By Anna Skinner
After months of developing its direct primary care business model, Freedom Healthworks found its first business partner in Westfield Premier Physicians, a practice owned by doctors Robert and Elaine Habig for the past 36 years. Dr. Mary Pat Forkin is a partner as well
By switching to direct primary care, an action that will go into effect Dec. 1, the practice can eliminate the insurance companies out of the exam room.
“It’s just direct care between the patient and doctors,” Elaine said. “We get the insurance company out of the exam room. Most people pick their doctor because of who signs up with their insurance company instead of being able to choose the doctor they want.”
Under direct primary care, Westfield Premier Physicians will use a subscription-type service as well as services and tests clearly listed with prices. Doctors will spend more time with patients overall.
“We’ve been in medicine a long time and medicine has changed a lot, and we want to be there more for our patients and do a better job with more care,” Bob said. “It’s what old-fashioned medicine used to be. You came in with plenty of time with physicians. It was one-on-one, and it wasn’t hurried. You felt fulfilled and your health was better taken care of.”
The Habigs said the concept is new to Westfield and the first of its kind in the area.
Freedom Healthworks handles the administrative end of the practice by dealing with the accounting, bookkeeping and more.
“It’s just going to be a whole new experience,” Elaine said. “The difference between this and other medical offices we have been in, or other retail establishments like drugstore seen by nurse, is the experience. We are all experienced with decades of care.”
Two informational sessions about direct primary care and the differences it offers will be 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 10 and Oct. 17 at the Westfield High School Auditorium, 18250 N. Union St.