Health care has many hang ups for potential patients. Everything from the cost of drugs, lab work and co-pays, to scheduling an appointment, can all act as deterrents for patients seeking necessary help. However, there’s a new, innovative path to care, the first of its kind in Bossier.
Mira Direct Primary Care is a cost-effective, personal approach to medicine that saves patients from the hassle of dealing with insurance companies.
Owned and operated by Dr. Todd Flowers, his monthly membership model for primary care covers most basic care services and adds a personal touch.
“‘Mira,’ the root word comes from Latin, meaning new and exciting; never been done before,” Dr. Flowers said. “I believe it is part of the answer to healthcare. Our healthcare system has issues, and I think this is a large portion of the answer.”
The $89.99 per month fee offers members 24-7 access with no copay, same-day scheduling, unlimited and extended doctor visits, access to medicines dispensed directly at Dr. Flowers’ office, and significantly cheaper lab work.
Dr. Flowers realizes that patients are all unique and Mira DPC’s goal is to individualize patient care by eliminating red tape, so patients and the doctor can have one-on-one interaction to tailor care toward what works best for the patient.
“This really takes out the middle-man of the insurance company, it takes out the middle-man of the pharmacy, and you get everything you need right here in the office,” he said.
Dr. Flowers purchases medications at wholesale prices and passes that savings on to the patient. Labs are often just two or three dollars per procedure, as opposed to the hundreds of dollars patients are billed.
And, because his office doesn’t bill insurance, he doesn’t need an army of office staff to fight the insurance companies for reimbursement. That means he can save that expense and spend his time being a doctor.
This novel, forward-thinking approach to medicine provides a physician who knows his patients’ life stories, their families, and what matters to them.
That even includes the old-fashioned, nearly forgotten notion of the house call. Yes, Dr. Flowers will come to the patient if necessary.
“You really get back to the doctor with the black bag that comes around the house,” Dr. Flowers said. “Most of what we do is in the office, but on those rare occasions when a patient really needs it, I am available.”
Depending on a patient’s health insurance plan, if any, he can refer to specialists where insurance coverage is in force. And, if Dr. Flowers comes across something he can’t handle, he makes arrangements with other doctors, explaining one instance of setting up a surgical procedure with another doctor that still saved the patient hundreds of dollars.
He notes that less than 10 percent of patients understand direct primary care, thinking they can’t afford it. He says it’s almost as if they’ve been brainwashed about health insurance.
“Healthcare is pushing patients toward decisions that benefit the industry — ‘You have to pay the man.’ It’s not good. I am really loving taking care of patients. I’ve been invited into their homes, and saved them a tremendous amount of money.”
For example, a hemorrhoid surgery, that at the low end of estimates was going to cost $3,300, cost a total of $66.67 to cover the cost of lidocaine, laceration tray, meds and a $30 fee. A visit with a patient with no insurance suffering from abdominal pain eliminated a costly ER trip and resulted in finding a local surgeon to perform a gallbladder removal in two days, further eliminating a trip across state lines.
For an increasing number of people, direct primary care is becoming their Godsend in a system driven by money, first, and where quality of care is secondary. This new method of direct primary care is part of a larger movement among physicians.
“They want to do what they got into medicine to do — and that’s to really take care of the patient, not to have to deal with this burdensome system of documentation, electronic medical records, or making sure the insurance company is happy with everything you are doing,” Dr. Flowers said.
A graduate of the University of Louisiana at Monroe in 2004 with a B.S. in science, Dr. Flowers went on to earn his M.S. in biology from Louisiana Tech in 2006. He earned his M.D. in 2011 from Louisiana State University in Shreveport and completed a residency in family medicine in 2014.
“I finished med school and got caught up in that system of ‘Let’s see how many patients we can see in a day.’ After three years, I was successful, but miserable because I was seeing patients for seven minutes at a time. I was lacking a relationship with my patients.”
Dr. Flowers also has a heart for mission work, having taken on a significant leadership role with Extreme Missionary Adventures in 2016. He took a year off to perform medical missionary work in such places as Nicaragua, Laos, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Honduras, and Peru. But he missed helping patients in his practice.
“They gave me as much as I gave them. I wanted more, in a different way,” he said.
After a year doing research and developing a business plan, he founded Mira DPC on July 1, 2018. He invited previous patients as well as the population at-large. He expected to land 40 and instead ended up with three times as many in only a few months. Dr. Flowers will eventually put a cap on the number of patients he’ll accept and he’s approaching that limit after only a year.
He credits his success to God and his drive to take care of patients. Full stop.
“It’s really taking medicine back from the insurance company and all these other people that want to come in and direct how the care happens. It really is a relationship between the patient and physician,” Dr. Flowers said.
For more information on Dr. Flowers and Mira DPC, please visit miradpc.com.