Paid Sponsorship by OurHealth
By: Eric Wallisa, MD
I have practiced medicine for more than 15 years, starting in family medicine as a provider at a hospital-based practice and then going into private practice and then urgent care. So, I have had a pretty good exposure to lots of different arenas of family medicine.
Now that I practice at OurHealth – which provides employer-sponsored care through its near-site clinic networks, including new locations opening soon in Cincinnati, OH – I can say it’s a more efficient way to deliver health care and creates better outcomes for patients and a better quality of life for providers.
Finding the Right Fit
I left hospital-based practice because I felt some of the business decisions that were being made were affecting my ability to deliver good health care, particularly since my focus has always been patient care. I wanted to control how I managed or ran the clinic.
So, I went into private practice and I loved it. I was able to extend my patient visit times. I made a little less because I was billing less, but it gave me the ability to see patients how I wanted to see them. But that practice ultimately became more focused on bureaucracy and overhead management.
Reimbursements were being reduced, more quality control measures and more reporting requirements were being introduced – which stole more and more time away from patients – and me. I would spend my day in with the patients, and then chart or do all that paperwork in the evenings at home. It got to the point it was stealing from my family time. Ultimately, my wife and I sat down at the breakfast table one Sunday morning and said, ‘This isn’t working.’
That’s when I started working in urgent care. I worked three days on, four days off, which was nice. But unfortunately, the company I worked for got bought out and the new management started running a very fine line to turn a profit. They reduced staffing. They increased the number of patients we saw per shift – sometimes as many as 50 or 60. It started to become an issue just to keep up and even felt comfortable managing that high of a patient volume.
A New Solution
I joined OurHealth about a year ago because the model really spoke to me. The philosophy here really aligns with how I like to see patients, which is to develop relationships and handle their issues with less bureaucracy. I get to focus on making the right decisions for the patient and have the time for patients to be seen – without being handcuffed by some outside entity.
Admittedly, it sometimes seems too good to be true. Everything is paid for by the [patient’s] employer upfront. We provide free labs to the patient. We provide free medications to the patient. They can come in as much as they want, essentially at no cost.
I don’t know that I’m doing things a lot differently here in terms of how I personally provide care for patients. But there’s a lot less heartache and headache in that process – and a lot less red tape. It lets me put the focus back on the patient, which is ultimately what I want to do.
This works for me because I like to work and see patients – but I also like to be with my family. Now that I have more time, it’s nice to be able to feel like a normal human being again, as opposed to just a healthcare robot that’s just slogging through every day trying to get the work done.
To learn more about OurHealth, its network of MyClinic locations, and career opportunities for family medicine physicians in Cincinnati, visit our website.