After James Bailey completed medical school, he was reassured he didn't want to just go with the flow in the profession.
"Before I went to medical school, I pictured myself partnering with people and being there for them in a health crisis," said Bailey, who opened Artisan Primary Care in Post Falls in July.
"I want to take house calls, if needed, and be that lifetime physician."
Artisan's model is part of a growing movement of American medicine called direct primary care (DPC).
"DPC steps completely out of the insurance market," Bailey said. "There's no extra costs for billing software and employees to do coding and billing. It's more direct — physician to patient — and takes out the middle man."
Bailey said DPC is different than concierge medicine, which is still in the insurance market and the patient pays a fee on top of that.
"There are similarities in that there's membership fees for both and there's better access to the patient," said Bailey, who has a bachelor's degree in neurobiology from the University of Washington and medical doctorate from the University of Michigan.
Artisan's membership fees are $125 per month for people 27 and older for the first 100 patients and $150 after that number. Those ages up to 26 are free for the first 100 patients and $20 per month after that number. Patients can pay month to month and are not required to sign a contract.
"DPC is a new-old way of looking at primary care and allows the patient to, in effect, take back their medical care both in terms of cost and quality," Bailey said.
Jarel "JP" Pittman said he needed a primary care physician, so he started seeing Bailey in mid-July.
"He's a good doctor, and I like the ideology behind the founding of this practice," Pittman said. "What his practice is founded on is better for the patient. With Dr. Bailey's approach to medicine, it seems as if your medical care is being custom-crafted for your needs."
Pittman said he also likes the flat fee to control his health-care costs and accessibility.
"The cost is roughly the same as a cell phone or utility bill," he said. "I can communicate with him easily by text or email. I also have unlimited visits if I need them."
Pittman said he doesn't feel like his appointments are on a time crunch.
"He seems to take as much time to discuss with you anything related to your medical care," Pittman said. "It doesn't feel as if you are being rushed out of the office so the next patient can be rushed in."
Bailey is the lone employee in his practice until it gets built up. He believes there are two other physicians in this area who follow the DPC model and roughly 900 across the country.
Bailey treats a broad range of conditions, including but not limited to general illness, injuries, high blood pressure, diabetes and mental health.
"I don't turn anyone away because they are too unhealthy," he said.
Bailey said he still recommends that his patients have a high-deductible insurance plan in case of major emergencies.
Bailey said he wanted to give people access to high quality primary care and he believes the DPC model provides that.
"I believe in treating people to be and feel well rather than just reacting to problems and symptoms," he said. "The best medical treatment is the one that works for an individual rather than a one-size-fits-all approach."
INFO: https://www.jamesbaileymd.com or 206-235-6171