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DPC JOURNAL SPOTLIGHT: Meet Big Tree Medical Home, Columbia, MO

By Big Tree Medical Home

Big Tree Medical Home is a new primary care medical practice in Columbia, Missouri.  This pilot project seeks to bring cutting edge primary care ideas to solve the healthcare crisis in mid Missouri.  We believe that excellent, personal primary care paid for through a recurring monthly fee in the context of a medical home will decrease the cost of healthcare while improving its value to patients, businesses and the community at large. Big Tree was founded by Dr. Adam Wheeler and his wife Jen with the help of Dr. Blake Barnes. Dr. Wheeler and Dr. Barnes practice at Tiger Pediatrics, a large pediatric practice in mid Missouri known for its excellent and relational care.  We believe that bringing the culture of Tiger Pediatrics into the adult healthcare world, accompanied by ending the fee-for-service payment structure for primary care, has the potential to dramatically improve the community in which we live.  Big Tree is not financially affiliated with Tiger Pediatrics.  Our physical location is at 200 Southampton in Columbia inside the Tiger Pediatrics South location in the Insurance Group building.

At Big Tree, everything is covered by the $59/month fee.  Your annual wellness goal setting meeting, your basic screening labs and tests, acute care visits, virtual visits, after hours clinical advice, follow up visits.  Seriously, everything that we do is covered.

Big Tree Medical Home just makes sense.  A medical home is a primary care provider who seeks to do more than just patient visits: they want to help patients in all aspects of the healthcare system, from preventative care, to the care of chronic medical conditions, to acute care visits, to care coordination between hospitals, specialists, pharmacy and therapists, to mental and behavioral health.

A single monthly fee for all of primary care, for less than the cost of your cell phone bill.

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What makes Big Tree really make sense is that by charging a single monthly fee for all care, your provider is not tied to the traditional medical system’s connection between visits to the doctor’s office and payment.  We can, therefore, be creative in ways to provide great and evidence-based care.  Whether it’s a text-message based visit replacing the urgent care visit, or a face-to-face wellness goal-setting meeting, Big Tree Medical Home is the primary care system you always dreamt existed.  Now it does.

A $59 per person per month fee covers all care at Big Tree:

  • preventative care (including labs to screen for cholesterol, colon cancer and anemia),
  • acute care (including same day visits, virtual visits, electrocardiograms, rapid diagnostic tests for strep throat)
  • chronic disease management (including lung function tests, hemoglobin A1c, group visits, as medically indicated),
  • care coordination (referrals, advice finding the least expensive yet highest quality testing facility)
  • 24-7 clinical advice to help you decide if that 2 a.m. ER visit is really worth your $300 co-pay or if an already paid for visit at Big Tree the next morning is adequate
  • and anything else that we can think of that would help provide you with a cost effective, yet excellent, medical home such as stitches, minor office procedures, and secure email.

Our goals for you include:

  • never going to the urgent care,
  • only use the ER or a specialist if it is really necessary,
  • optimizing the relationship between cost and effect for your prescription medications
  • decreasing your out of pocket healthcare spending

We accomplish all this by what we call Goal Directed Primary Care.  In Goal Direct Primary Care, we start with a conversation about your story.  We see health in all aspects of a person’s story and believe that science-enabled healthcare has tools to help you live life to the fullest.

We find that goal-setting is an excellent starting point toward improving health and well-being.

These goals may be something simple like losing 15 lbs or running a half-marathon or something technical such better diabetes management or finally facing you family history of colon cancer by figuring out the most scientific approach to cost-effective colon cancer screening.  Throughout the year then, we work with you to apply cutting edge medical techniques to helping you achieve your goals. Often a quick text message or office visit is enormously helpful in deciding to keep up with your workout plan or get back on track for those New Year’s Resolutions.

Obviously something like strep throat or a sinus infection is in no one’s idea of “life to the fullest.”  The ER and Urgent Care provide access to care when you need it, but at a high cost, including long waits, unnecessary tests and often inappropriate care.  Traditional primary care offices provide excellent care from someone you know, but is usually so over booked that they can never help when you actually need it.  Whether you need to swing by Big Tree and get a strep test or use our secure video platform to have a virtual visit, care happens when you need it, by someone you know.

Most experts believe that excellent primary care can provide about 90% of healthcare and is therefore a key component to fixing the healthcare problem in the US.  Now, finally, such care is affordable.

Big Tree Medical Home: welcome to healthcare as you always thought it should be.

SOURCE: https://bigtreemedicalhome.com/about/

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