MISSOULA – Facetiming, texting or emailing with a personal physician is part of a new healthcare model that will launch at a Missoula-based medical walk-in clinic.
CostCare will be modifying their Mullan Road location to “Direct Primary Care” on Jan. 1. The new model will offer routine medical care at a low monthly rate and include direct and easy access to a physician.
“For our patients who want to be part of the practice, it’s up to us to make sure that contact is kept,” CostCare Nurse Practitioner Josh Smith said. “If the patient feels like they need to talk on the phone, we’ve got to be calling them. If they feel like we need to reply to a text on our lunch break, we reply to the text. It’s just part of the model.”
Smith said many people visit the doctor for routine checks such as a bladder infection, diabetes or high blood pressure. Adding many Americans are paying high insurance premiums on top of these routine checks and this model is an alternative plan. Smith does want to remind people that direct primary care should not be mistaken for insurance.
“Direct primary care, the model itself is not insurance. We highly recommend that people have some form of catastrophic-type plan,” Smith said. CostCare will charge $70 a month for adults and $25 for children under 18.