Friday Apr 27, 2012

Direct Primary Care: An Innovative Approach to Health Care Delivery

Dr. David Cameron

Paladina Health

Scribe: Colleen Turner Editor: Jim Kindsvater

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Doug Cameron’s son, David Cameron, MD, gave us a view of a new concept in Medical Treatment – Direct Primary Care.  Direct Primary Care prioritizes improved patient access to their primary care provider and revives the doctor-patient relationship through an innovative and affordable model of health care delivery.  Girish Bhatia from the Major Grants Committee presented a check to Helen Leuzzi, Executive Director, The Sophia Way.  Bob Holert introduced Helen Lin Yang, our Student of the Month.  Chris Monger and Katherine De Stephano prepped us for Sunday’s 10K.

Doug Cameron

Doug Cameron introduced our speaker, David Cameron, MD.

Dr. Cameron told us that primary care is essentially broken in the U.S. The fee for service payment system results in low rates of reimbursement to primary care physicians. Most primary care physicians have over 3,000 patients and the average visit is 12 minutes. It is expensive for them to complete the paperwork necessary to submit claims to insurance companies. Due to these issues, there is currently a shortage of primary care physicians in the U.S.

Given that it is nearly impossible to see a primary care physician on short notice, many people resort to the ER for treatment, which is very expensive. Dr. Cameron stated that 59% of visits to the ER could have been handled by a primary care physician.

Direct Primary Care prioritizes improved patient access to their primary care provider and revives the doctor-patient relationship through an innovative and affordable model of health care delivery. First of all, there are no insurance companies involved, which results in low administrative costs. Patients are charged a fixed, recurring monthly payment for primary care which includes unlimited visits and many of the most common lab tests.

Under the Direct Primary Care system, Dr. Cameron has less than 1,000 patients. The first visit with him is 60 minutes and return visits average 30 minutes. This allows him to provide his patients with more personalized attention and better care. Most patients are able to see him the same day they call. Dr. Cameron also encourages his patients to be better consumers as he gives them options on where to go for other services such as MRI. The scope of services he provides includes Primary Care, Preventive Care and Urgent Care. He characterizes Direct Primary Care with four A’s:

  • All-inclusive
  • Accessible
  • Advocates
  • Accountable

The benefits of Direct Primary Care include:

  • Better quality care
  • Fewer ER visits
  • Fewer hospitalizations
  • Decreased number of MRIs
  • Fewer referrals
  • Fewer surgeries
  • Lower healthcare costs
  • Improved quality measures
Dr. Cameron speaks with BBRC Members

Direct Primary Care is gaining traction quickly. Although it is currently available only through employer sponsorship, it will soon be open to the retail market.







President John Martinka called the meeting to order at 7:30am.

Ann Norman and Wayne McCaulley

Wayne McCaulley gave the following invocation (apparently a bit of Irish wit):

Always remember to forget the things that made you sad,

But never forget to remember the things that made you glad.

Always remember to forget the friends that proved untrue,

But don’t forget to remember those that have stuck by you.”

Ann Norman introduced visiting Rotarians and guests.

District Conference

John spoke briefly about the success of the District Conference at which the BBRC received the Literacy Award and the Changemaker Award.

The Sophia Way

Girish Bhatia

Girish Bhatia from the Major Grants Committee presented a check to Helen Leuzzi, Executive Director, The Sophia Way. The Sophia Way’s mission is to help end homelessness in East King County by providing supportive services, overnight shelter and housing to women as they transition from homelessness to permanent housing and an independent stable life.

Helen Leuzzi

Helen told us that the BBRC helped The Sophia Way open its doors four years ago with a major grant. The major grant that they received at the meeting will help them to furnish their new space at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in Bellevue. Since opening their doors, The Sophia Way has helped 626 women and found permanent housing for 98. The new space will allow them to help twice as many women as they are currently helping.

Helen would like more BBRC members to be a part of the organization and is currently looking for volunteers to help them move and to teach entrepreneurship.

Student of the Month

Helen Lin Yang

Bob Holert introduced Helen Lin Yang, our Student of the Month. Helen is a senior at Sammamish High School and has a 3.8 GPA. She is involved in a lot of activities including Girl’s Varsity Basketball and Tennis, Toastmasters International Youth Leadership Program and the Asian Club. She is most proud of her role as a teaching assistant at a Chinese school; she is the liaison between the teacher and students and has particularly enjoyed helping the students to have fun while learning Chinese. Helen will attend UW this fall.

Bellevue 10K

Chris Monger and Katherine De Stephano

While Chris Monger rode a bike up to the front of the room telling everybody that he was ready for the 10K, Katherine De Stephano was recognizing our sponsors and thanking Jim Carney and Desirée Yuzawa for their work on the Fundraising Committee. Katherine also announced that we had 1,954 registrations and were ahead of last year by 350 registrations. So far, we have raised a total of $113,000 from both sponsors and registrants.

Last Minute Announcements

1. Norm Johnson announced the New Member Committee Meeting at Crossroads on Wednesday, May 2 at 7:00am.

2. Steve Szirmai announced Farina’s German dinner, featuring authentic German food and drink, at Morris Kremen’s home on Saturday, May 12 at 6:00pm. The cost is $50 per person; proceeds will assist Farina in raising funds for her Western Safari trip after school is out.

3. John reminded us that we are all on the Program Committee and to submit speaker ideas to Bob Holert or Bill Prater.

Thank You from Don Chandler

Thank you for the beautiful bouquet of flowers that Dick Brown delivered this past Sunday. Of course it was another outstanding creation from Lawrence The Florist and John DeWater’s fabulous crew. They really brighten my day which seems pretty long. I am healing well from my 5 way bypass surgery but it is quite hard to see what needs to be done (garden, boat, house, etc.) and can’t really do much of anything. Time goes by pretty slowly. I can’t tell you how great it is to receive the cards and well wishes from my good friends at the BBRC and now the flowers!

Thanks so much! I love to keep up with the good works the BBRC is doing via the Reveille.

Love you all, Don



Attributed to Martin Mull: “The trouble with jogging is that the ice falls out of your glass.”

About the Speaker

Dr. Cameron is the son of Doug Cameron, a long-standing member of the BBRC. Dr. Cameron practices family medicine at Paladina Health's Tacoma clinic. He completed his undergraduate education at Duke University and graduated from the University Of Washington School Of Medicine. After completing his residency at Tacoma Family Medicine, he has been serving as clinical faculty for the University of Washington. Together with his wife, Sonya, they co-authored, "The Rest of Health."