs, but if there’s a need for a specialist, surgery, or spending time in the hospital, insurance is recommended.
“Our lower prices come from cutting out overhead,” he noted. “We keep our staff at a bare minimum. Because we have separated from the big entities, we can make visits at home. People can send a photo of any condition they have from their cell phone if they’re a member, and we can give treatment that way. That saves a tremendous amount of time.”
Barney said there are a few thousand DPC clinics across the country, and anyone can visit any doctor that’s a part of the organization. DPC clinics can be found online at dpcfrontier.com.
He added that the DPC movement hasn’t quite caught on in this area, and Peak Family Medicine itself has less than 50 members in its opening weeks. But the clinic doesn’t want to expand membership at the cost of quality care.
“We see 5-10 patients a day,” he said. “We’ll be capping it at a few hundred members each. We want to know for sure we’re going to have time to see our patients. The average provider sees a few thousand patients. The DPC model puts the power back in the patient’s hands.”
Barney said he wanted to jump in to the movement locally with Moser because he has more experience and, he said, Moser was excited about the idea.
“This is a wonderful way to practice medicine, there’s a lot less red tape and more freedom,” he added. “For the patients, it gives them more time to see a doctor, there’s more accessibility. When something comes up, they can get it taken care of.”