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TMCNet:  MedLion Direct Primary Care Continues Rapid National Expansion

[March 26, 2014]

MedLion Direct Primary Care Continues Rapid National Expansion

LAS VEGAS --(Business Wire)--

In the last three months alone, Las Vegas-based MedLion Management, Inc., a Direct Primary Care provider organization, has signed up additional physicians and practices in California, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, Louisiana, Florida, and Ohio. Privately-owned by Founder and CEO, Dr. Samir Qamar, MedLion has quickly become the national leader for Direct Primary Care with over 30 locations in nine states.

Direct Primary Care (DPC), a relatively new industry, makes primary medical care extremely affordable, leaving insurance needs for catastrophic events only. Because primary care comprises the majority of healthcare needs, and insurance use is minimized, the overall cost of healthcare expense is reduced as a result. Different from fancier "concierge medical practices," DPC practices charge patients and employers low monthly fees for all primary care visits. DPC has dramatically increased in popularity within the last few years, and is commonly touted as a potential solution to the nation's primary care shortage.

"The American healthcare system is not sustainable, and primary care is particularly in need of a radical transformation," says Dr. Qamar. "At MedLion, we don't respect the status quo, so we work hard to change it. We focus on extremely affordable rates to minimize insurance use, technology to enhance telemedicine convenience, and offer unrivaled patient experiences."

Dr. Pouya Shafipour, a new MedLion provider in Santa Monica, California, says after extensive research on concierge practice and direct pay models, he ultimately decided to start a DPC practice with MedLion. "If one wants to offer quality care, spend time with patients, and follow up over the phone, there would not be reimbursement for the majority of those services under insurance plans. Together (with MedLion) we are appealing to employers and consumers, and are able to provide services to patients," remarks Dr. Shafipour, currently in private practice.


Michael Tetreault, Editor of Concierge Medicine Today and The Direct Primary Care Journal, is asked if he sees promise with the DPC model of healthcare. "Absolutely," says Mr. Tetreault. "As doctors are investigating and reviewing alternative business models, Direct Primary Care is one that has gained the interest and support of a number of doctors who are looking to change their revenue and service structure for the future."

Dr. David Berg, CEO of Arrowhead Health, a certified PCMH (Patient Centered Medical Home) primary care network spread throughout Phoenix, Arizona, agrees. "The current model of healthcare is ripe for innovation and paradigm shifts that allow patients, employers and doctors to better sidestep waste and inefficiencies. We just need to create systems and use models that find it and make it usable. The Direct Primary Care model does this." Arrowhead Health is preparing to see MedLion patients at all its Phoenix clinics.

What has caused MedLion to grow so quickly? Dr. Qamar explains. "Employers are looking for ways to cover healthcare costs in light of new federal mandates. Doctors are looking for a better way to practice primary care, which is dangerously in short supply. Patients are looking for improved access, affordability, and convenience. MedLion's model provides solutions for multiple challenges."

Currently, MedLion is directly approaching employers in dozens of states. The company aims to be in all 50 states within the next few years, a goal being fueled by DPC's inclusion in new healthcare mandates, employers making active decisions about healthcare costs, and doctors eager to join the DPC movement. Though currently self-funded, Dr. Qamar says MedLion may be open to strategic investments in the future to allow for even faster growth.

"It's not easy improving our country's healthcare system, but, it has to be done. We have to start from the ground up. That's where primary care lays dormant, waiting for an opportunity like Direct Primary Care. At MedLion, we recognize this opportunity," says Dr. Qamar, "and we're already reinventing American healthcare."

About MedLion Management, Inc. - MedLion was originally formed in 2009 in Monterey, California by Dr. Samir Qamar, the former house physician for Pebble Beach Resorts, to create direct primary care access to the community's newly-unemployed. Today, in addition to focusing on the uninsured, MedLion also reduces employer healthcare costs by including Direct Primary Care in benefits plans for companies of all sizes.


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