In Colorado, a membership-based community of doctors, patients, and employers is bucking the traditional healthcare economy. And with several locations in Colorado Springs, an Englewood location off Inverness, and a forthcoming location in Littleton, PeakMed is redesigning health and care for Colorado by changing the economics, improving access/quality, and overhauling the experience of care.
Before starting PeakMed, Dr. Mark Tomasulo spent eight years as an Army physician. In the Army, medicine was practiced in its purest nature. Patients saw their physician easily, without fear of excessive costs or overbooked doctor schedules, and physicians could give patients what they truly needed to be healthy. It was, Dr. Tomasulo realized, what all healthcare could look like.
PeakMed patients are members, and all the services and care they might need from their primary care physician are covered by their monthly membership fee. There’s no insurance claims. No copays. No deductibles. Just one, unchanging fee – whether you go to the doctor once a month or 15 times a month. It’s true, unlimited primary care.
The care our grand- and great-grandparents received from their primary care physician looked a lot different than the care we receive today. The relationship was built on trust, on the comforting fact that your doctor knew you and your medical history intimately. Patients were sure their doctor was their advocate. PeakMed seeks to reclaim that story by removing the bureaucracy that has made such relationships impossible.
In a traditional model, doctors are paid by insurance, and insurance only pays if a patient physically visits the office. Because PeakMed works outside insurance’s barriers, doctor’s can finally use technology to improve the healthcare experience. At PeakMed, you can text your doctor or email them. Depending on your condition, you can even set up a webchat. This type of healthcare is convenient, and it allows patients to get healthcare easily, quickly, and in a way that’s minimally disruptive. Meaning more people are likely to see their doctor before things are dire.
At PeakMed, physicians are no longer separated from the business of healthcare. They are acutely aware of the patient’s expenses. This is a common-sense approach, but it can feel, at first, too good to be true. Tomasulo notes that some new PeakMed patients experience initial skepticism. They wonder if going to the doctor could really be so simple, so intuitive.
For PeakMed physicians, one of the biggest benefits is they can practice medicine how they’d always hoped to. They have more ownership of their patients, of their patient’s experiences and health. This level of autonomy reinvigorates physicians, making them even better able to serve the needs of their community.
PeakMed wants to optimize and restructure how we provide and receive primary healthcare. Tomasulo sees the PeakMed system as another option for patients and employers frustrated or unsatisfied with the status quo.
With a handful of new clinics opening between Denver and Colorado Springs in the coming months, the PeakMed system hopes to help more patients and doctors rediscover how simple and effective healthcare once was – and how easily it can be that way again.
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