Medicine is getting personal in Kennett
Kennett Square practice eliminates wait time and co-pays
At Core Family Practice, there is little to no wait time, and setting up an appointment is easy.
The average wait time to see a doctor in the U.S. is 19 minutes and 16 seconds, according to a survey by Vitals.com, a physician review website. And if you’re setting up an appointment, expect to wait six days or more.
But at Core Family Practice, a new and revolutionary family practice that just opened on Cypress Street, there is little to no wait time, and setting up an appointment is as easy as a mouse click, a text or a phone call.
“I always wanted to give my patients time, but it resulted in people waiting,” said Dr. Ricky Haug, 38, who left Southern Chester County Family Practice when his contract expired. “I had patients waiting 45 minutes and I was stressed about that. This was not what I had envisioned when I went to medical school to become a family doctor.”
Called Direct Primary Care, the new health care model is simple. Doctors get paid a monthly fee instead of through insurance bureaucracy. The patient is the core focus of the doctor’s day. Doctors are not rated by how many patients they move through the door.
Most traditional models have patient block time set for 15 minutes, and a few for as much as 30 minutes. But Haug allows an hour for new patient visits and 30-45 minutes for follow-up visits. The patient walks in, doesn’t wait, and is seen by a doctor who knows every medical aspect of the person’s life.
“It’s more personal,” Haug said.
Haug said he enjoys not be-
“I always wanted to give my patients time, but it resulted in people waiting. I had patients waiting 45 minutes and I was stressed about that. This was not what I had envisioned when I went to medical school to become a family doctor.” – Dr. Ricky Haug
ing pressured into seeing a large number of patients daily.
The Direct Primary Care model, Haug said, pairs well with medical plans with high deductibles. While these plans work well for catastrophic illness, patients often have to pay out-of-pocket for routine primary care.
“A lot of companies are going with high deductible plans for their employees now,” Haug said. “Let’s say you have a $5,000 deductible (meaning insurance doesn’t kick in until the patient pays $5,000). You pay cash for each visit. If you go three or four times a year for visits it will be close to $200 per visit (at a typical doctor’s office) and there will be additional fees for lab work.“
And many people, Haug said, decline to see their primary care doctor because of the expense.
“We encourage primary care,” he said. “We are very accessible. There’s no wait time, and you get a longer block of time for the visit.”
A wide variety of services are covered with the annual subscription, including physicals, wart removal, stitches, sprained ankles, high blood pressure/diabetic management, diet and weight loss management, urinalysis, minor suturing, pediatric care and lots more. There
are no copays for office visits, and many procedures are done at no cost to the patient. In addition, Haug can offer many generic medicines to his patients at a very low cost.
Pricing is $65 per month for those 25 and older, and $30 for those under age 25. For a family of four, it’s $165 per month, with $20 for each additional child. Haug compares it to a gym membership. He said patients get more time with their doctor, and more ways to access their doctor - including texting, video conferencing, email, phone calls, or traditional office visits.
For an additional fee, Haug will even do home visits, something that was common a century ago.
“I am looking to be the old-school doctor of the new millennium,” Haug said. “You are there for the patients who need you, and really get to know them. There is something to be said for that.”
Haug currently has 50 clients, with a ceiling of about 650. This is in stark contrast to the 2000-plus patients that primary care physicians in the traditional model care for. If Dr. Haug’s patient panel gets above 650 patients, he said he will add a provider to keep the personal touch with patients.
Ironically, primary care is one of the lowest compensated specialties in medicine. About 40 percent of medical school students enter in a primary care-related field,
but by the time they graduate from medical school, only about 10 percent have not sub-specialized due in large part to school loans they’ll have to repay.
Direct primary care is not insurance and should not replace health insurance. But it can work for patients with almost any type of health care plan. Haug said the plan is ideal for small businesses who find providing health care to their employees to be cost-prohibitive.
“It’s a great partnership,” Haug said. “The rising costs of health care are becoming debilitating. Many (small businesses) can’t provide health care for employees, and if they do, it straps their bottom line. But if they give them a high-deductible plan and combine it with direct primary care, everything is covered. Nothing comes out of (employees’) pockets for their primary care visits. Some companies even split the membership fees with their employees.”
Haug earned his degree at Cornell University and his Doctor of Medicine degree at Temple University School of Medicine. He and his wife have two boys, ages 6 and 8, who attend Pocopson Elementary School. Haug was recently credited with saving the life of a man who collapsed after running the Kennett Square Mushroom Cap half-marathon.
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Ricky Haug of Core Family Practice in Kennett Square has started a new business that treats patients on a personal level.
Dr. Ricky Haug has started a unique medical practice in Kennett Square that gives personal service.