Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Dr. Erica Williams and Dr. Melanie Story Give Patients the Power

Dr. Erica Williams

By Torie Temple

Dr. Erica Williams and Dr. Melanie Story have been colleagues for more than 10 years. Through those years, they both found it difficult to provide the type of care they felt people entrusted them to do. It took them about two years to make the decision to open a direct primary care practice.

“We don’t go through insurance,” Erica says. “There is a monthly fee the patient pays. This covers all our services — all your general primary care with unlimited office visits.”

“We are here to provide care and have a relationship with the patient,” Melanie says. “That patient is involved in a lot of the decision-making about their health care. Direct primary care is a direct relationship between the patient and the physician. It is a very different office. It is more of a community practice with what Dr. Williams calls an old-fashioned feel.”

The practice promises to provide a more personal experience. An hour is scheduled for each appointment so there is more time for casual conversation and the patient doesn’t feel rushed. Both Erica and Melanie make themselves available outside office hours and will personally call patients back with answers to their questions or test results. To add to the old-fashioned vibe, the office has two exam rooms and one nurse for each doctor.

Both doctors want everyone to be able to experience this new way of managing health care by creating an affordable membership that covers a long list of medical needs. “We try to be at a $100-a-month fee to allow everyone the access to the type of care that they choose,” Melanie says. “It is really patient choice. It is allowing them to have that choice for the first time instead of deciding between three plans.”

Dr. Melanie Story

“The membership covers everything we do for the patient from the time they walk through the door,” Erica adds. “Everything that we cover is listed on our website, and this also includes after hours.”

Some of the many services covered include same-day or next-day appointment guaranteed, strep testing, EKG, weight loss management as well as B12 injections, and some minor procedures. Melanie and Erica will see the patient in and out of the hospital just as a regular doctor would. For a complete list of services, go to louisvilledirectprimarycare.com.

“Your insurance works like it always does for things like drawing blood or going to a specialist,” Erica says. “Medicare works as normal too. We just don’t need insurance for patients to come in and out of the office. Therefore, they can take care of multiple things at a time and not just what the insurance requires or prevents us from doing. Also, since we know the patient, we can just send out the prescriptions they need without having to be seen. This is very beneficial to the patient because they don’t always have to leave their home.”

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