Direct primary care provider Qliance opened up its third clinic this week, at 7707 SE 27th Street, next to Walgreen’s on Mercer Island.
An open house is scheduled for the curious on Saturday, January 16, from 12-2 p.m., and if you are curious I recommend you stop in. You might read this interview with founder Garrison Bliss first. They also have clinics downtown and in Kent.
Back in December, the Qliance business model got a boost when Senator Harry Reid (D-Nev.) introduced the “Manager’s Amendment” to the Senate’s health care reform bill. The amendment would let flat-fee direct primary care practices like Qliance take part in the insurance exchange–a provision that both the House and Senate bills include.
Qliance advertises itself as “insurance-free” because it charges monthly fees–from $39 to $129 a month, depending on your plan–for access to primary care physicians and nurse practitioners. But that doesn’t mean you don’t need any insurance at all.
What Bliss is arguing is that since 90 percent of your likely medical needs fall under primary, preventive or chronic care, you can reduce health costs by switching to a subscription model, and by using “wrap-around” insurance to cover more unusual or infrequent medical problems.
Qliance clinics offer “vaccinations, routine blood tests, women’s health services, pediatric care, broken bones and ongoing management of chronic diseases like diabetes and obesity.” (The chronic care is generally the most expensive level of care.)
Qliance’s ability to participate in the proposed insurance exchange means their boutique level of service–they promise same- or next-day appointments for urgent care and 30- to 60-minute office visits–would be an option alongside traditional HMO offerings.