The Direct Care Way


February 14, 2023 Tea Nguyen, DPM Season 2 Episode 53
The Direct Care Way
Show Notes Transcript

Happy anniversary! This episode celebrates our 1 year together and I'm also announcing my course Launch in 12 Weeks! As a listener, you will gain access to weekly lesson that'll help you launch your Direct Specialty Care practice all in one place. It will be updated regularly giving you key insight as to what it takes to build your dream practice without having to deal with insurance ever again.

Get access to Launch in 12 Weeks:  $99/month for 3 months, then $297/mo thereafter
Code: DCW99
Expires March 13, 2023

Dr Tea:   0:01
Owners of a direct care practice are more likely to experience higher job satisfaction than the insurance based practice. And it's no wonder why direct care is independent of insurance. Patients pay the doctor directly for their expertise. The doctor gets full autonomy in how they care for patients and how they get paid. They have chosen this path with a love of medicine. This is the direct care way. 

Dr Tea:   0:24
By listening to this podcast, you may even start to believe that you too can have a successful direct care practice. Come listen with an open mind as I share my personal journey and how I pivoted from an insurance based practice to direct care right in the middle of the pandemic. And the valuable lessons along the way. This podcast may be the very thing you need to revitalize your medical practice. I'm your host, owner of a direct care podiatry practice Dr. Tea Nguyen.

Dr Tea:   0:53
Happy anniversary. It's also Valentine's Day. This is a really special episode because I'm welcoming you to season number two. That means 52 episodes ago or a year ago, I started this podcast and I'm surprised at the feedback that I've gotten. This really started as a dream to help other doctors recognize the option of a medical practice that is not dependent on insurance, particularly for podiatrist, specialists, and proceduralist who doubt the possibility of running a medical practice where people are paying cash, and you're providing procedures and surgeries and medical care that aims to help people get better faster without the usual insurance hassles of long waits and short visits. And I want to welcome you to Season Two.

Dr Tea:   1:40
I guess that's how this is going to work. Yeah, well, we'll just call today Season Two. Also the anniversary also Valentine's Day, it's a great time to reflect and look back to what has happened for the direct care community. And what I want to have happen for future generations, I've been thinking a lot about what I wanted to share with you in this very special episode. So I thought about doing a recap of what the business looks like up to now. But then I realized I already did that in December. So refer back to those episodes as I reflect the end of the year, what life was like indirect care in the midst of it in the transition and all of that, what I do want to do is share with you some of the stats from this podcast, which is all thanks to you to all of the episodes that you've shared with others on social media, through emails through text with friends and colleagues.

Dr Tea:   2:30
And I truly believe there's nothing too small to celebrate. And so I want to share this little episode, this little podcast that I created a year ago with you and what the stats are the last time I checked all time total download was 2415 times you have chosen to download this podcast. And I want to thank you so much for that. So far 52 episodes have been published today will be number 53. Over 16 countries have been represented listening into the direct care way podcast. And I find that to be incredibly fascinating. And it just shows how powerful we are in the digital age, which is why I promote social media so much more because we have such a huge grasp on what could be and you know, direct care can have a greater reach, the more present we are in the digital space.

Dr Tea:   3:25
Now I can't even count all of the different conversations I've had speaking opportunities about direct care. And the collaborations I really got to enjoy in this past year to the point that I don't even realize that I am still writing to businesses, my private practice and this podcast. So it's been super fun. And I hope to have a lot more fun for the remainder of the year. And what's interesting is the most downloaded episode remains episode number one, business lessons from pole dancing. And I've not gone back to pole dancing since then, I've tried different things, other things that have similar business analogies, like I did this hot yoga thing, and I nearly died. But I didn't. But I was going to publish that episode. But then I realized a lot of the common denominators and trying something new while they're all kind of the same, right?

Dr Tea:   4:19
You do something scared. And then when you finish you feel really accomplished. And so I think in everything that I do, I try to find a way to relate it to the development of your direct care practice. And pole dancing just happened to be the first experience of doing something super scary, something that I really sucked at. But then I pressed on and I finished it and then I was done. So I'm glad you enjoyed that episode. It was certainly one for me to not revisit To be honest, I don't know if they'll be doing pole dancing anytime soon again. So anyway, now as for the business stats 2022 was officially my time to be 100% cash which is is incredible because, you know, you'll hear me talk about having a hybrid practice the benefits and the disadvantages.

Dr Tea:   5:07
And it's I don't know if there's a right way to start your practice, whether you start insurance based or you go fully direct care, I just know what I personally experience. And the advantage of switching over is that I get to compare and contrast what life was like in the insurance based practice and what it's like in the direct care practice. And so that gives some kind of meaning to what the pains are for those in the insurance base model versus what could be better when you don't have to deal with those hassles. So I think that's just a perspective to share. If you're going to choose to go directly into a cash practice, I think that's fantastic. Because you don't really have the baggage of history holding you down. Right.

Dr Tea:   5:49
And I've heard it before, people who go from insurance to direct care actually have a more difficult transition, because someone said that when you're insurance based, you're a little bit lazier when it comes to business developing and marketing, because patients just kind of come to you, because you're in network. And so I think it spends your business development in some ways. And that's not to be insulting to those of us who chose to do insurance based practices, it's just a skill that we don't really get to develop, if we are comfortable, if we're just doing what everyone else is doing. And people patients are trickling in without having to try so hard to bring them in. So yeah, I hope you're not offended. If you are, then we're gonna have a hard time grabbing drinks together.

Dr Tea:   6:31
Because I don't say things to be mean, I tried to put things into perspective so that there's just an understanding of different options that you can choose. And ultimately, you get to choose how you live your life. I'm just here to provide you with the resources. Also some other stats, I celebrated my first full day being all cash. And it was amazing. I didn't have to deal with the CPT or ICD 10 code, I didn't have to do one peer to peer call. And that just you know, is way less stressful when you have to do one every few months, I had to do it for an MRI for a patient who wanted to use their insurance. But it's way better than having to deal with 15 in a day with a full schedule of people who needs a variety of different things. And so the pace of me having to do these administrative stuff is way less, and I'm okay with him and got to celebrate my first largest transaction from one individual. And I believe that was about $9,000 for surgery. And then I'd like to celebrate the second largest transaction as well. And so I'm sharing this with you.

Dr Tea:   7:35
So you can see what's possible. Maybe you don't want to make 1000s and millions of dollars. I don't know, I don't know where you want where you are in your business dreams. But it is my dream to be financially independent. And in order to be financially independent, I have to be comfortable talking with money. And unfortunately, physicians have a really weird time talking about money openly. I don't know why, but we need to get over it. In order for us to move into the next phase of our career. I also wanted to share, I did have my first refund request. And the reason why I want to share this because you know, you always have to match the good with the bad. And that's just life. There's a balance. There's a yin and yang, however you want to call it.

Dr Tea:   8:13
And so by celebrating the small milestones, you know you're on the right path. So it's a privilege to be able to experience some of these negative things that maybe don't feel so good, but it's just part of business ownership. And once we recognize that some of these, what we feel as setbacks or even failures, it's just kind of part of the process. When you just accept that to be, then it's just easier to have you practice. What I wanted to do was to share with you my vision for the future, which is normalizing conversations around direct care. This came to me because I recently had the pleasure of speaking to my old residency program, which then reminded me of how different my vision of the world was back then compared to how much I have evolved to now it was such a bubble.

Dr Tea:   8:57
And I feel so privileged to have the experiences that I did, through residency through fellowship, even in the first few jobs that I had. And I wanted to share a really thoughtful note by one of the residents in regards to the presentation I gave on direct care. This is what he said. I wanted to thank you for your talk this past Monday, the residents and I really appreciated the talk it was very informative, and helped educate us more on what is available in private practice upon graduating, I really admire the way you built up in your practice, it can see the value you add to your patients lives in the community at large. When I moved to the US from Canada, I quickly realized how much I hated dealing with insurance and receiving surprise bills for services that weren't covered, or sometimes that were covered but took hours on the phone to sort out. I love the idea that you are upfront with your cause and that you have more opportunity and time to individualize your care for each patient. Thanks again for the talk.

Dr Tea:   9:59
This is so Have a thoughtful message. And I love I'm a total sentimental person. So if you send me a card handwritten, I'll probably keep it for an eternity. In this day and age, we're texting and emailing. And I do look back at these really nice notes to help motivate me to spread the message in my purpose. And so I really appreciate this note from a resident, because it reminds me of what life was like back then, and how I didn't have exposure to this type of business practice. And so it's really fun to be ahead of the curve to be able to share what I have experience with future generations. So thank you so much. Shout out to St. John Macomb Oakland hospital, it's been a really fun time to be able to share with you what I'm going through and what I hope make possible for you as well. For many, the concept of direct care is going to sound a little crazy and maybe impossible, and definitely unclear. So I know it takes time to marinate in new information. And oftentimes, you have to re listen to fully gain the concepts that I'm sharing with you here.

Dr Tea:   10:59
So what I'm inviting you to do is listen to some of the older episodes a couple of times, because each time you hear it, you're going to pull something new and different from it, the journey into direct care may start as curious, it may even transition into opposing, like it's not possible, how dare you have many conversations with patients and all of the things. And if you just surface conversations on my post, you're gonna see a lot of people antagonizing direct care. And it's not just me, it's other direct care doctors as well. And that's all perfectly normal, you know, you have the right to believe what you believe. And the great thing about social media is that you can decide what you see and what you don't see.

Dr Tea:   11:41
Which means you can also decide on how you respond. So again, life is a choice, you can choose to be mad, or you can choose to make a change in your life, you decide. Eventually, though, if you and I hang out long enough, I know you're going to be excited to believe that direct care is possible for you. So I invite you to share my podcast with colleagues to people who might be interested in a life outside of insurance to somebody who says it's not even impossible for us and show them exactly what it takes to make it possible. Because yeah, what we're doing is not easy. It's very simple, though, because all other industries have a service line where people pay them the same day for that service. But in medicine, we're having to go through the rigor Maru just to get paid. And when we do get paid, it's going in the opposite of inflation. It's a decline reimbursement rate. And it's a discounted rate or worse off, we just end up writing stuff off because we're tired of chasing money that's owed to us. 

Dr Tea:   12:41
We don't want to pay for collection fees. We don't really want to look at our growing accounts receivable because we're either tired of it, we are exhausted, we just don't want to look at our numbers anymore. And that's not how you're supposed to run your business. owning a business should be fun and showing you that it is fun. It just takes a different skill set to realize that owning a business is fun, when you are profitable. And that profitability buys you freedom in your time in your energy in your schedule. That's all it really is. As you know, I'm not the only one doing direct care, you can listen to prior episodes where I talked to Dr. Grace Torres Hodges, another podiatrist on the East Coast in Florida, or you can listen to rheumatologist Dr. Diana Grenada, who's heading the way for the direct Specialty Care Alliance helping other Doc's like you know what's out there and providing you with the resources to help you become successful to these are people who are actively doing the hard things. So don't let other people's limitations those who are not in direct care at all who don't even know what it's about. Don't let their limitations become your reality.

Dr Tea:   13:50
This podcast is meant to show you what's been possible for others, and that it's very possible for you to So to celebrate this podcast, I have been working tirelessly on a self paced course called Launch in 12 weeks now, don't be intimidated. If you are not ready to launch your direct care practice in 12 weeks, this is something for you to do at your own pace, however long you want to take. It's all there for you people may take on average anywhere from two years to 15 years to make the decision to go into direct care. So this course is going to give you the exact steps to help you get there faster.

Dr Tea:   14:27
Taking out the guesswork. I didn't have this course this was something I wish that I had. But I had to pick up all the pieces along the way. And then I just synthesize it and plug it all into this one place so that you have it at your fingertips. And there's the additional option of getting direct coaching directly from me, because I know how lonely entrepreneurship can be. And I know the struggles that a lot of us try not to confront but often exist in building a business that is opposite of what everyone else is doing. And sometimes we need a coach for that to help us through this. Some of our own barriers that we create for ourselves.

Dr Tea:   15:03
So as a special promotion for you listening to this podcast and celebrating the one year anniversary, I want to give you a special discount for the course that is only going to be $99 a month for the access, you're going to get drip content, which means every week, you're going to get new material for 12 weeks versus the original price of the 297 per month. So you're getting a huge discount, which costs nearly nothing for having immediate access at your fingertips on how to build your direct care practice successfully minimizing the mistakes that most of us have made, trying to help you along the way here too. Now, the reason I'm offering lessons, so the course is set up in a way where you get new lessons every week, so that you don't get stuck in overwhelm. And you actually develop and practice the skills that you need to make this happen. It's easy to just give you a book and give you all the content all at once. But that's not exactly the best way to learn new skills. And so this offer will only be available for the next 30 days, and the link will be provided below. So if you know somebody who would drastically benefit from this type of material, and they just want the convenience of everything all in one place. Please share this link with them. I'll share with you my vision for the next 10 years. And I hope that I can have you on board as well, because if you made it this far, listening to the end of this episode, that means you're very, very interested and you are committed to a successful direct care practice.

Dr Tea:   16:29
I want direct care to become part of our everyday conversations, starting from pre med into our residency program and then preparing us for life afterwards. These are conversations that physicians don't have enough of, but it's necessary so that we actually have autonomy and the choice to choose how we want to practice. Rather than just dealing with things that land on our lap, we have a lot more control than we realize. And we really need to empower each other in knowing that those choices are available. Direct Care is for physicians who want a low key but highly profitable practice so that you can enjoy the life you worked so hard to create. But in order to do that, I need your help.

Dr Tea:   17:11
I need you to share your favorite episode with your physician friend, your residency program directors even and tell them that they need to teach direct care practices to their residents to their students. This is just practicing medicine without insurance and it's not unethical. If somebody says that's unethical connect me, we'll have a conversation. You can see now that it's not it's actually increased access of care is increased price and transparency. And it benefits both patients who want the care and physicians who want to stay in medicine and have a fulfilling practice. This is where we are not just surviving but we are thriving and I'm so looking forward to being with you next week to share more of the stuff and less of the fluff. I'm so excited to have you here. Happy anniversary and thank you for being here with me.

Dr Tea:   18:01
Thank you so much for being here with me. If you enjoyed this episode and want to hear more, please like, share and subscribe so more people like you can have access to another way of practicing medicine, that direct care way. Let's connect find my info in the show notes and send me your questions. That might be the topic for future episodes. 

Dr Tea:   18:21
And lastly, if you remember nothing else, remember this be the energy you want to attract. See you next time