Phone: 512-238-0762

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October 24, 2020

“Direct” Primary Care: Meet DPC Providers Dr. Larson and Dr. Calderon of Euphora Health

Speaker 1: 

Welcome back to the Armor Men’s Health Hour with Dr. Mistry and Donna Lee.

Donna Lee: 

Welcome to the Armor Men’s hHealth Hour with Dr. Mistry And Donna Lee. I am Donna Lee, everybody’s favorite because everybody wants more Donna, according to Dr. Mistry. Dr. Mistry is not with us for the next couple of segments or so, but I do have our partner, Dr. Lucas Jacomides.

Dr. Jacomides: 

Hi, Donna. How are you?

Donna Lee: 

I’m good. I know you like to hear yourself on the radio.

Dr. Jacomides: 

I do. It’s so cool. I love the sound of my voice amplified.

Donna Lee: 

Did you set this up at home yet so you can talk to your wife like this?

Dr. Jacomides: 

This is my radio voice that I use only with my wife. I actually have more of a high pitched squeal. Yes, it’s really…

Donna Lee: 

It’s connected to your bed?

Dr. Jacomides: 

It’s more like two octave lower in the bedroom, actually .

Donna Lee: 

Well, Dr. Jacomides is one of our new partners, of course. And before I forget, we are located in Central Texas in Round Rock, North Austin, South Austin, and the super cute Dripping Springs area. Our website is armormenshealth.com and you can reach us at armormenshealth@gmail.com for all those amazing questions and we’ll answer them anonymously on air. Today, though, we have a couple of amazing special guests. I’m going to let Dr. Jacomides introduced them .

Dr. Jacomides: 

Thank you, Donna Lee. I have with me the power couple, husband and wife team of Euphora Health, Dr . Chris Larson and Dr. April Calderon.

Donna Lee: 

Welcome.

Dr. Calderon: 

Hello, thank you for having us.

Dr. Jacomides: 

You two I have known for a while. Dr. Calderon. I’ve known you since the, even maybe before Baylor Scott and White days. You know.

Dr. Calderon: 

That is a long time.

Dr. Jacomides: 

That was a long time ago, but we’re…

Dr. Calderon: 

Just don’t mention my age.

Dr. Jacomides: 

It has aged as poorly to have been there. But generally speaking , I’m glad to see you guys here in our studio. Dr. Larson I’ve interacted with recently, and you are what are called “DPC” doctors. Please tell our listeners what in the world DPC stands for and what is, and what does that even mean?

Dr. Larson: 

Yeah, so DPC stands for direct primary care. So it’s a little bit like concierge medicine in the level of access that somebody might get, but it’s a, it’s a lower price point. And so I like to kind of explain this in two ways: comparing us both to Netflix and comparing us to Costco. So it’s kind of a monthly membership, you know price point being from $39 to $89 a month, depending on your age. And for that, you get all access to us through text , through phone, through telemedicine, and certainly face-to-face when it’s appropriate. You get access to us both office hours, nine to five Monday through Friday, and then after hours. So we’re kind of your doctor, no matter when it is, or no matter where you are in the world. We offer same day, next day appointments for urgent issues. And then we get what we really enjoy, which is longer visits with our patients, which is why we got into primary care to really get to know people, get to know their story.

Donna Lee: 

Wait a minute. I’m paying $800 a month for insurance. You said it was what? $39 and $ 89?

Dr. Larson: 

That’s right. Yeah.

Donna Lee: 

Wow.

Dr. Jacomides: 

But don’t tell them your age.

Dr. Larson: 

It depends, obviously the younger you are the less expensive it is.

Dr. Jacomides: 

That’s right. This is true.

Donna Lee: 

There you go. That is fascinating.

Dr. Jacomides: 

Yeah. And in dog years, how many is that ? Does that count ?

Dr. Larson: 

No, you didn’t tell me we’re going to do math.

Dr. Jacomides: 

So you started this practice when?

Dr. Larson: 

It’s been about six years now, we’ve been open.

Dr. Jacomides: 

Okay. And then Dr. Calderon, you joined this practice recently?

Dr. Calderon: 

Yeah, about eight months ago.

Dr. Jacomides: 

Eight months ago?

Dr. Calderon: 

Eight months ago, from a very traditional kind of medicine tract, medicine and insurance practice. And it has changed my philosophy of medicine. It’s just been amazing.

Dr. Jacomides: 

Really, how so? You mean joining it, not just being in the traditional sense and then joining this practice. Right?

Dr. Calderon: 

Right. So joining it, and then also just being able to practice a different way. So really being able to have that one-on-one care with my patients. And then also having a different relationship. It’s like having a family doctor and what family doctors were back 50 years ago. I’ve gotten paid in eggs and flour .

Donna Lee: 

And goats and pigs?

Dr. Calderon: 

Not that yet. But yeah.

Dr. Jacomides: 

So $39 worth of eggs. You just do the math and say, keep counting your chickens. And bring them out.

Dr. Larson: 

So it’s four eggs [ inaudible]…

Dr. Calderon: 

It’s amazing, because when I have a visit with someone literally the first visit, they’re like, “Wow, I have never spent this much time with my physician. And I have never , I’ve never been able to go over diet, exercise, stress, and you know, all of that.” So it’s amazing. I just, it feels so great to be able to help people on a different level.

Dr. Jacomides: 

You saw Chris doing this for awhile . And you said, “I don’t know this thing’s going to work. You know, someone’s got to make a steady paycheck from insurance companies.”

Donna Lee: 

“I’m tired of buying eggs.”

Dr. Jacomides: 

And tired of buying, yeah. “He keeps bringing these eggs home. How about some bacon?”

Dr. Calderon: 

Exactly.

Dr. Jacomides: 

“Bring the bacon home, Chris.” And then you said, “You know what, it’s time. We’re busy enough.” You grew it, you got busy enough. You said, “I can think of no better person than April to come join me.”

Dr. Larson: 

Yeah. So we were growing, we signed up a larger employer. So we work with individuals. We work with small companies to provide primary care to them. And we work with larger companies who might wrap insurance around us. And so this particular company had employees in central Austin and also kind of North/Northwest Austin. So we needed to grow to support them. And then , you know, we were zealots. And so we want to bring this type of care to all Austinites and all Americans . So expansions are in the plans.

Dr. Jacomides: 

How many of them are you in Austin? I don’t know if that even make grammatical sense, but how many DPC doctors would you say are in the Austin area?

Dr. Larson: 

We’ve got, per capita we may have more than any other city. We have a lot here. So we’ve got about seven or eight in the Austin area.

Dr. Jacomides: 

And I hear it’s hard even people are looking and they can’t even interview people quick enough. So I think it’s certainly interesting to see that. So that was really convenient, I guess. You’re there, you’re at your job, you know ?

Dr. Calderon: 

Yeah. And you know, I was not happy going through 20 to 25 patients a day, not being able to spend time with them. Having to say ” Oh, I’m sorry, I can’t see you for that because you scheduled for this.” And so this has really made a huge difference.

Donna Lee: 

Right. And I think people don’t know with insurance, when you see your doctor, you can only go over one or two things. I mean, and the doctor basically has to kick you out and say , “Sorry, we’ll talk about three and four next time.”

Dr. Jacomides: 

Really?

Dr. Calderon: 

You try, you probably try not to. We try not to, but you know, there’s also that time, like you have to see the next patient and the next patient.

Dr. Jacomides: 

I find it very hard to document on my electronic medical record with one door or hand on the door handle. Is that, is that, is that wrong? No? It’s very hard to point and click. No, I’m kidding of course.

Donna Lee: 

It’s what insurance makes us do sometimes.

Dr. Jacomides: 

No, I think it’s a great point. And you know, I mean, what is your average length of visit? I would say, I mean, and also want to get into the telemedicine stuff here separately, but how long do you spend with your patients on average then?

Dr. Larson: 

Yeah, so often the first visit is an hour or even a little bit more, depending on how many issues the person needs to take care of. And then follow ups 30 minutes or more if necessary, especially for, you know , chronic disease or something where we’re really having to educate for a dietary change or medication. If it’s something acute, cut myself, or, “Hey, I got this dermatology issue,” you know, most of the time we can just take care of that over text. So…

Dr. Jacomides: 

And you mentioned texts and also telemedicine these days, we’re all trying to socially distance and stay away from sick people and places where sick people dwell. There’s no difference in price or anything. You say, “Look, you can call me X number of times after this it’s this many.” Or how do you restructure them to the contact to keep it from being too abusive?

Dr. Calderon: 

Yeah, actually, so it’s a membership model. So you pay so much per month and you get all access to us. You can have one visit or you can have 15 visits. And, you know, in the beginning, what happens is people are so excited, and so we kind of go over all, a lot of issues, maybe take care of them the first, you know , two to three months. And then as we continue to go on and have doctor patient relationship, we start seeing, oh, well, they really don’t need us every, you know , two weeks. It’s more like once a week, or I’m sorry, once month or once every three months. And it’s this relationship that we’re forming. So they can text me and say, “Hey, you know, that issue that I was having before what’s happening again.” And then it’s a shorter conversation and it’s more convenient because we don’t have to go through their whole history. So it’s just, it’s really cool.

Donna Lee: 

Wow. That’s what medicine should be. How do we stray away from that so far?

Dr. Jacomides: 

Well, it’s interesting. You know what I mean? We can get to this rabbit hole of insurance and fee for service and doing, and then just piling people in. And, you know, it’s hard to meet the demand, which is, you know, a lot of times the concerns that you and I have talked about Chris , you know, because if, then it’s a question of limiting sizes of people. And then it’s a question of how many people are gonna be able to take care of all these people? And also if it’s an issue of resources and saying, Well, maybe I don’t have this much free cash to give. I mean , what do you say to that point? You know, is it , you know, when people say, look, what does my insurance get? Does this get me anything? You know, I’m sure you get that question a lot.

Dr. Larson: 

Yeah. That’s, as you can imagine, the most common question is, you know, “Do you take this insurance?” And so that, as you suggested, there’s a rabbit hole there. And so often we can help people get access to care, be it medication or labs, or imaging, many times for lower than what they would pay for their copay , or co-insurance. And so, for those things that are common, relatively expected to happen to anyone within a 5-year/10-year timeframe where you might hurt something and need some imaging. I don’t know that we truly need insurance for that. I mean, I can get an x-ray for $35 and ultrasound many times for less than $100, CT scan for between $100 and $200. So, should we really insure for that kind of cost when you could just pay cash and get those same things that are much affordable price, much more affordable price?

Donna Lee: 

That’s amazing.

Dr. Jacomides: 

Well, that’s the value prop for sure. Tell this audience how we can get ahold of one or both of you. Please give us your website…

Dr. Larson: 

Sure. Yeah, our website is euphorahealth, so kind of “euphoria” without an “I.” euphorahealth.com. We’ve got an office in Austin or Cedar park, and we’re all over social media as well.

Donna Lee: 

And the phone number?

Dr. Larson: 

Phone number in Austin is (512) 887-3955. And in Cedar Park (737) 215-4525.

Donna Lee: 

Perfect. And we’ll get that on our Facebook page as well. So you can learn more about Dr. Caldron , Dr. Larson at their website. You can visit us at armormenshealth@gmail, I’m sorry, that’s our email address. Armormenshealth@gmail.com, where you can send all your incredibly fun and embarrassing questions that we will answer on air anonymously, of course. And our website is armormenshealth.com. Our phone number during the week is (512) 238-0762. And thank you guys so much, and we’ll have you on for another segment very soon.

Dr. Calderon: 

Thank you. Thanks for having us.

: 

The Armor Men’s Health Hour will be right back. If you have questions for Dr. Mistry, email him at armormenshealth@gmail.com

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