Direct Primary Care: Dr. Daniel Sneed
Mike Miller · Apr 30, 2015
We asked three Direct Primary Care doctors, who are also Samaritan Ministries members, to tell us about their practices and how they benefit patients. Here Dr. Daniel Sneed tells us about his practice, Direct Patient Services. You can find out more about Dr. Sneed at www.directpatientservices.com and www.facebook.com/DrDanielPSneed. We also included Dr. Sneed’s comments in the article “Member doctors adopt new model for primary care” in our May 2015 Samaritan Ministries Christian Health Care Newsletter.
How is your practice different than a typical one?
I have, in effect, kicked out the negative aspects of insurance and government interference from my office. This results in a much more efficient delivery of health care in my practice. With no insurance verification of coverage, no cumbersome coding requirements to get reimbursed, no pre-requirements before treatment, and no government audits to bully the doctor with, the doctor-patient relationship is greatly enhanced. Remember: health insurance does not equal health care.
What are some of the advantages to your practice that patients most appreciate?
My patients most appreciate the accessibility to their doctor and the value of the direct care model. My patients are able to communicate with me 24/7 by phone, text, and/or email—whatever they choose. Here’s an example: I had a patient who had a swollen eye and a rash on her face during the weekend. She took a picture of her face and texted it to me. I was able to make the diagnosis and treat her without her having to go to an emergency room. Think of the time, money and hassle she saved! All this for $50/month! Also, in regards to value, I help my noninsured members with negotiated discounts for imaging and lab work.
What are some of the problems with regulation of health care that you are able to avoid?
It is a well-known fact that doctors have to practice differently to meet government and insurance requirements. One of the worst of these is the mandate for doctors to participate in electronic medical records (EMR). EMR not only comes between the doctor and the patient during the office encounter (lack of eye contact, only half listening, paying more attention to the computer …), but it represents a serious threat to patient health confidentiality. How many times have you heard of computer systems being hacked? My paper charts are secure.
Could you elaborate on your slogan “putting the service back in health care”?
Which would you rather have: a harried doctor that you have to wait a week to see, then you wait in the waiting/exam room for well over an hour, then the doctor (which you only see for 7 minutes because he needs to see at least 25 patients/day to pay for all the staff he needs to handle all the insurance/government regulations) pays more attention to the computer than to you, who then you are unable to reach if you have questions later (which you might have since he only spent 7 minutes in the room with you!) or a relaxed doctor (who is actually enjoying practicing medicine again), with same day or next day appointments for which you literally wait 2 minutes for check-in, with the option of talking with the doctor as long as you need to get all your questions answered, who you then can access anytime later for any additional questions you might have, and all this at a totally transparent, previously agreed to monthly rate? That’s what my slogan means.
Why did you join Samaritan Ministries?
My family joined Samaritan Ministries because it best represents a well thought-out, Christian answer to our health care needs. It is also the best value we have found in any of the Christian, need-sharing options.
What has your experience been with having a need?
Our experience has been very good! We have had needs over the years, both simple and complicated. All of these needs have been handled by the staff with patience, compassion, good advice, and prayer. I recommend Samaritan Ministries to my Christian patients and church family all the time.