“Don’t overthink it too much, just do it [about a pediatrician going solo]. There’s always going to be questions and there’s always going to be ‘what ifs’. And if I had thought about it too much I probably wouldn’t have done it.”
~Dr. Kortney West, A House Call Pediatrician
DPC has traditionally grown via family medicine practices, yet as DPC grows, more doctors are finding niches for direct care, such as being house call pediatrician. In Episode 22, Dr Kortney West, a pediatrician out of Baton Rouge, LA, discusses her experience doing exclusively house call pediatrics. In the interview they discuss how housecalls have provided an added level of convenience to her patients, how avoiding the clinic has made the venture more financially feasible and how this has only been possible via a DPC arrangement.
[2:37] What was your motivation for starting a direct care practice as a house call pediatrician?
[3:20] Why did you get started with house calls?
[4:51] Can you tell us a little bit about your patient population? How old are they? Where do they live? How often do you see them?
[6:04] Do your patients find it more convenient for you to come to them?
[7:45] How does the decision to not take a fee for service or join an insurance network play into being able to spend more time with patients?
[8:57] When you left the big hospital system and went on your own but had joined an insurance network, would you have been able to provide the convenience of house calls for your patience?
[9:41] Since you’re not in an insurance network how do you handle providing vaccines which most insurance companies will reimburse?
[10:11] For parents who want to pay cash what have been some of the prices for vaccines?
[10:52] How has the house call model been able to help you keep your overhead costs low in fulfilling your own personal goals?
[11:46] What questions would you advise a pediatrician who’s thinking about going solo consider?
Dr. West is a native of Lafayette LA and moved to Baton Rouge after her residency. She founded West Pediatrics after working at a major hospital system as a employed pediatrician for two years and now provides pediatric care exclusively via house calls.