The DPC Journal reached Dr. Schupp for comment this morning (Nov. 22, 2013) and he said the following to our Editor, Michael Tetreault …
“I wanted to try something different [entrepreneurial] and had over 100 patients were interested in the first two-months of startup. I was able to cover expenses with just 40 patients.” “Straight out of residency here [Madison, WI], we have very few options and most involve working for an HMO in this area. The new sign-ups to the practice nearly stopped during the month of October, and people on the waiting list understandably wanted to remain there until the marketplace [i.e. Obamacare] was functioning more efficiently.” Schupp continued to tell Tetreault (Editor) The DPC Journal, that several factors played a part in this decision that the article in the Capital Times does not state. He noted: personal obligations; the desire to make sound financial and business decisions; the ability to scale his DPC practice over time debt-free; and struggle to overcome objections and the uncertainty of prospective patients related to the Affordable Care Act; and others. Schupp added it was a rewarding endeavor that he really enjoyed.
By STEVEN ELBOW | The Capital Times
“Thank you all for putting your faith in me as your doctor, and for joining something so unusual,” Will Schupp wrote in an email to his patients on Monday. “Unfortunately, it has to come to an end.”
Schupp gained a lot of interest in August when he established his “direct primary care” medical practice, which charged patients a monthly fee for unlimited access to his family medicine practice. Operating on an affordable “direct pay medicine” approach, Schupp charged between $30 and $50 a month to provide primary care that he envisioned to be cost-effective in concert with high-deductible insurance plans. By side-stepping the insurance industry, he told the Cap Times he could operate his practice affordably because his time would be spent on patients, not red tape.
In the email to patients, Schupp explains that the Affordable Care Act, now synonymous with the malfunctioning Healthcare.gov website, presented insurmountable obstacles for his practice to get a foothold in the local health care scene.
“The Affordable Care Act marketplace presented a lot of problems for my practice,” he writes. “This is ironic, since a more transparent marketplace would be beneficial for me, but I did not foresee a broken website, a government shutdown and more expensive insurance for many of my patients. The new signups to the practice nearly stopped during the month of October, and people on the waiting list understandably wanted to remain there until the marketplace was functioning. This still hasn’t happened.”
He says he has attempted to set up deals with over 500 small businesses but “unfortunately this has not worked out.”
Schupp is offering to refund any money he owes patients and to work with them over the next two months to help work out a “long-term plan for continued health care” at no charge.
He now plans to take a more conventional approach to his career.”
“At this point, it is unclear where I will end up, but I will either be at an HMO in town or a small clinic in a nearby small town,” he writes. “I will know in about a month, and I will let you know.”