Unlike most U.S. doctors, Dr. Eric Crall, who practices family medicine in Tampa, Florida, is available to his patients by phone or text on evenings and weekends. Instead of rushing patients out the door, he meets with them for as long as necessary. Yet, there is little to no wait time for an appointment. Crall achieved all this by bucking the insurance model that was draining money and resources and instead charging his patients a low monthly fee for unlimited primary care appointments and other services like weight loss management. His patients use medical insurance only for emergencies and catastrophic care.
Dr. Crall developed a successful marketing strategy, through which he attracted enough patients to begin breaking even. Now he’s in the “word of mouth phase” as his practice grows. He has appeared on several local news segments to discuss both his own practice and the direct primary care model, which he believes is the future of health care reform.
SCORE mentor Michael Lewis helped Dr. Crall with his business plan, goals, and marketing approach. Lewis also assisted Crall in securing the funding needed to maintain his business during the startup phase. Crall is a passionate advocate for the direct primary care model, which he says gives patients better care at about half the cost. His mentor has championed him in that regard, helping him make the connections necessary to get his message out to businesses and county government officials.