The Valley Journal newspaper recently did an article on Dr. Cara Harrop, owner of pureHealth, DPC in Poison, Montana. Established three years ago and still going strong, Pure Health DPC is one of eight DPC practices in the state of Montana. Dr. Harrop serves over 500 patients with one medical assistant, Vanessa Sandoval, on staff with her. Harrop plans to hire a receptionist in the near future and perhaps another physician as the practice continues to grow.
Harrop worked for 14 years as a physician in a variety of rural healthcare setting and she serves as chief medical office for MONIDA, a regional association of healthcare providers serving residents of Montana and Idaho. In 2017, she took a sabbatical from her practice to get a degree in healthcare innovation and, three months after completing her masters degree, she opened her DPC practice.
Harrop believes price transparency is an essential component of the DPC model. Patients know what’s covered with their membership fee and what costs extra, including imaging, lab tests, specialist visits and procedures that are beyond the scope of an office visit. She’s often able to help patients find less expensive options for the services she doesn’t offer.
And now, thanks to Senate Bill 374, she can also pass on savings for many common prescription drugs, such as antibiotics and blood pressure medications. Patients will have the option of paying wholesale plus 10 percent, instead of retail costs for most common medications, which can translate into startling savings.
Harrop also emphasizes how important Senate Bill 100 is because it clarifies that DPC clinics are not the same as insurance companies and thus do not need the same level of regulations.
These two bills will undoubtedly help pave the way for even more DPC practices in Montana. Let’s hope other states follow this example.