By Maggie Caraway
For the Opelika Observer
Auburn Direct Primary Care was started after the COVID-19 global pandemic devastated the world and turned the healthcare system upside down. As the virus swept across our nation, healthcare facilities were overworked, understaffed and utterly terrified. Dr. Kyle Adams worked as the chief medical officer of an urgent care company and had to quickly produce a response to the global crisis. Even when COVID-19 cases reached unimaginable numbers and there was a lack of testing, supplies and knowledge, Adams forged on. His efforts to keep the company afloat were successful and they made it through the darkest moments of the pandemic.
Throughout grueling shifts at the urgent care, Adams realized that patients were not receiving the healthcare they needed. Whether it was due to loss of health insurance, primary care providers refusing new patients, or general dissatisfaction with the healthcare system — people needed help.
Adams thought to himself, “Why is good healthcare so darned hard to get around here?” He decided to do something different. Near the end of 2020, he left his steady job and risked his financial future to start a new practice, one with a model few people in the area had heard of. Adams signed the paperwork for Auburn Direct Primary Care and stepped down from his position of chief medical officer on January 1. Then, he put all his focus on starting his new practice.
Direct Primary Care is an innovative financial arrangement between the healthcare provider and the patient. Unlike other healthcare facilities, Direct Primary Care does not deal with insurance at all. Direct Primary Care is focused on transparency when it comes to payment. Patients pay a monthly membership fee that covers almost unlimited services — there are no copays or hidden fees.
The direct primary care model is designed to make receiving healthcare an easy and affordable process for patients. Patients can start receiving services by completing the new patient enrollment packet found online at www.auburndpc.com. Adults ages 17 and up may enroll for a monthly cost of $75 and children up to age 16 may enroll with a parent for a monthly cost of $25.
According to Adams, his goal for Auburn Direct Primary Care has always been clear.
“My goal from the outset was to provide high quality, personalized care for my patients, unencumbered by the tyranny of the insurance companies,” he said.
“In my practice, I can accept whoever I want, even the tough and time-consuming cases. I can take text messages from my patients since I don’t have to force them to come into the office to get paid. I can spend time on educating my patients, listening to their concerns, and treating them as a whole person. And I can do it all without putting my patients into debt over their healthcare.”
Adams stresses the importance of urgent care facilities and their ability to take care of acute needs when patients may not be able to see their primary care doctor. However, they do not exist to take care of long-term or chronic health problems. “You’re just not going to have a personalized relationship with your urgent care because they simply don’t have time to build that up,” he said. “Whereas with us, we get to know our patients. We sit down and go through their medical histories. We learn about who they are and where they’re coming from, what barriers they might have to achieving their healthcare goals and we just so happen to also be able to take care of the short-term needs and fill those urgent care needs as well, which is great. So, we really hit the full spectrum here.”
Adams prioritizes his patient’s health and financial status by creating an affordable and easily accessible environment. That includes scheduling them a same-day or next-day appointment, free Telemedicine, free procedures, free in-house labs, extended-length visits, no copays or confusing bills, medications dispensed directly from your doctor at a vastly reduced cost, sending out labs and blood work steeply discounted, direct access to Adams by phone, text, email or in office and even home visits when necessary.
According to Adams, everyone can benefit from direct primary care.
“I think anybody would benefit from it because what we’re able to do is provide a much more personalized level of care for our patients than anything they’ve ever experienced before,” he said. “So, anybody who has healthcare needs would benefit from a relationship with a direct primary care practice … Who else can pick up the phone and text their doctor directly or call their doctor directly? Who else can call and get a visit with their physician the same day or the next day?”
Additionally, Adams is extremely grateful for the Auburn community and the success he has achieved so far.
“We’re thrilled to have already grown much faster than we ever expected … We’ve been so appreciative of all the love that all patients have shown to us as we try our best to take care of them.”
Ultimately, Adams started Auburn Direct Primary Care to fulfill the healthcare needs of the Auburn community and to pursue his passion for helping people. “The most important thing is, I want everybody to know that everybody is welcome regardless of insurance status,” he said. “Regardless of social and economic background … We just want to take care of anybody that needs us.”
For more information about Auburn Direct Primary Care, visit www.auburndpc.com or call 334-209-2339.