By Alexander Germanis
Medical care has probably never been more complicated. Complex insurance plans and healthcare reimbursements are bad enough, but we now also live in the age of the specialist.
Now it is common to go to half a dozen different offices and practices around town or even across the state in order to address a handful of medical problems. The problems then compound and the stress mounts as the bills from all those specialists start flooding in.
There is a place where things are being simplified. At Innovative Medical Therapies (IMT) in Central Illinois, a myriad of healthcare problems can be addressed in one place and a lot of that stress can be cured as well.
Direct Primary Care
Covering Pekin and Washington, Dr. Bill Fisher is the head of Innovative Medical Therapies. Having completed an osteopathic medical degree and a military family practice residency program, Dr. Fisher is an experienced solo and independent physician who believes in taking care of his patients the way doctors used to.
Part of coming back around to that type of care is done through the program called Direct Primary Care (DPC). A medical subscription of sorts, “DPC is an innovative method of payment for primary care health services that provides a reasonable, transparent cost for patients and a cost-effective method for the physician,” explains Dr. Fisher. “DPC gets the insurance company out of the exam room; insurance doesn’t dictate how much time is spent or which medications to order.” As the doctor is not burdened with unnecessary questioning and processes in order for the office to be reimbursed, he is free to treat the patient as he sees fit without the need to “check every box” required by insurance companies.
Furthermore, nearly every year insurance companies reduce their reimbursements to doctors. In order to continue operating in a cost-effective manner most physicians then have to cram patients into their waiting rooms like cattle. This of course also means less time spent with each patient. With Direct Primary Care, the doctor can see fewer patients in a day and it allows them the window to see patients with same-day or next-day availability.
Removing the insurance company also has the pleasant side effect of removing insurance billing. With DPC, the doctor’s cost of processing—a cost often passed down to the patient—is removed, which saves the patient even more money.
Cost is, of course, a major concern when seeing the doctor; and cost usually leads to stress. “DPC removes the stress involved when a patient is ill but doesn't want to go to the doctor because payday is too far away, or the stress in visiting a doctor only to discover that the $140 bill they expected is now $440 due to additional charges not included in the visit,” Dr. Fisher adds.
“Patients don't wait six weeks to see their doctor or need to see an urgent care provider that doesn't know them or their medical history,” he includes. “With DPC, there are no copayments required, no deductibles, and no pre-existing conditions.”
Healthcare insurance is still a necessity, however, the doctor points out. “Every person needs to have coverage for major illnesses and accidents, but 80 to 90 percent of healthcare dollars are spent on primary care services.” That is where DPC comes in. “Health share companies such as Zion Health or Samaritan Ministries can be cost-effective in providing coverage for those major issues.”
Filling the Circle
The list of health services Dr. Fisher provides under one roof is a lengthy one. Many of them are even covered by Direct Primary Care, such as: small cyst removal, general wound repair, stitches, casting, musculoskeletal manipulation, wart destruction, ear washing, rapid strep and flu swabs, urinalysis dips, toenail removal, electrocardiograms, pulmonary function testing, joint injections, cryotherapy, small skin cancer excision (excluding melanoma), punch and shave biopsy, and more.
“Although lab tests are not included, they are charged to the DPC patient as a pass-through, and the cost savings are astounding,” Dr. Fisher says. “Generic medications are also dispensed from the office. Many times a patient leaves the office with an antibiotic that costs less than $5.00.”
There is some crossover and discounts with DPC in regard to the other services the doctor provides. In addition to traditional family medicine, he is experienced in performing more advanced treatments such as vasectomies, frenulectomies, large wound repairs, minor surgeries, and more.
But the services provided at Innovative Medical Therapies do not stop there, and DPC patients can enjoy discounts in the two following services.
New Directions in Weight Loss
Weight loss has long been linked with improvements in overall health, so naturally IMT has ways to help there as well.
Utilizing the Robard Corporation’s New Direction Weight Management System, a medically supervised program, IMT helps their patients reach their weight loss goals and thereby reduce their risks of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, and other health problems.
The three New Direction programs are very similar, varying in the amount of meal replacement use. “Patients who choose the VLCD program use all meal replacement products for their food intake,” Dr. Fisher outlines. “These take the form of shakes, puddings, food bars, light entrees, and soups. And they taste good!”
“The VLCD modified program utilizes meal replacement products for two meals per day, with the third one consisting of limited servings of lean meat and vegetables,” he continues. “The LCD program utilizes one to two meal replacement meals, according to goals and preferences, and then a system of tracking food choices or exchanges.”
The programs are not just about mere meal replacement. Each one includes a multidisciplinary approach, including education on nutrition, behavior modification, physical exercise, and group support alongside those who are going through the journey with you.
While weight loss can do wonders in improving one’s health, it can also do miraculous good for one’s self-esteem. However, self-esteem can be affected by aesthetics beyond one’s weight.
For those who need help with other aspects of their appearance, IMT is always thinking and working outside the typical healthcare circle as well.
IMT provides laser treatments such as facial rejuvenation, skin tightening, hair removal, tattoo removal, and skin resurfacing. Also available are injectable cosmetics, facial and body treatments, skin care, and more.
“Aesthetic procedures can change a person's outlook on life,” Dr. Fisher states. “I have seen a dramatic improvement in countenance, in posture and bearing, in attitude, etc. It is believed that a positive outlook affects neurotransmitters in the body, which are key to good health. There is no doubt in my mind that the impact of a positive self-esteem contributes to general health. The FemiLift vaginal rejuvenation treatment is actually a medical treatment done with laser energy that can have a significant impact on a woman’s health and relationships.”
Something the majority of the public doesn’t think about is being fit to fly. While a physical is not required to be a passenger on a plane, the same is certainly not true for those actually controlling the aircraft.
“Aviation Medical Exams, more commonly known as flight physicals, are required by the FAA for anyone wishing to acquire a pilot's license, as well as for commercial pilots and air traffic controllers,” Dr. Fisher informs. “Pilots and ATCs must pass this physical exam every six months to two years depending on pilot class, age, and medical condition. All exam reports are then transmitted to the FAA. Physicians must attend and pass an FAA training course, as well as periodic review courses, in order to be certified as an AME, or Aviation Medical Examiner.”
If you’re thinking of finally earning your wings, a visit to IMT is just the thing, and Dr. Fisher is just the doctor to get you started on your journey to get off the ground.
There was a time when your doctor knew your name, your medical history, and was truly your family doctor. But living with years of medical conglomerates and multi-physician practices has all but eliminated even the memories of those days.
Fortunately, some things have come full circle. What once was old is new again. At Innovative Medical Therapies, the innovation is not only shown through the medical services performed, it is through the one-on-one care provided by a doctor who knows you.
Innovative Medical Therapies is located at 123 North Wilmore Road in Washington, and 2401 Broadway St.—Lower Level—in Pekin. If you want to see more of what we have to offer, please visit us online at www.InnovativeMedicalTherapies.com or www.InnovativeMedicalTherapiesDPC.com or call us at (309) 347-2714.
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