Epiphany Health: Affordable medical care

Epiphany Health’s Crouch and Gross.

Epiphany Health’s founding physicians Lee S. Gross and William L. Crouch are leaders in a revolution of health-care changes, bringing basics back to the physician and patient relationship. The doctors opened a practice in Arcadia in January.

Epiphany Health’s backstoryNamed Business of the Year by the North Port Area Chamber of Commerce, Epiphany Health’s founding physicians, Dr. Gross and Dr. Crouch, are national leaders of a primary care revolution! Collectively known as “Direct Primary Care,” or DPC, we have eliminated the need to use insurance to access primary care. We are forever changing health care delivery; eliminating barriers to access, improving efficiency and communication, adding price transparency and restoring sanity to health care. The patient is again the keystone of health care delivery at Epiphany Health! Launched in 2010 after an “epiphany” about why we are using insurance to pay for primary care, the North Port practice was among the first of its kind in the nation. Since then, the doctors have helped consult with and/or launch nearly 1,000 DPC practices around the country. Recognizing the critical health care needs of the community, the doctors launched their DeSoto location in January 2019 and look forward to partnering with the community to meet those needs.

How it works Much like Netflix, Epiphany Health is an insurance-free membership-based primary care practice that allows patients to access primary health care for a low fixed monthly fee, regardless of insurance status. It does not matter if the patient has good insurance, lousy insurance or no insurance, all patients are treated with the same high priority. There is no extra charge based upon a patient’s past medical history. Adults memberships start at $65 per month, $25 for the first child of an adult member with each additional child paying just $10 per month. After that, there is no charge for any service that is provided in the office. That would include needed in-office testing, sutures, procedures, EKGs and more. For services outside our office, we have negotiated wholesale prices on labs, imaging, specialty care, surgical services and more. Our patients typically pay pennies on the dollar for care, even often saving money over using their insurance. Examples include routine labs, which cost $45. Routine X-rays are around $25. Cat scans start at $200 and MRIs can be as little as $300. Patients travel to our office from all over the state of Florida for medical care, including some patients that have come to us from out of the country. We have forged a relationship with DeSoto Memorial Hospital that allows patients that may not otherwise have coverage to get affordable elective surgeries, if needed. We are not insurance, but we can ensure that almost everyone can afford the predicable and routine medical care. We encourage patients to have coverage for the unexpected, such as major medical insurance for hospitalization or serious medical conditions.

Prevention is the best medicine Patients often avoid the doctor for fear of unexpected medical expenses. With Epiphany Health, there are no surprise bills. Patients know exactly what their care through us will cost. That means that patients can afford to get preventive care and treatment for their chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and much more. Our practice provides full scope family medicine services, sees patients ages 5 and up, including women’s wellness care.

Advice to young people considering medicineWe are among the few primary care physicians that remain excited about the future of healthcare. Physicians are scared, frustrated, beat down. Direct primary care represents the only remaining pure relationship between a patient and a physician. We are working within a model of complete price transparency that is not fee-for-service, encourages the cost-conscious consumer, and reduces the cost of routine medical care to a level that is affordable for nearly all, does not exclude for medical conditions and makes primary care a financially viable specialty. www.epiphanyhealth.org

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