Seattle Primary Care Group Offers Services Directly to Employers

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Seattle-based Primary care provider Qliance is offering direct care to companies looking to cut healthcare costs for employees at a rate between $50 and $60 per month per patient, according to a New York Times report.

Under a typical Qliance plan, patients get unlimited physician visits, 24-hour e-mail access to medical staff and same-day or next-day appointments. No insurance is involved. As an example, Seattle-based trucking company Becker Trucking is using the plan to help curb healthcare costs for its employees, one of a growing number of companies taking advantage of direct primary care services. The trucking company pays Qliance $54 per month per employee for direct primary care.

There are direct primary care practices in 24 states, treating more than 100,000 patients, according to the report.

Direct primary care derives from concierge practices that sprouted up around a decade ago. Those practices tended to cater to people with enough money to pay out-of-pocket for unlimited access to physicians.

Qliance seeks to provide that kind of care for the middle class.

"The concierge model carries a lot of baggage in being healthcare for the wealthy," said Erika Bliss, MD, and Qliance's chief executive. "We want to grow this and bring the price point down to average Americans."

Primary care physicians with Qliance are on salary. The company saves money by cutting down on administrative costs associated with health insurance companies and reducing hospital and emergency room visits, according to Dr. Bliss.

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