Primary Care One Touts Health Care, Not Health Insurance
ST. CLAIRSVILLE — For a monthly fee, individuals and families can get health care — not health insurance — in a program called Primary Care One.
Offered by Dr. Vic Wood, Primary Care One offers physician care, laboratory tests, X-rays and medicines at three local Doctors Urgent Care clinics. Under the program, patients can visit the practice as often as they want, but the monthly fee does not cover hospital care or hospitalization.
Wood said he started Primary Care One as a way to help provide affordable health care for working class people. He has kept the same price — $83 per month for an individual — for the past 16 years.
“The program still works at that price even though it’s been so long,” Wood said. “You can’t find an insurance product that can say that. … We tried to keep it that way for our patients.”
Wood noted that after the Affordable Care Act came about some of those people shifted into Medicaid. But those in the middle class with good insurance starting having higher deductibles.
“I saw people from that group shift into my Primary Care One,” he added. “It’s funny the way things have turned out. It’s very tough to stay ahead of the insurance market, as to what they’re doing. It causes a lot of uncertainty in our community. We try to maintain our price for stability reasons for our community.”
According to information on Wood’s Primary Care One website, there are no claim forms, co-payments or prior-authorizations and pre-existing conditions are accepted. The program also touts itself as good for mid-sized businesses.
“Primary Care One’s purpose is to give patients access to health care in the areas where they need it the most. The required labs and physical examination for each new patient is designed to uncover the most common chronic diseases, i.e. diabetes, hyperlipidemia, hypertension, thyroid disease and respiratory illness. By taking a proactive stance in recognizing chronic disease and managing it, we can help the patient achieve a healthier life. We believe, through our model, we can impact the health of Americans in a positive way and decrease the cost at the same time,” the clinic’s literature notes.
The following is a description of services provided to patients as part of their participation in the Primary Care One Program:
∫Primary care medical services such as treatment for minor illness, cold or flu;
∫Medical services for the treatment of illnesses such as diabetes, asthma and cardiovascular ailments that do not require the follow-up of a specialist;
∫Post-surgery, follow-up care as is medically appropriate;
∫Preventive services such as an annual physical, and routine blood and lab tests;
∫Lab services and X-rays provided on location at Doctors Urgent Care, including: chest X-rays, strep test, EKG, cholesterol test, blood sugar, pregnancy test, PSA and more;
∫Minor urgent care treatment for sprains, minor lacerations, first and second degree burns;
∫Office procedures such as: I&D abscess and cyst, hemorrhoid treatment, nail removal, cryotherapy, pap smear tests, digital rectal examinations;
∫Injectables including: B-12, Benadryl, Claforan, Dexamethasone, Lincocin, Nubain, Phenergan, Rocephin, Tetanus, Toradol, Valium and adult flu and pneumonia vaccinations;
∫Gynecological care that does not require the follow-up of a specialist;
∫Mental health treatment for minor depression;
∫Health and disease counseling to help improve your health status and better manage your health;
∫24-hour, call-in number for your use if a medical condition presents itself after hours;
∫Limited generic drugs: Acute drugs have zero co-payment. Chronic/maintenance medications have a copayment.
What is not provided?
This program only provides for services at Doctors Urgent Care in Wheeling, Benwood and St. Clairsville. It does not pay for services provided at other physician offices or hospitals. It does not provide payment for diagnostic testing at any location other than Doctors Urgent Care offices mentioned previously.
“If treatment of your medical condition will require referral to a specialist or the hospital, this program does not provide payment for those services. Those costs will be your responsibility,” the website notes.
The following are examples of medical care not paid for under this program:
∫ Hospital emergency room care
∫ Hospital inpatient or outpatient care
∫ Physician care provided at location other than Doctors Urgent Care in Wheeling, Benwood or St. Clairsville.
∫ Specialist physician care
∫ Lab and diagnostic testing not provided at Doctors Urgent Care
∫ Medications obtained at any location other than Doctors Urgent Care in Wheeling, Benwood, or St. Clairsville.
∫Medical services at any location other than Doctors Urgent Care.