Doctor launches cash-based practice to serve patients in central Ohio

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Have you ever tried to get an immediate appointment at your doctor’s office or pediatrician? Or have you ever moved to a new city and tried getting new doctors?

You were probably told “We’re not accepting new patients” or “It’ll be two to three weeks before we can get you in.”

That’s frustrating for everyone involved.

Now another option has come to Columbus. It’s called Direct Primary Care and Dr. Heather Bartlett claims to be the first doctor offering it in central Ohio.

Think of Direct Primary Care like a gym membership: You pay a monthly fee for your care. It comes out of your pocket because Dr. Bartlett doesn’t take insurance.

Her three medical plans range from $59 to $149 a month.

She’s adamant about communication with her patients too whether it’s before, during and after the visit.

“Patients don’t want the ‘if you don’t hear from me’ all is good. That’s not the game we play here,” Dr. Bartlett said.

Dr. Bartlett left a bustling practice in Seattle because she said she couldn’t provide quality health care by seeing nearly two dozen patients every day.

Her practice is part of a small but growing movement. Some doctors are burned out by insurance mandates and they don’t want to be ‘on the clock’ all the time with patients.

The average time doctors spend with their patients is now 13-16 minutes in America.

Dr. Bartlett said the system has turned people off from getting the care they need because sometimes it IS a hassle getting health care.

“If they (patients) don’t feel like they can trust you and make it in a way that is accessible and easy then they’re not going to participate. Welcome to sick America,” Dr. Bartlett said.

Oh, and this doctor does house calls too.

If you have questions, click here to explore Dr. Bartlett’s practice and frequently asked questions.