DPC Q&A with Dr. Evelyn Anderson of Anderson Family Medicine
Samaritan staff · Feb 19, 2018
Because of the lack of the human connection in the medical industry, Dr. Evelyn Kelly Anderson converted Anderson Family Medicine, her solo practice, into Union County’s first direct primary care in Monroe, North Carolina, in October 2015. No longer hindered by government and insurance demands, Dr. Anderson is able to fulfill her mission of giving each of her 500 patients the time and attention they deserve.
Her practice's slogan, "Healthcare with a Heart," is rooted in her recognition that everyone is created in the image of God. With that mindset, she treats each one of her patients as a real person, something she was unable to do when her patient load was at 4,000 people. She knows all of her patients by name and face, and some she even knows by voice. Dr. Anderson, along with her husband, Keith, and their 8-year-old son, has been a Samaritan member since 2016.
She kindly agreed to answer some questions for us.
How is your practice different from a typical one?
Anderson Family Medicine, P.A., is a Direct Primary Care (DPC) practice. DPC is a modern version of the traditional patient-physician relationship. Specifically, the physician provides the patient with medical care, without any insurance or government involvement. The doctor sets a fixed fee for that care and the patient pays this charge directly to the physician. In exchange, the physician provides services whenever the need arises, including on weekends and holidays, after-hours and even at home for urgent matters. There are no additional co-pays or other charges for ordinary care. Routine lab work and many generic medications are covered by the set fee and many in-office procedures are also covered. Care is typically provided at the office but can include phone/e-mail/text/Skype or FaceTime or even visits to assisted living facilities or nursing homes under special circumstances. The number of patients is small, less than 500, compared with a typical patient panel of 3,000-3,500 or more. This ensures a more personalized, higher level of professional care.
What are some of the advantages to your practice that patients most appreciate?
Patients most appreciate the relationship that I have with them. I know all by face and name and many by voice alone. They are able to reach me directly for their health care needs and know that I am only a call away. Many know that I was educated at Yale University for medical school and locally in Charlotte for residency and that I am certified by the American Board of Family Medicine and have been in practice in North Carolina since 1993. So they know that my credentials are legitimate and that I am competent and capable. They like that I am their "family" doctor and that I know their history and may even be the doctor for other family members. They love the convenience of same-day/next-day appointments.
What are some of the problems with regulation of health care that you are able to avoid by having a DPC?
Current practice models present multiple challenges for small, solo physicians. Based on volume, these models reward doctors for the number of patients seen, not the quality of care given. Government and private insurers (like Blue Cross Blue Shield, United Healthcare, Medicare ...) interfered with my ability to give my patients my time and full attention. Often, a new patient must be seen every 15 minutes during a 10-hour workday to help make administrative ends meet and keep the practice running in the black. Also, declining reimbursements, increasing regulations.
Could you elaborate on your slogan “Healthcare with a Heart”?
"Healthcare with a Heart" speaks to the compassion and kindness that I extend to patients. In fact, patients are considered real people here and are more than just medical record numbers or ways to make more money. I show my true humanity and I treat everyone like a family member, gaining their confidence and trust to help them achieve their health care goals. I recognize that we are all created equal in God's image and view my profession as a calling.
Why did you join Samaritan Ministries?
I joined Samaritan Ministries after seeing it advertised at a DPC conference in Kansas City. My husband and I had been looking for and praying for an alternative to our overpriced, low-value BCBS policy. Samaritan Ministries has been an answer to those prayers.
What has your experience been with having a need?
We have not yet had a need but feel blessed to be a part of such a wonderful concept of neighbor helping neighbor.
Find a direct primary care doctor near you through resources linked to on this page.