Lawmakers take interest in Medical without Insurance

Lawmakers take interest in insurance-free approach of Wichita practice

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Dr. Josh Umbehr isn’t averse to sharing his business model with other physicians.

Now, lawmakers are taking interest in his approach to providing insurance-free medical care as well.

Umbehr, founder and CEO of AtlasMD, is traveling this week to Florida and West Virginia to speak with lawmakers in those states about Atlas and direct care in general.

Umbehr says the hope is the exposure will help drive forward the insurance-free model of care.

Ways to change the health care system and lower costs continue to be hot topics nationwide.

Umbehr founded the Wichita direct-care medical practice as a way to bypass insurance companies. He does, however, advocate for health insurance to cover catastrophic events.

Umbehr says his model helps to lower health care costs by eliminating red tape and administrative overhead. Health care prices, he says, also are more transparent.

Last fall, Umbehr’s practice received national attention when Fox News host Sean Hannity indirectly referenced AtlasMD as part of a broadcast during which one-time presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson was being interviewed about ways to change the health care system and lower costs.

At Atlas, patients pay a monthly membership fee — from $10 to $100 per month. Members have access to doctors in person, by phone or through social media channels.

The membership also gives patients access to diagnostic procedures, such as bone scans or pulmonary function tests, at no additional charge. Atlas has more than 2,200 members.

Atlas also is having success getting other physicians on board with the direct-care model.

He worked with Entermotion in Wichita to develop software that manages billing, printing medicine labels and charting from one platform rather than the seven or so platforms that were required before. Atlas charges $300 per physician per month to license the software to medical practices.

Umbehr and other Atlas physicians offer free consulting and online curriculum to prepare doctors to change over to the direct-care model, which helps mitigate some of the risk.

Atlas now has more than 200 physicians using the platform.

The Wichita Business Journal has recognized Umbehr and the practice on multiple occasions, including most recently the 2016 Health Care Heroes awards.

Josh Heck covers health care, professional services, education and energy.

About the author: Dr. Dino Ramzi