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Cloud Medical’s Fearless Leader
A Crusader Of Medical Ethics, A Champion For Your Health
The year was 2009. While in residency as an emergency room doctor, David Z. Tusek experienced—through a dream—an epiphany of such magnitude that it went on to literally define him, not only as a well respected medical professional, but also as a man of great principle. We should all be grateful for his revelations, as they initiated a pioneering journey that led him to break through the complex maze of the western world’s largely irrational healthcare model.
The Wake-Up Call
While caring for his patients in the emergency room, Dr. Tusek discerned that 50% to 75% could have easily been treated in an outpatient setting. However, due to the ways in which the healthcare industry was governed at that time, those patients were subjected to the exorbitant, unnecessary costs of a hospital emergency visit. In addition, all doctors were bound by the parameters of that medical industrial network. Dr. Tusek noticed there were many illogical complexities that regulated both the healthcare and insurance systems, including numerous levels of bureaucracy and labyrinthine standards, all of which were mandatory for any doctor who wanted to maintain a medical license in good standing. He ascertained that this framework for providing healthcare and medical aid was rather antiquated and unreasonable.
The Dream of Inspiration
By way of his dream, Dr. Tusek became motivated to begin the radical process of outlining and constructing the parameters of what is now known as Direct Primary Care (DPC), which is “based on a membership model, devoted to a re-imagined, [vastly improved] doctor-patient relationship.” ¹
The following is an excerpt from a blog post entitled The HISTORY of CLOUD MEDICAL and DPC which Dr. Tusek published on his website on 7/02/20. This illustrates the complications and obstructions that had to be undertaken in order to begin implementation of his new standard of healthcare.
“In 2010 we launched a rudimentary version of our innovative model, the first of its kind in Colorado and one of the first in the country, although I was not aware of the other upstarts at the time. About a year later, I became aware of a small group of other innovators who had built practices around similar principles and in 2012, began regularly meeting in Washington DC at the Capitol Hill offices of Jay Keese (a healthcare policy expert specializing in innovative payment models), flying in several times annually to compare notes, share stories about our successes and failures, and begin developing (and lobbying for) political strategies to enable our budding, and still un-named model, to surmount various legislative hurdles.
By far the most significant of these was spearheaded by Dr. Garrison Bliss and Keese, prior to the formation of our small think tank, which placed a key provision into the language of the Affordable Care Act of 2010 (Obamacare) and gave our new model legal viability. Dr. Bliss deserves great credit as the earliest pioneer of our movement. Not only is he considered to be its “founding father”, he had the prescience and determination to almost singlehandedly campaign for the insertion of a crucial amendment into the ACA legislation without which our model would have been deemed unlawful. I honor Dr. Bliss both for his trailblazing work and historic leadership, but also for his kindness, generosity, and humility in every one of our many personal interactions.
By 2013, our small quorum finally selected a name for our cause. It was admittedly clunky and imperfect, but it carried the spirit of our fledgeling movement better than any other moniker we could agree upon. We decided to call our model “Direct Primary Care” (DPC). And by the end of 2014 I, along with a dozen or so of my colleagues (with the expert guidance of Jay Keese), had spoken to countless Senators and Congressmen and women and their staffers, projected videos of our patients’ testimonials on 30 ft screens in the massive subterranean meeting rooms on Capitol Hill, and were eventually invited to present our vision at the White House to president Obama’s health care task force.
Although there continue to be various policies and IRS codes which create certain restrictions, particularly for Medicare and Medicaid eligible patients as well as enrollees of HSA plans, DPC enjoys broad based bipartisan support, and remarkably, there are now over 1300 established DPC practices nationwide.
The key tenets of DPC are:
A direct contract between patient and physician, rather than through an intermediary (i.e. insurance company) for a wide-spectrum of primary care.
- Unparalleled connectivity, generally on a 24/7 basis, via cell, text, email, or office.
- Same day appointments for urgent care.
- A low-cost monthly membership (typically approximately $80 per member per month).
- No co-pays.
- Focus on patient advocacy and cost savings (identifying the most economical sources of diagnostics and therapeutics available for patient-members).
- Primary care which is un-bundled from insurance, as well as employer-based plans. Job changes are irrelevant to the established doctor-patient relationship.”
To our tremendous advantage and benefit today, the insightful dream of Dr. David Tusek, together with his tireless effort and that of a few more professionals of his same integrity, we now have the fertile ground to firmly establish this new paradigm of healthcare, which can no doubt propel our country—and the world—toward an evolved phase of exemplary and ethical lifestyles.
¹ Blog post: The HISTORY of CLOUD MEDICAL and DPC