Episode # 198 – Dr. Paula Muto has 5,000 Specialists and 10,000 in Process to join UBERDOC a Consumer to Doctor Marketplace.

In this episode Ron chats with Paula Muto, Founder & CEO of UBERDOC. UBERDOC is where direct-pay patients go to find the care they need without the barriers that limit choice, cause delay, and cost more. They are building a fee-for-service model that re-establishes an efficient and direct-connection between doctor and patient. Here she discusses what inspired her to start UBERDOC, why doctors are excited about joining UBERDOC, how their model works, and more.

UBERDOC Founder and CEO Paula M. Muto, MD FACS, is a practicing vascular and general surgeon in solo practice and the owner of Muto Vein Center. She is a member of a family of physicians and surgeons who have collectively practiced medicine in Massachusetts for over 50 years. She is an outspoken advocate for patient care and is passionate about women’s health issues.

Episode # 197 – Donald Trigg is an Author and CEO of apree Health, A Combination of Digital Health Innovator Castlight Health and Advanced Primary Care Leader Vera Whole Health.

In this episode Ron chats with Donald Trigg, CEO of apree Health. Here he discusses how apree health is building the first integrated health network that combines data-driven personalization, a coordinated care model, and aligned incentives which aims to unlock value and make life better for those they serve. He also discusses his partnership with JPMorgan Chase, and what he sees in the apree Health’s future.

Donald Trigg is the chief executive officer of apree Health, a combination of digital health innovator Castlight Health and advanced primary care leader Vera Whole Health.

Trigg has spent almost two decades at the intersection of health care and information technology. He served as President of Fortune 500 electronic medical record provider Cerner Corporation. As President, he held general management, P&L, and operational responsibilities for the full breadth of Cerner’s business groups. Prior to his role as President, Trigg held senior leadership roles at the company including executive vice president of Strategic Growth where he led a set of businesses that encompassed Cerner’s strategies around value-based care and Workforce Health. He also was managing director of the United Kingdom and Ireland, general manager of the U.S. Midwest region, and the first-ever vice president of Cerner’s government practice.

Trigg also has experience scaling early-stage growth businesses. He led the execution of Natural Language Processing (NLP) leader CodeRyte’s rapid growth plan, culminating in its acquisition by 3M in 2012. He also brings deep public policy experience to his role at apree Health including a decade in Washington, D.C. in senior policy roles in both the legislative and the executive branch. Trigg earned a BS from St. Lawrence University and is co-author of The New Health Economy: Ground Rules for Leaders (Georgetown University Press).

Episode # 196 – Dr. Keith Smith Launched the First Transparent Bundled Price Surgery Center Which has Now Served 100,000 Since 1997 and has Made its Mark Affecting System Pricing and Reducing Costs 20-60% for Employers and Consumers with Quality Metrics Unsurpassed.

In this episode Ron brings Keith Smith, Medical Director at Surgical Center of Oklahoma back on the show to discuss the importance of transparent pricing in healthcare and how he helped to pioneer that movement. He also discusses how other organizations are copying the Surgery Center of Oklahoma pricing model, how the government is not doing enough to make a positive change in healthcare, the importance of direct contracting and free market competition, and more.

In 2009, Dr. Smith launched a website displaying all-inclusive pricing for various surgical procedures, a move that has gained him and the facility, national and even international attention. Many Canadians and uninsured Americans have been treated at his facility, taking advantage of the low and transparent pricing available. His most recent effort is the launch of the Free Market Medical Association which provides a platform where those seeking to obtain high quality and affordable health care can find free market-minded providers, both physicians and facilities.

Operation of this free market medical practice, the standard for all who have embraced this practice approach, has gained the endorsement of policymakers and legislators nationally. More and more self-funded insurance plans are taking advantage of Dr. Smith’s pricing model resulting in significant savings to their employee health plans. His hope is for as many facilities as possible to adopt a transparent pricing model, a move he believes will lower costs and improve quality of care for all.

He has made appearances on the John Stossel Show, CNBC, Huffington Post, The O’Reilly Factor, Capital Account, The Ron Paul Channel, NBC Nightly News and has been featured by Reason Magazine’s TV division. The New York Times, Time Magazine, ABC news, Forbes and many others have written articles featuring Dr. Smith’s revolutionary approach to the pricing of health care and uncompromising free market principles.

Episode # 195 – Dr. Mark Potts, as Superintendent of Ashtabula Area School District, Saved $9M Over 3 Years for an Average Annual 30% Savings… 60% is Possible if All Employees Participate.

In this episode Ron chats with Dr. Mark Potts, President of Transformational Consulting, LLC. Here, Mark discusses his previous role as the Superintendent of the Ashtabula Area City Schools and how he discovered that that his employees did not have great healthcare benefits despite ever-increasing costs. This discovery led him on a journey to get a much better benefit plan for his staff that improved outcomes and ultimately saved both the school district and the plan members a significant amount of money. This inspired Mark to start Transformational Consulting so he could help other organizations get set up with much better healthcare benefits plans than then then they are currently on.

Dr. Mark Potts is the former Superintendent of the Ashtabula Area City Schools in Ashtabula, Ohio. Since leaving that position 7 months ago, he has started Transformational Consulting, LLC whose mission is shepherding schools districts and other public entities to healthcare plans that produce better health outcomes for their employees at substantial savings.

Dr. Potts is also an adjunct professor at Grand Canyon University teaching graduate education classes, and is a consultant for Bounceback, a program that helps teachers with wellness, self-care, and dealing with stress to ultimately help retain teachers in the profession.

He is a mission driven, servant leader who has also been active in his church and community.

Mark is married to Jessica, a nurse of nearly 30 years. They have a blended family with 6 children ages 20-30 – 4 of which got married in the past year.

Episode # 194 – Sharon Pearce is a Nationally Active Nursing Thought Leader Among 4M Nurses. 50% Leave the Bedside by Year 2. Here’s the Fix She’s Working On.

In this episode Ron chats with Sharon Pearce, Co-Chair of the Commission for Nurse Reimbursement. Here she discusses how nursing compensation has changed since hospitals have cut costs in nursing, how to improve compensation for nursing while improving nursing ratios, how burnout in nursing has gotten worse since COVID-19, her podcast “Beyond the Mask”, the importance of the public supporting nurses, and more.

Sharon graduated from the Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Hospital Nurse Anesthesia program in 1992.  She resides in North Carolina and currently works 1099 as a CRNA. Professional service includes being a past President of the North Carolina Association of Nurse Anesthetists. She served three years on the AANA (American Association of Nurse Anesthetists) Public Relations (PR) committee and did Media Training for state associations in conjunction with the AANA Senior Director of Strategic Communications. Sharon was the producer of the AANA PR award-winning video, “The Best Kept Secret in Healthcare.” She chaired the Government Relations Committee of the AANA in 2009-2010 and has been a registered lobbyist for many years with legislative involvement for over 20 years. Board of Director service at the national level of the AANA has included Region 2 Director, Vice President, President-Elect, and President in 2014-2015. She was also inducted into the inaugural Fellows class of the AANA. Within the nursing community, she has served on the executive committee of the Nursing Organizational Alliance (NOA), which represents over 50 nursing organizations. Sharon also co-hosts a podcast, “Beyond the Mask,” which is one of the top 50 medical podcasts in the country and won the AANA PR award in 2021.  She completed her DNP in Health Care Leadership, Systems & Policy at Yale University in 2021. She was in the inaugural class of Fellows in the AANA. She was inducted into FAAN in 2022. She is a highly sought after national and international speaker on advocacy, legislative involvement, and various clinical topics.

Sharon ran for the North Carolina State House of Representatives in 2016.  Unfortunately, she was unsuccessful in her bid. The anesthesiologists opened a super PAC and gave personal donations to her opponent in excess of a quarter of a million dollars.

Sharon now co-chairs the Commission on Nurse Reimbursement with Rebecca Love. The Commission has a lofty goal to change the way nursing is reimbursed for the valuable work nurses do.

In the civic arena, Sharon has been involved in the diabetic community for many years. She is the daughter of an insulin-dependent diabetic as well as the mother of an insulin-dependent diabetic.  One of her twins was diagnosed at the age of five and has worn an insulin pump for nearly 22 years.  She served on the board of directors of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Also, she started and chaired a Walk to Cure Diabetes in High Point North Carolina for four years, which raised nearly half a million dollars for diabetes research.  Sharon has served on the Diabetes Advisory Council in North Carolina for 17 years.

Sharon has been married to Mike Pearce for 39 years. They have three grown children- Brett, and twins Michelle and Danielle. Her daughter Michelle is married to Grant Brekken, also a CRNA, keeping the profession in the family.

Episode # 193 – Frank Dumont Round 2. Members of Virta Health have Reduced a1c 60% Below Baseline for 5 Years Across Demographics Age and Sex and at Scale.

In this episode Dr. Frank Dumont returns to the show. Frank is the Commercial Medical Director at Virta Health. Here, he discusses reversing Type 2 diabetes, how Virta has been able to replicate the success they have seen in their clinical trials, and more. He also shares how Virta has been able to deprescribe diabetes medication, even across multiple demographics, as their patients have changed their lifestyles.

Dr. Frank Dumont currently serves as a clinician and Commercial Medical Director at Virta Health. Prior to joining Virta, he worked in a hospital-owned clinic for nearly 20 years, where he practiced outpatient and inpatient medicine and served as medical director of the wellness service line for the medical center. Dr. Dumont has been devoted to improving healthcare delivery for over two decades, participating in organized medicine as a young physician representative to the AMA and serving on the Colorado Medical Society Board of Directors. He received his MD from the University of Colorado School of Medicine and today is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians. Dr. Dumont lives in Estes Park, Colorado at the eastern entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park.

Episode # 192 – Preston Alexander Knows a Thing or Two About Healthcare Innovation.

In this episode, Ron has a discussion with Preston Alexander, Founder & President of One Degree Medical. Here, Preston chats about the winners of DPCs and why they aren’t as prevalent as they should be, what’s wrong with monopolized health systems, the problem with non-profit health systems, and much more.

Preston Alexander is a healthcare entrepreneur currently serving as an advisor and consultant to healthcare companies of all stages. His passion for healthcare is lies in helping to create a more affordable, accessible, and equitable system. Prior to becoming a founder, Preston worked for large, global medical device companies as a product manager, responsible for over $100M in portfolios. It was through this experience that Preston gained a deeper understanding of how healthcare and specifically large integrated hospital systems worked.

Preston also writes extensively about health systems and companies, breaking down the business and finance basics to equip more people, especially clinicians with the tools and resources they need to get into the business of healthcare. He believes that clinicians are key to saving healthcare and must take back the business to restore the practice of medicine.

Preston currently lives in Atlanta, GA with his wife and two daughters. Outside of obsessing about healthcare and working to find better solutions, he spends as much time as he can with his family and occasionally finds time to go rock climbing.

Episode # 191 – Dr. Brian Fretwell Offers Generics at Pennies a Pill so Who Needs a PBM ? This Offering is Yet Another Example How Employers, Consumers, and DPC Docs can Sidestep the Medication Racket.

In this episode, Ron chats with Dr. Brian Fretwell, President and CEO of Direct Primary Care Associates and myDPCrx – a DPC provider driven pharmacy program that sells over 1,000 generic prescriptions for pennies on the dollar. Here, he answers the questions of what led him to start myDPCrx, where his 5 clinics are located, how this is changing the face of pharmacy, and more.

Mr. Fretwell  calls Cleveland home. He is a former field and flight Paramedic. He attended University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. His medical education was completed at Nova Southeastern University with a dual degree in PA studies and Masters in Public Health. He has over 27 years experience in Emergency, Family, and Occupational Medicine. As CEO of Direct Primary Care Associates, Mr. Fretwell has created and continues to develop a team of like-minded, forward thinking individuals who share his unique vision for improving access to quality affordable healthcare through innovative solutions for individuals and businesses throughout the region.

Brian enjoys spending quality time with his children. He also spends most fall weekends watching Tennessee football. An avid conservationist and outdoorsman he also spends much time hunting, fishing, surfing, and boating.

Episode # 190 – Dr Kenneth Qiu is Spotting the DPC Trends with a Keen Eye. Here is a Good Listen.

In this episode, Ron talks DPCs with Dr. Kenneth Qiu, Founder of EuDoc, & Associate Clinical Professor at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine. Here, Kenneth discusses what he sees the outlook for DPCs in the next year, what it is like to be a DPC practitioner himself, his work educating med students on DPCs, and much more.

Kenneth Qiu, MD is a board certified family physician with a strong passion for direct primary care and interest in primary care innovation. He has been an active member of the DPC community since he learned about the model during his fourth year of medical school and started his own DPC practice, EuDoc, straight out of residency. His involvement has led him to be a member of the DPC Alliance Board and DPC Coalition Steering Committee. His interest in primary care innovation has led to the creation of X = Primary Care, or XPC for short, where he and his friend and co-founder Paulius Mui, MD dive into all sorts of primary care innovation. Dr. Qiu currently also advises health tech companies and teaches at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, where he completed medical school.

Episode # 189 – Katy Talento Returns for Round 3 – She’s Managing the Association for 1 Million Health Care Sharing Ministries Members, Advising Employers and Has a Lot to Say About Transparency and DPC.

In this episode Katy Talento, Epidemiologist, Executive Director at Alliance of Health Care Sharing Ministries, & CEO of AllBetter Health rejoins the show for a third time. AllBetter Health is a next-gen health benefits advisory firm that saves employers & other groups money while offering benefits great benefits including zero deductibles. Here, she discusses what healthcare sharing ministries are, how many people are enrolled in this type of model, how the consumer wins with this model, and much more.

Katy Talento, President of KFT Consulting, Epidemiologist, Executive Director at Alliance of Health Care Sharing Ministries, & CEO of AllBetter Health is a licensed health benefits consultant, veteran health policy advisor and epidemiologist. She recently left the White House as the top health advisor to President Donald Trump on the Domestic Policy Council, where her job was to advance the president’s agenda to increase health care price transparency and price competition, end surprise medical bills, lower prescription drug prices, expand affordable options in the individual and group/ERISA markets, reduce the burdens of the Affordable Care Act, promote innovative employer sponsored coverage models, expand health IT interoperability, combat the opioids and other drug addiction crisis, eliminate domestic HIV/AIDS, and promote bioethics in life sciences.

 Prior to her White House appointment, Katy served five U.S. Senators over a 15-year period, including as top health advisor and manager of legislative staff and oversight investigators. She also worked in the private sector helping multinational energy companies protect their global workforce from infectious diseases such as malaria, dengue and the largest community-based HIV/AIDS service organization in the US. On the faculty at Georgetown University Medical School, Katy managed the Washington site of a multi-site NIH-funded pulmonology study. 

 A compelling communicator, Katy has delivered speeches to large audiences, served as Director of Speechwriting for the Republican National Committee during the successful 2010 election cycle, and has written a number of published opinion pieces, web copy, and video scripts. She spent two years as a Catholic nun and has worked with the poorest of the poor from East Africa, to industrial Russia and inner-city America. Katy received a Master of Science degree in Infectious Disease Epidemiology from Harvard School of Public Health and an undergraduate degree in Sociology from the University of Virginia. She lives in suburban northern Virginia with her husband and two children.