New research was just released by the Robert Wood Johnson foundation that has Marion County, Florida ranking at 52 out of 67 counties for health outcomes. This includes the state our citizens’ physical and mental health, premature death, and the number of people who live with fair or poor health. We are living in one of the sickest counties in all of Florida! At Faithfully Guided Health Center we are on a mission of change… Our goal is begin reversing the impact of chronic disease, starting in our hometown.
The Problem with Conventional Medicine
So what has led us to this problem? We feel it roots back to the fact that conventional medicine tends to be reactive, instead of proactive. Doctors don’t often spend time teaching us how to stay healthy and we don’t get serious about our health until we’ve lost it. The conventional medical model doesn’t focus on preventing disease, but screening for it. Often it’s not a matter of if you’ll get ________ (fill in the blank – cancer, heart disease, diabetes, autoimmune disease), but when.
Conventional medicine provides sick-care instead of health-care. The use of pharmaceuticals and costly procedures often manage symptoms to prolong life, instead of finding the root cause and healing the body. This mindset has created a system where health providers are rewarded when you are sick rather than being healthy.
Because the conventional model is not prevention-focused, our healthcare costs are astronomical. When we turn to expensive pharmaceuticals or costly procedures to treat our symptoms, insurance companies pass along that increase in cost to us. In 2007 an employer-sponsored PPO (insurance) plan for a family of four cost $14,700 annually, now that same plan is up to $27,000! Our current healthcare model is not sustainable. The bottom line is, families can’t afford this and the government will eventually go bankrupt trying to fund Medicare.
Compared to the rest of the world, the US spends the most money on healthcare, but we are not even in the top 30 in regards to our life expectancy. Heart disease is the number one killer, cancer rates are still rising, and dementia in the last few decades of life is almost expected.
It’s Time for a New Look at Health Care
At Faithfully Guided Health Center, we believe the answer to the health burden our country is facing is prevention. To seek healthier lifestyles through functional medicine and faith-based counseling. Functional medicine addresses the root cause of disease and treatment by developing a lifestyle for health, as well as using supplements, unique diagnostics tests, among other therapies to bring healing to the whole body. Oftentimes many of the visits and diagnostic testing used in Functional Medicine are not covered by conventional health insurance, creating a financial burden for the patient.
How Can Someone Afford to Pay for This Type of Service?
Direct Primary Care
One option that is gaining popularity is the Direct Primary Care model. Direct Primary Care (DPC) is a membership-based alternative payment model where patients, employers, or health plans pay primary care providers in flat, simple periodic fees directly for unlimited access to primary care and prevention services. It’s similar to a gym membership where you pay a monthly fee to have access to your doctor. Practices vary in how they implement this model, but you basically have unlimited access to your primary care doctor for one price per month. This allows your family to adopt a high deductible insurance plan and spend the cost savings on keeping your family healthy.
Share of Cost Health Coverage
We still need healthcare coverage for inevitable issues that come up – an accident, a necessary surgery, needing to see a specialist. But there are Share of Cost plans out there that can really save the consumer money. This is not considered “insurance,” but you send in your “monthly share” and then share the cost of other members medical bills. Faith-based communities have been doing this for decades – organizations like Medi-Share, Samaritan Ministries, and Christian Healthcare Ministries are examples. Another option that is focused on functional medicine, is called Knew Health. The savings most families get by joining these sharing plans are around $500 per month! The idea is that you take the money you save and invest that into your health. Eating high quality food, gym memberships, self-care, counseling for healthy relationships, and Direct Primary Care membership for your family.
Faithfully Guided Health Center is excited to now be offering Direct Primary Care membership options at our facility. If you would like more information please follow this link or call our office at 352-512-0631.