DPC Q&A: Dr. Jeffrey Davenport focuses on his patients
Mike Miller · May 18, 2016
Dr. Jeffrey Davenport has experienced the freedom and efficiency of his own direct primary care medical practice, One Focus Medical, since April 2014. He has 500 patients in his Edmond, Oklahoma, practice, tended to by himself and his nurse, Quesha. Dr. Davenport, his wife, Christine, and their two daughters have been Samaritan members since May 2015. We asked the doctor about the advantages of a DPC.
How is One Focus Medical different than a typical physician’s practice?
The average primary care doctor has 3,000 patients, sees 25 patients per day, about 15 minutes per patient, and spends 30-35% of their time on insurance-based paperwork.
At One Focus Medical, we will have about 600-700 patients, see an average of 6 or 7 per day. Our short visits are 30 minutes, and I only have to deal with insurance paperwork a few minutes per day. Also because it’s a membership-style practice, I take care of my patients after hours and weekends for emergencies rather than sending them to urgent care or afterhours clinics.
Why did you call it One Focus Medical? Why does your web site say it’s the “New Standard in Family Care”?
The “One Focus” that has been lost over the years is the patient-doctor relationship. Most PCPs (primary care physicians) have to hear a history, do an exam, make a diagnosis and treatment plan, review any testing needed, document either by hand or computer all of the minutia required for payment of the visit in 15 minutes. That leads to running patients rapidly through the office like an assembly line. They must see 12-14 patients per day just to cover their overhead. So how can a doc get to know or develop a rapport in that scenario?
One Focus Medical eliminates all of that. Our slogan is actually somewhat amusing since the “New Standard” is actually a throwback to the way things used to be. Extended 30- to 60-minute visits (or longer), home visits (if necessary), access by phone and text (including afterhours and weekends). Time to get to know your family doctor. Kinda sounds like the good ol’ days.
How do cash-pay patients, such as Samaritan members, benefit?
Essentially joining a membership practice like One Focus Medical allows Samaritan members to have a fixed, constant fee for all of their primary care needs. We don’t rush in and out so we have time to consider cost-benefit of any test or therapy. We use other cash-pay services that offer much better rates than typical insurance-based and hospital-employed PCPs would use.
We sell medications and lab out of the office at cost. These savings can be significant for Samaritan patients, and on more than one occasion, have saved enough money to actually pay for the monthly membership fee.
We also treat many things here that other PCPs will refer out. Those other PCPs have the same skills we have here, they just don’t have the TIME. They only have time to take care of a couple of things and then ZIP! there they go to the next room. The studies suggest that a rushed physician will order more tests, make more referrals, and cost more than a PCP that has time will.
Do you accept insurance, including Medicare and Medicaid? If not, why not?
Thankfully, no. I take care of many Medicare patients and even quite a few Medicaid patients because they just can’t get the care they want or deserve from other “busy” PCPs. The biggest reason to not take Medicare/Medicaid is because of all the administrative burden caused by taking those payers. We would have to hire multiple staff just to manage all of the documentation, prior authorizations, coding, and billing issues that come with those payers. That doesn’t help patient care. That just overburdens the doc and the office staff with things that don’t help patients be healthy.
What do you understand the difference between direct practice and concierge practice to be?
There is an unwritten rule in Direct Primary Care (DPC): if the membership fee for a family is less than the average cell phone bill for a family, then that is probably considered affordable.
The biggest difference in concierge and DPC is simply price. Concierge docs cater to the wealthier folks. DPC, on the other hand, is very affordable for the huge majority of the population.
Many concierge doctors also still file insurance and collect co-pays, even after the large membership fee. By definition, DPC practices do not file insurance claims.
More than anything it’s the access. I tell folks that I get paid to TAKE CARE of patients instead of getting paid to SEE patients. What I mean is that I can treat a lot of things over the phone, by text, or e-mail. I educate, counsel, recommend, review tests, labs, translate into English what the specialist said, etc., all without a visit. I treat patients in other states when they’re traveling. We don’t tell patients “we cannot see you today.” Then there is the afterhours coverage instead of rolling the dice with the ER or afterhours clinic.
What are some of the problems with regulation of health care that you are able to avoid by having a direct practice?
I don’t spend 3 hours per day doing nonpatient care paperwork. No billing, coding, worthless documentation just to prove I should get paid for the visit.
Also I don’t have to hire multiple staff and pay a billing agency to keep up with the constant rule changes and collect thousands of claims per year. When I was in private practice I had to see 12½ patients per day 5 days per week 48 weeks per year just to BREAK EVEN. That is why traditional docs see 25 patients per day.
Why did you join Samaritan Ministries?
I joined Samaritan Ministries as a patient because they don’t share little things like office visits and X-rays. They share big things like surgeries, hospitalization, major illnesses. That decision makes Samaritan very cost effective since a significant percentage of insurance claims are primary care based. Samaritan eliminates that, saving each individual or family hundreds in monthly shares.
Add on the Christ-based principles, like-minded members, and inclusion as appropriate coverage under the Affordable Care Act, and it cannot be beaten for Christian families looking for a smarter way to get health care coverage.