DPC Q&A: Dr. Chad Savage hopes to "restore sanity" to doctor-patient relationship

Kathryn Nielson

Better care for less money was Dr. Chad Savage’s goal when he opened YourChoice Direct Care in 2015 in Brighton, Michigan, after spending 12 years in insurance-based medical practice.

The monthly membership fee covers unlimited office visits, annual wellness exams, basic office procedures, in-office testing, treatment of acute illness, and 24/7/365 access to your doctor via telemedicine, all with minimal wait times in the office. And, with some medications as low as $2 and X-rays as low as $37, it’s clear he has accomplished his goals.

While most primary care physicians have 2,500 to 3,500 patients, Dr. Savage and his partner, Dr. Naomi Pearsall-Cook, limit themselves to 1,000 patients each.

“Our goal is to keep you healthy by restoring the sanctity of the doctor-patient relationship,” he says on his website. “We have the time necessary to get to know you, identify your health needs and develop individualized wellness plans and appropriate treatment options that are mutually agreeable.”

Dr. Savage and his wife, Roberta, and their two children live in Milford, Michigan.

Here are his responses to some questions we asked regarding his practice.

How is your practice different than a typical one?

At YourChoice Direct Care, we practice Direct Primary Care (DPC). This model of medical care is an innovative model of primary care that for an inexpensive monthly membership (starting as low as $39.99) includes all their primary care office visits (no co-pays), deeply discounted generic medications, labs, imaging, telemedicine and same- or next-day accessibility for sick appointments. 

What are some of the advantages to your practice that patients most appreciate?

There are numerous advantages. One is the knowledge that your doctor works for you. Because of this you know your doctor has your best interest in mind and is not being coerced by the payment model of the insurance company. 

Also, 75 to 80 percent of medical care occurs in primary care offices. Membership (in YourChoice Direct Care) includes not only all primary care office visits but also discounted meds, labs and imaging. When combined with a cost-effective health care option like Samaritan, a patient can save thousands of dollars every year on their medical costs compared to accessing care through an expensive and intrusive insurance company. 

Most significantly, the ability to directly access their doctor via telemedicine (email, text, Skype, etc.) opens up a whole new world of opportunities to access care. 

What are some of the problems with regulation of health care that you are able to avoid by having a DPC?

In DPC, we are able to circumvent a huge amount of insurance and governmental bureaucratic burden that had doubled the cost of running our practice and necessitated the "run-run" feel of the traditional, overbooked insurance-based medical practice. By avoiding all these costs and distractions, we are able to schedule patients in 30- to 60-minute slots to more fully address all their medical concerns in a relaxed setting. 

Could you elaborate on your slogan “Our Name Says It All”?

In the insurance-driven health care system, the decisions of the patient have been relegated to the back burner. Tiered approval processes, restrictive formularies, and prior authorizations replace patient desires and decision-making. “YourChoice Direct Care ‘Our Name Says It All’" means our patients are put back in control. The patient returns to their rightful position as the center of what we do. Basically it becomes "Your Choice." 

Why did you join Samaritan Ministries?

Years ago, when I left my hospital-employed position, I looked at health care options. I knew what was happening in the insurance-based practice of medicine and wanted to avoid it. When I learned how cost-effective Samaritan was and the fact that it stressed Biblical principles, it was a no-brainer to switch over.  

What has your experience been with having a need?

In three years of being Samaritan members, we have actually been so blessed as to never have a need.

 Looking for a DPC doctor? This may help.

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