Primary Care Wins 2015 Entrepreneur of the Year
Evolve Medical Clinics‘ Dr. Michael Freedman won the 2015 Entrepreneur of the Year at the Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce’s 10th Anniversary Business Hall of Fame Awards presented by Severn Savings Bank. The Entrepreneur of the Year was awarded to “the entrepreneur who has demonstrated outstanding leadership in achieving growth through such factors as innovation and development of a creative and ingenious product or service.”
Evolve Medical Clinics believe that the current primary care system provides all the wrong financial incentives and that it is a huge problem for patients. While the cost of healthcare in the US is the highest in the world, the US has some of the worst care in the developed world. People in the US suffer from preventable illnesses and die younger than in other countries in large part because they can’t access their doctor–and if they do, rushed doctors order unnecessary tests which result in even more harm.
Doctors are miserable, patients are miserable and insurance companies are making a killing–possibly literally. Medical errors are now pervasive with one recent estimate published in the Journal of Patient Safety: “Between 210,000 to 440,000 patient DIE every year from preventable medical errors in hospitals.” Which is roughly one-sixth of all deaths that occur in the United States each year (NPR article Sept 2013).
When asked why he founded Evolve, Dr. Freedman said, “When I wanted to refer my mom to a new practice, it was really hard to find an office I would want her to go to. I began thinking that there had to be a better way–if we could just get the insurance companies out and cut out all the bureaucracy. Make it between the doctor and the patient. And focus on providing a really good experience, all the way around. Why not?”
With Dr. Freedman’s lifelong commitment to helping the underserved, first with the Hahnemann Homeless Clinic which garnered him the 809th Daily Point of Light and then with the Annapolis Outreach Clinic, it had to be affordable to just about everyone.
We provide something very similar to a concierge practice. But instead of $150 per month, it’s just $35 per month and $25 per visit, ” Freedman said. In fact, Evolve Medical is the least expensive Direct Primary Care in the nation. In addition to concierge-level services, they also advocate for patients by helping them find the least expensive medications, save money on tests and radiology and avoid unnecessary procedures.
The results have been even better than expected. Evolve Medical has earned a “net promoter score” of an astounding 98. This score is based on customer feedback and intended to measure how likely patients are to endorse or promote a company. Apple scores a 72 and Kaiser has the highest score in healthcare at only 35.
Not only are people happy, there is evidence they are spending less money and are avoiding potential medical errors and death. A British Medical Journal study of a similar direct primary care group practice in Seattle called Qliance found “35% fewer hospitalizations, 65% fewer ER visits, 66% fewer specialist visits, and 82% fewer surgeries.”
Even the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has taken notice. In fact, a new bill introduced into the Senate in August would create a pathway for Medicare to pay for memberships and change the IRS treatment of Direct Primary Care.
Dr. Freedman has recently been invited to join the DPC Steering Committee which includes Garrison Bliss, MD of Qliance (recently on the cover of TIME magazine) and Rushika Fernandopulle, MD of Iora Health (recently featured in New York Times).
In his new capacity, he has been meeting with Maryland Senators Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin’s offices to discuss this bill as well as ways patients can have better access to better healthcare.
Freedman summarized it like this, “Better healthcare for lower cost. It’s definitely a hugely innovative concept but in practice has been so easy to do. Patients are thrilled, my staff is thrilled and so am I.” To learn more, visit www.emc4me.com.