Primary Care, Direct Care, Proactive Care or Just Good Patient Care?

Updated: Feb 4




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Welcome to the Executive Innovation Show Podcast, brought to you by One Touch Telehealth. During this podcast hear host, Carrie Chitsey, talk with Dr. Brian Bluth (Bluth Medical Associates, LLC) and Dr. Ben Barlow (American Family Care). 


Dr. Brian Bluth is trained and board-certified in family medicine. He is the owner and sole-practitioner in private practice since 2009 in rural Oklahoma. He gained interest in rural medicine while in residency in Des Moines Iowa. He especially loved the aspect of full-spectrum medicine the rural setting allows for, including traditional outpatient care, inpatient care, ER coverage, Obstetrics, pediatrics, geriatrics including nursing home director, and surgical procedures including colonoscopy, EGD and laparoscopic surgeries.


Dr. Ben Barlow is the Chief Medical Officer of American Family Care which operates 210 clinics in 26 states seeing 3 million patients a year. He is board-certified in Emergency Medicine and joined AFC after 14 years in the Air Force. He ended his tour in the military at the White House, serving on President Obama and President Trump’s medical team.


Listen to “Primary Care, Direct Care, Proactive Care or Just Good Patient Care” as we discuss: 

  • Carrie gets the show started with Dr. Bluth, talking about the changes in rural health with practice groups and physicians looking to deepen patient relationships and expand their reach. How are the patient-physician relationships changing over time? As more physicians move away from the fee-for-service model, does Dr. Bluth see this as direct care, patient care, proactive care or just good patient care? What are his thoughts and what does he see his practice molding into in the future? 

  • As the specialty physician shortage continues to increase rural areas, what proactive measures is Dr. Bluth taking to make sure the patients in his community get the care they need? Listen as Dr. Bluth describes his efforts with technology such as telehealth and making specialty providers such as cardiologists, oncologists and pulmonologists available to rural patients in one centralized location via telehealth. How is this helping with patient and physician convenience? 

  • With technology like telehealth and new billable codes coming forward, are we going to see more telemedicine access from a patient’s home? Hear Dr. Bluth give a true example of how telehealth is helping him to see skilled nursing facility residents quicker and with less friction on the nursing staff. 

  • What are the bias of telehealth? From generational biases to bias from bad telehealth experience, Carrie and Dr. Bluth talk about some of the questions patients and healthcare professionals may have about telehealth. 

  • Public Service Announcement: Use telehealth if you have the flu! Don’t get everyone else sick. Carrie and Dr. Bluth speak on how useful and common sense telehealth is, especially during flu season. 

  • Are telehealth doctors different in person than during a telehealth visit? What about patients? Dr. Bluth talks about what he sees from behind the screen. 

  • How much time is spent taking a telehealth visit vs an in-office visit? Listen as we talk about the ease and patient convenience telehealth provides for Dr. Bluth’s patients. He gives real-life examples of the effortless use of telehealth in his practice. 

  • American Family Care, founded back in 1982. now has over 214 clinics in 28 states. Founder, Dr. Irwin, had always envisioned AFC as accessible primary care. How has their model changed over time? Dr. Barlow states that “...our basis and our mission is still the same, but we're now leveraging technology to do that better as we go forward.”

  • How is American Family Care using their urgent care clinics to provide better patient-centered care? Dr. Barlow describes the thought process that goes into making their 210 clinics across the country patient-driven.

  • Did you know that 46% of Millennial patients don’t have a primary care doctor? In the podcast, we call these "unattached patients". Dr. Barlow explains American Family Care’s approach to "unattached patients" and their effort to make sure the patient’s health is put first. Listen to their efforts are they doing to attract and provide proactive care for Millennials. 

  • How does Dr. Barlow think about the future of blending the physical location to the virtual world when it comes to retail clinics? When looking at follow-up visits, are telehealth appointments the best way to provide patient convenience? Hear his answers on the podcast. 

  • Is it primary care, direct care, proactive care or just good patient care? We ask Dr. Barlow the pending question of the podcast. Find out why American Family Care sees themselves as accessible primary care. How are they looking to save lives with early detection and paying attention to a patient's needs?

  • What is the next frontier for home health as more Boomers decide to age at home? Speaking on the advancement of telehealth and remote monitoring, Dr. Barlow states “I think with today's technology, the sky is going to be the limit in how we improve our system and how we connect with patients better…”. 

  • What’s it like working on the medical team for the White House under President Obama and President Trump? Listen as Dr. Barlow talks about his experience and some of the most challenging and rewarding memories within his position. 

  • As always, we ask the panel what is keeping them up at night. Listen to their answers on the podcast. 


How is Dr. Brian Bluth making sure his community gets the care they need? Visit his website to find out. 


Keep up with Dr. Ben Barlow and rapidly growing American Family Care as they provide accessible primary care. 


Learn more about One Touch Telehealth and how telehealth can help your practice provide better patient care via our “Telemedicine Pros and Cons" White Paper




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