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Southdale Internal Medicine

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Renegade Doctors Opt Out of Current Healthcare System

An Edina, MN medical clinic is leading the charge to revolutionize healthcare..... and it's not what you think.

Edina, MN, December 20, 2013 --( - Southdale Internal Medicine (SDIM), an Edina-based independent medical clinic, is leading the charge to fix what is ailing the healthcare system. No longer contracting with insurance companies, the cash-only clinic is asking patients to think differently about their primary care.

Dr. Merlin Brown, who recently co-authored a book about healthcare reform, says that insurance was never intended for primary care. "Prior to World War II, insurance was used to protect you if there was an unexpected, high cost event, not for your annual physical."

It may seem counter-intuitive, but Dr. Brown believes we can learn a lot from the healthcare system of the past. "Think about your car insurance," he says. "You don't use it for oil changes or maintenance checks. Why should healthcare insurance be any different?"

SDIM's solution is to go back-to-the-future. "As doctors, we are frustrated by the current healthcare system," says Dr. Walcher. "We made the decision to remove the third party from primary care and remain independent so that we could put the patient back at the center. We work for the patient; no-one else."

Corporate owned clinics often place extra mandates on doctors to see a set number of patients per day and don’t make hospital visits. SDIM is the only medical clinic in the southwest metro that still visits their patients in the hospital.

"We're old-fashioned doctors at heart," says Dr. Gary Ivins. “We still take our own patient’s blood pressure. It may seem insignificant, but it is time well spent with the patient.” Combining the newest technology with a traditional approach is the SDIM philosophy. “The best tool in a doctor’s bag?” asks Dr. Ivins, “a good set of ears.”

Dr. Jay Liston explains that primary care isn’t a “one size fits all approach” that an increasingly depersonalized healthcare system dictates. "Good primary care requires time to listen, discuss, examine and reflect. Patients aren’t algorithms,” he says. “They are human beings with unique needs.”

The cost of seeing a doctor at SDIM is on average 30 - 40% less than what other clinics charge. "It doesn't have to be expensive to see a doctor," says Dr. Gary Brunkow. "We are able to offer more affordable primary care, along with other services that we couldn't previously offer because of the limitations imposed by our insurance contracts."

Since parting ways with insurance companies, SDIM can offer more efficient services such as phone and email consultations that save patients both money and time. "Not all situations require an office visit,” says Dr. Brown. “For a patient with a chronic illness, this type of ongoing communication is ideal."

SDIM believes it won't be long until other clinics jump on the cash-only bandwagon. "We're receiving calls each week asking us how we did it," says Dr. Brown, "and it's not just clinics in Minnesota. This is a nationwide movement."

SDIM is urging consumers to think differently about their primary care. "Do the math," says Dr. Liston. "How much can you save a month by going with a high deductible insurance plan and just paying cash for your infrequent primary care visits? I think you'll be pleasantly surprised."

Visit to learn more about Southdale Internal Medicine and view their pricing.

About SDIM
Southdale Internal Medicine is a cash-based primary care medical clinic in Edina, MN. No longer bound by insurance protocols, the experienced internists are able to put the patient first, providing care based on individualized needs, not insurance codes.
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Southdale Internal Medicine
Karen Sams

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