Phone: 512-238-0762

Fax: 512-341-7370

October 24, 2020

Euphora Health Explains: Do I Need Insurance With DPC Providers, and Will I Save Money?

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 Health Hour with Dr. Mistry and Donna Lee. Dr. Mystery is stepped away and we have our partner, Dr. Lucas Jacomides back with us.

Dr. Jacomides: 

Great to be back again. I stepped away too.

Donna Lee: 

But you came right back.

Dr. Jacomides: 

But I came right back. They just kept pushing me back in the door. I tried and tried to run away.

Donna Lee: 

It was when I said, “Please don’t leave. We don’t have a host.”

Dr. Jacomides: 

I can’t say no to your tears.

Donna Lee: 

That’s right. Sometimes, but only in the office. So we’re located in Central Texas. Dr. Jacomides sees patients now all over at our Round Rock, North Austin, South Austin, Dripping Springs…

Dr. Jacomides: 

I’m a Kung Fu with a white coat and a stethoscope.

Donna Lee: 

You’re on the move. Gosh, you’re all over.

Dr. Jacomides: 

I’m not sure what that means.

Donna Lee: 

That’s for the special patients.

Dr. Jacomides: 

That’s right .

Donna Lee: 

Our website is armor men’s health.com. And this show is brought to you by our founding company, NAU Urology Specialists we started 13 years ago. It was Dr. Mystery, Liz his clinical supervisor and one other person. Three people in one office. And now we’re what? Huge. We’re huge.

Dr. Jacomides: 

North Austin Urology should not let the name fool you. It’s what it stands for. But we, first of all, the first one wasn’t even in Austin. It’s [inaudible] Round Rock.

Donna Lee: 

It’s Round Rock, I know.

Dr. Jacomides: 

…but now we’re everywhere. Now we are at the edges of town. We’re like, we’re everywhere.

Donna Lee: 

We are the second largest urology group in Austin and Dr. Mistry and I always say, “What does that mean? That means we’re a little prettier on the weekends and we push up our boobs just a little bit higher.”

Dr. Jacomides: 

That’s right.

Donna Lee: 

So, there you go.

Dr. Jacomides: 

Yeah, don’t step on number two.

Donna Lee: 

So we have special guests with us. Dr. Lucas Jacomides will introduce our guests.

Speaker 2: 

Yes. Dr. April Calderon and Dr. Chris Larson . You heard them on recent segment that we just gave out. And I–or maybe not, maybe there’s a completely different segment because we lost the first tape, but I’m glad to have you all here today.

Dr. Larson: 

We’re happy to be here.

Dr. Jacomides: 

Tell us again what the name of your company , the name of your group, and then how to reach you so we don’t lose sight of that before.

Dr. Larson: 

Yeah, it’s Euphora Health. Our website is euphorahealth.com. We’ve got two locations, one in Austin, one in Cedar park. Austin phone number is (512) 887-3955, and Cedar park is (737) 215-4525.

Donna Lee: 

That’s right. And you can Google Euphora Health.

Dr. Jacomides: 

And you were direct primary care doctors again, which means you do not accept insurance in the conventional way, correct?

Dr. Calderon: 

Correct. Yeah. We have a monthly membership and we utilize that monthly membership to be able to offer care any time. Our patients text us for small things, for large things, and can reach us after hours if needed.

Dr. Jacomides: 

What happens with your patients that , um, let’s say they, you see them and say, “Great, you sound like you need to have this colonoscopy. And we need to get you to somebody who does this, or even worse, you have a kidney stone and you need to go see Dr. Jacomides.” How do you…that’s not the bad thing. That’s the benefit of the kidney stone, by the way. But, you know , but how do you , how does that translate to people use their insurance with us and not with you, or how do you, how do you tell them what to expect?

Dr. Larson: 

We try to help them navigate that situation, so it was fairly dependent upon kind of what’s in their pocket, as far as that insurance card. Some people, you know, these days have no insurance. And so in that situation, we kind of route them towards the most cost-effective approach to take care of that problem. So if it’s colon cancer screening, there are sites that you can go to, to, you know, even in town, get a colonoscopy for $1,250 cash, if you want to pay cash for that. And we also can, you know , kind of there’s different risk categories and different likelihoods that a positive test means a true positive test, but we can route them towards tests that they might be able to do at home at a much lower price point. And we’ll talk to them about the risks and benefits of doing that.

Dr. Jacomides: 

You know, I had a situation with a friend of mine whose friend lived in Dallas and had no insurance and dropped a kidney stone. And everybody in town wanted to do it for an extremely high price. And he called me up and I said, you know, let me just make a few phone calls. And we were able to do it for half the price of anything he was quoted in Dallas. And it really, so he was willing to drive from Dallas to have surgery and his wife drove him back, you know , and that’s what it really comes down to. Right? Sometimes you just, can’t just be told, “This is the price of healthcare and you’re gonna have to pay it.”

Dr. Larson: 

Yeah, historically, you know, people have traveled outside of the country at times, right, to get joint replacements. And some of these bigger surgeries will now we have kind of bundled price surgical centers, even in town where you can look at the price for the surgery on their website. And often you can get the , get it for less than your deductible with your health insurance plan.

Dr. Jacomides: 

That’s what it comes down to because yes, it is going to be ultimately your payment is what it’s going to be up to a certain level. And then I guess maybe your insurance will kick in. We were talking off air a little bit about access and barriers to care. April, please, if you can try to catch that lightning, catch that dream and bring it back to this radio and listen so our patients can benefit from our fun conversation.

Dr. Calderon: 

Sure. You know, I was just explaining that about eight months ago. And prior to that, I was in a conventional insurance-based practice. And what that means is you get paid a certain amount, a certain percentage of each visit based off of what the insurance will pay you. And then you end up seeing more and more and more patients. Well, then what happens is you don’t get a chance to actually reach out to those patients who need you during the day for something acute or for a refill of a medication. And so you end up doing that at the end of the day. What I found myself doing during that time is practicing what I call it like to call “barrier medicine” now. And I D I had no idea that that was even a thing when I was doing it. But what happens is you protect yourself and you’re seeing patients throughout the day. And then there’s a barrier because the nurse is potentially the first one that talks to someone, or maybe even the front staff, if the nurse is busy. And so I think patients push against that. They want, they want to be heard. They want to get their questions answered. And so in this type of practice where we have more concierge like, and it’s all access, you know, it’s just me and my nurse. And so if somebody calls or somebody texts I can get to that phone call or that text within a five minute period or potentially within a 24 hour period. And so I’m not practicing that barrier medicine. Because right now I’m doing what’s best for my patients.

Dr. Jacomides: 

That’s amazing. You know, one of the things that really was eye opening to visit some of their offices and I’ve been to all of their offices, all the different DPC doctors. And I keep looking for the army of people in the front desk, which , and you know, and I remember just saying, “Oh no, it’s just me for you know, one of your providers . Like, what do you mean? Where’s your front desk person? Where’s your, I was like, literally, she was the only person. And I go, wow, that’s just like, I’m just going to about to hire somebody. But she would have her phone in her ear and answered the phone. So…

Donna Lee: 

That’s why it’s called “direct,” Dr. Jacomides.

Dr. Jacomides: 

That is pretty direct. I mean, there is no barrier. I mean, you are, there is no wall, you know.

Dr. Calderon: 

That’s awesome.

Dr. Jacomides: 

I mean, you know, “You need me on that wall!” No kidding. No, that’s great. What would you say just to distinguish a little bit, cause I even I don’t know. How do you say who’s a concierge doctor and some of the bigger groups like MD VIP or what is the difference? Yeah . What is the difference?

Dr. Larson: 

Yeah, so I would say to kind of paint with a broad brush for concierge medicine, you’re going to sign probably a longer contract. The price point is going to be higher than what we might charge in direct primary care. And traditionally, they’re still going to bill your insurance for the visits.

Donna Lee: 

Oh, they are?

Dr. Larson: 

But in direct primary care, there’s no longterm contract. If for whatever reason you want to leave, you’re done with us in 30 days.

Donna Lee: 

And what was the pricing? We’ve talked about before, but…

Dr. Larson: 

Anywhere from $39 a month to $89 a month, based on your age. And then on top of that, we’re not going to bill your insurance. You know, the model is you pay us that monthly membership and you get access to us, and then we try to give you our discounts on top of that. So anything else we might give you like labs, imaging, we basically just pass our discounts on to you.

Dr. Jacomides: 

That’s cheaper than a gym membership. So the…

Dr. Calderon: 

It’s a Costco membership, the Costco way of doing things.

Dr. Jacomides: 

This is a men’s health show. I would be remiss if our listeners are not wondering, not to offend the ladies out there who care about their healthiness, but tell me how it worked from a men’s health approach. April, we’ll start with you because I know you see a bunch of guys and you say, “Look, I don’t know that I want to see a woman doctor, what are you talking about?” Well , tell me about that. Tell me the truth.

Dr. Calderon: 

Yeah, and I’ve had those questions multiple times. And really it starts with a girlfriend or a wife calling for an appointment for their husband or boyfriend. No I’m just kidding.

Donna Lee: 

I don’t know if you’re kidding.

Dr. Jacomides: 

The discount for the boyfriend.

Dr. Calderon: 

So, I had to explain this the other day, but in WellCare, what we’re doing is we’re trying to find things early on. And a lot of times it may be as simple as a slightly elevated glucose. And if we find it early, we can prevent diabetes. And so what I find is potentially 20% of men haven’t been to the doctor within five years. And then they have these labs and they’re like, “Gosh, I’m so fatigued, and it may be my testosterone.” But you know what? It might be something else. And I start talking about diet, and we start talking about exercise and I’m like, “Well, and she’s been so busy. I don’t exercise and I’m eating more carbohydrates and I just eat more snacks.” And we check their labs and their glucose is slightly elevated. And they’re just shocked because they weren’t ready for that response. They actually wanted it to be their testosterone. But yeah, so we start there and we start with labs and we start with talking about, you know, how has your sleep? The thing that everybody is always amazed at is that I can just say, “Hey, your annual labs are going to be $25. This is your, this is your lab costs.”

Dr. Jacomides: 

Annually $25 for labs?

Dr. Calderon: 

Yeah.

Donna Lee: 

Wow. That’s amazing.

Dr. Jacomides: 

That’s amazing. You know, and we try to think of ourselves as comprehensive practitioners too . When people come to us with a symptom saying my ED, is starting to be a problem, my erectile dysfunction. And then you start going, “Well, gosh, you’re only 40. You know, let me, let’s check some basic labs and see what you’re going on with your heart, or get you to Euphora Health and they’ll do real testing and not just, you know, what I think I’m doing.” But no…

Donna Lee: 

Tell us about your website again, and your phone number.

Dr. Larson: 

Yeha. It’s Euphora Health, euphorahealth.com. We’ve got two clinics. One in Austin, that phone number is (512) 887-3955. And at Cedar park, it’s (737) 215-4529 .

Donna Lee: 

Wonderful.

Dr. Jacomides: 

That’s great. Thank you all for being here, and for being great, and we said the exact same time.

Donna Lee: 

And our phone number is (512) 238-0762. And you can reach out to us any time, Monday through Friday. Thank you guys so much again, we really appreciate it. Thank you.

: 

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

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