Beyond Primary Care Makes Comprehensive Healthcare Affordable
By Doug Marrin, STN Reporter
Dr. Jeff O’Boyle and Dr. Janelle Lindow want you well, affordably so.
In what has become a life mission to make comprehensive health care affordable, O’Boyle and Lindow have opened Beyond Primary Care (BPC), their Ann Arbor clinic that does just that.
“We started back in October 2018 with a simple goal of delivering affordable and accessible personalized health care,” says Dr. O’Boyle. “What I see and have personally experienced in the health insurance system is a gap between the health care given and what people can afford.”
Dr. Lindow notes that at BPC, the patients’ needs determine their healthcare and not insurance provisions. “I spend my time with my patients making medical decisions that we agree as a team is the best, not what insurance companies or hospital systems which don't know me or my patients decide are best.”
“Our goal here at the clinic is to act as a bridge for those who don’t have health insurance and don’t have good options,” adds O’Boyle. “Or, for people who have insurance but can’t afford health care. Or still, people with Medicaid who are frustrated with two or three months wait for appointments.”
BPC provides direct primary care for families and small businesses that covers most healthcare costs under one monthly fee. BPC is membership-based. O’Boyle compares it to Costco, where certain benefits are included with the membership fee. Others are provided at a small markup.
“Membership covers 100% of the office visits,” he explains. “If anyone needs medication or services such as bloodwork or imaging, we can get them at affordable prices.”
Dr. O’ Boyle distinguishes health insurance and health care, saying, “Even if people have health insurance, they can still have poor health care.”
Dr. Lindow heartily agrees. “Being able to build a relationship and spend time with my patients is one of the most important things to me and something that I believe is important in providing the best healthcare. I didn't feel like this was something I had an opportunity to do in the current mainstream U.S. healthcare system, and direct primary care solves that issue.”
Jeff’s vision for his clinic began during medical school at Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine. He was part of a group that sought out underserved groups and provided them with basic medical care.
“It really opened my eyes to who is uninsured,” he says. “Here I was in Chicago, and I was surrounded by people who didn’t have access to good, quality healthcare either because they didn’t have insurance or couldn’t afford to use their insurance.”
Later, during his residency in Michigan, Jeff’s vision was further sharpened when he was surprised to discover that many doctors and staff didn’t know the cost of their prescribed services. When patients returned for their follow-up visits, many would say they did not have the procedure/test done because they could not afford it.
“This bothered me,” says O’ Boyle. “We constantly referred people out for services that they might not be able to afford.”
At their clinic, O’ Boyle and Lindow focus on wellness, being proactive about health and not just reactive to symptoms. They believe in addressing mental health, nutrition, and other conditions affecting physical health.
“Many chronic diseases can be prevented or improved if patients get regular screening and have discussions with their physicians before they start having symptoms,” says Dr. Lindow. “Unfortunately, the mainstream U.S. healthcare system does not place a lot of value in this based on how these visits are compensated.”
“At Beyond Primary Care, we can see patients regularly and have the time to sit down and discuss evidence-based ways to prevent chronic diseases such as high cholesterol, heart disease, and diabetes and develop plans about how to incorporate changes into their lives,” she adds.
For more information on Beyond Primary Care, visit https://www.beyondprimarycare.com/
Photo courtesy of Dr. Jeff O’Boyle