“The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities.”
Dr Josh Umbehr is a one-of-a-kind doctor. “Fearless” as some have described him, he ventured in 2010 to start an insurance-free, cash-based practice straight out of residency. Now, his clinic, AtlasMD, has a handful of physicians and services thousands of patients in the Wichita, KS area. Moreover, he has developed an electronic health record designed specifically for DPC doctors and provides free consulting for doctors interested in starting their own DPC practice and his clinic has served as spearhead for the nation for a new model of primary care.
In this episode, Dr Umbehr—who’s become a well-known voice in the DPC movement—discusses his motivation to start a DPC practice at a time when the number of DPC doctors were in the single digits. Inspired by Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, he found a direct relationship to be a more empowering way of delivering healthcare, one which better upholds individual liberty. When doctors and patients ‘shrug off’ insurance companies, he notes, they break free from the tendency to be treated as mere cog’s in a machine and find themselves free to make decisions directly between each other. While a great tool, Umbehr says, insurance should be used only for catastrophic events like hospitalizations, cancer care, hospice and critical illness. When insurance starts covering every day events, it not only creates un-needed work of mediating between another party but also undermines the liberty of the two more responsible parties: the doctor and the patient. In the interview Dr Umbehr cogently defend of DPC as the way to make healthcare not only more efficient but also make doctors and patients happier.
[2:36] When did AtlasMD start?
[4:19] Where Dr Umbehr got the idea to start a DPC practice?
[5:54] How did AtlasMD go about figuring out what to do with few models to follow?
[8:26] How does ‘First Do No Harm’ apply to direct primary care and the AtlasMD model?
[15:15] How has troubleshooting helped AtlasMD be a better practice?
[15:43] How did AtlasMD build an electronic health record?
[18:48] What would Dr Umbehr recommend to medical students, residents or practicing physicians who are interested in direct primary care?
Dr Josh Umbehr is a family physician who completed his medical school and residency in KS. He started the AtlasMD clinic in 2010. He has spoken on direct primary care on Fox News, Hannity and many other venues and speaks regularly at conferences around the country on the importance of keeping primary care direct and free from involvement of government or insurance.