A ribbon cutting ceremony was held Tuesday for the medical office of Dr. Alison Snider, a Direct Primary Care office, in the former Yadkin Valley Hospital building. Snider’s practice opened officially on Aug. 29.
“I couldn’t be happier,” Snider said. “Everyone I’ve met has been so welcoming. The community itself, I absolutely love.”
Snider has been practicing medicine for more than 12 years now. She is a graduate of High Point University and obtained her medical degree from Wake Forest University.
“I have practiced in the Kernersville area prior to selling my independent practice in 2014 to one of the large hospital systems due to the ever-increasing regulations and requirements associated with the Affordable Care Act. Suffice it to say, that was just not a good fit for me and I ended up leaving to explore other options. Due to my noncompete, I started looking in surrounding communities and Yadkinville had always been a town my husband and I would stop in on our way to the mountains and loved. I stopped by the Chamber and found out about some possible space for lease in the Yadkinville hospital building and met Lisa Hughes (county manager) and we were able to make it all happen,” Snider explained.
Snider’s practice differs from that of typical family medical offices as she operates on a direct-pay basis rather than through insurance. It’s a fairly new concept, but Snider said that it’s growing in popularity. She is the only such practice in the immediate vicinity.
“It’s no surprise to most anyone these days that the health care system in the United States is in trouble,” Snider said. “Insurance premiums are through the roof, co-pays and deductibles tick ever upwards, insurance companies seem to cover less and less and even generic medications that cost $4 at Walmart often require a prior authorization for coverage. As tired as patients are of this nonsense, doctors are even more tired. Not only do we have to jump through hoops to provide the health care that we think is important, but we have to pay a huge percentage of our overhead simply to get paid by insurers and Medicare. To cover that overhead, we have to see more patients, rushing them through the visit to try to squeeze in a few more people per day. I know personally, it felt like I was on a treadmill and couldn’t get off.
“There has to be a better way, and many doctors think that getting back to a more traditional type of practice, using a model called Direct Primary Care (DPC), is the answer,” Snider continued. “Direct primary care is a form of retainer-based practices which many physicians are turning to out of frustration with ever-increasing insurance regulations, issues with electronic medical records and high overhead.”
Patients at Snider’s practice pay a monthly fee and have access to visits at the practice as often as needed for regular check-ups, basic laboratory services and office procedures.
Snider said this type of healthcare option is ideal for those without insurance or those with a high deductible insurance plan.
“A person with a high deductible health plan, or without any health insurance, will generally save a significant amount of money on doctor visits,” she explained. “Even people with conventional insurance may find benefits to DPC — with longer visits, more access to your doctor with 24/7 accessibility, more convenient and flexible office hours, and the availability of telephone and video conferencing which are often not an option in conventional office practices, and peace of mind of knowing that their doctor is available when needed.”
She added that direct primary care covers typical medical expenses, but it is not the same as health insurance.
“At a minimum, everyone should have catastrophic health care coverage in the event of a major medical illness such as hospitalization or surgery,” Snider said. “For someone with a current high deductible plan, a DPC practice should make financial sense. For everyone else, it may make sense to crunch the numbers as open enrollment for health insurance approaches, and see if a change to a lower-cost high-deductible health plan along with a DPC membership makes sense.”
The individual rate at Dr. Snider’s practice is $79 per month; $140 for couples; and ranging from $175 to $199 for families. She also offers a discount for veterans. For more information, call 336-849-7895 or visit www.asnidermd.com.
Kitsey Burns Harrison may be reached at 336-679-2341 or on Twitter and Instagram @RippleReporterK.