With the nation's health care system in a state of transition, doctors and patients here in Washington are finding ways to save money and improve quality through a focus on primary care.
Dr. Garrison Bliss has big plans for Qliance, the primary care clinic he helped found in 2006. Qliance takes no insurance; instead, patients pay directly, through a monthly fee system that, like a gym membership, gives them unlimited access to services. The fee ranges from $39 to $129 depending on the patient's age and level of care. It includes all primary care: check-ups, routine screenings, flu shots, management of chronic illnesses like hypertension or diabetes, and urgent care for minor infections, sprains, and fractures.
The focus on primary care is where the savings come in. Dr. Bliss says primary care has nearly become a "dying breed," yet it's the "least expensive and most effective" area of health care. If patients can receive prompt primary care they can often prevent a trip to a specialist or even the hospital.
Both cost and inconvenience prevent people from accessing primary care when they need it, and Qliance removes those obstacles. Patients can expect same or next day appointments lasting 30-60 minutes, as well as access to a doctor via phone or email any time of the day or week