Success Story: Using Kareo to Automate Direct Primary Care Practice

Naheed Ali, MD, FHM, Board Certified in Internal Medicine and recipient of a prestigious fellowship in hospital medicine, had an ambitious dream -- opening her own direct primary practice in Beverly Hills. She knew that this would require superior quality in every aspect of care. Finding the right management system would be crucial to her success. “I interviewed at least 10 practice management systems, all of them highly rated, and wasn’t impressed,” Dr. Ali explains.

“Then I ran across Kareo in an urgent care center. YZK Business Support, our billing company, also integrated with Kareo, and recommended it. Only after implementing Kareo did I understand what a wise choice it would prove to be.”

Challenge: Rave Reviews
Dr. Ali’s very first Yelp review, in fact, mentioned a Kareo feature. “My patient left a video testimonial in which she talked about receiving a prescription coupon from us. We had done an electronic transfer to her pharmacy and sent her an automated coupon text message on her phone,” she says.

"The coupon was only for $5, which you wouldn't think would matter to patients who pay a bit more for concierge service," she continues. "But the patient was ecstatic. She said how impressed she was that she was with a physician who would make such a thoughtful gesture.

Solution: Automation with Kareo
Dilshad Concierge Medicine, Dr. Ali’s direct primary care clinic, uses Kareo to manage every phase of its practice. The software automates check-in, patient status, physician notes, prescriptions and more. “When a patient arrives, my medical assistant uses tabs in Kareo to post whether they are in the waiting room, roomed, being seen or checked out. My assistant doesn’t have to run to my office to notify me that they’re ready for a consultation. This frees up at least an hour a day for the assistant at our current stage – a savings that will only increase as we continue to ramp up,” Dr. Ali says.

Rather than hiring a transcription service, Dr. Ali uses Kareo for physician notes. “There’s no way I have time to write notes by hand,” she comments. “Dictating a note takes at least 20 minutes per patient. With Kareo, I can use smart phrases, and the system inserts complete sentences. I now finish a note quickly, in about one fourth of the time as before, and avoid the cost associated with  transcription fees.”

Solution: Limited Learning Curve
Dr. Ali had expected problems learning to use Kareo. “Hospital systems are so convoluted that they can make you dizzy. In contrast, Kareo is easy. For a primary care physician, once you learn the CPT codes, it’s all very simple and straightforward. If I have a question, I contact Kareo and they provide a solution right away. This was a key factor, because when I opened my direct primary care practice, I had no staff. I did everything myself. I couldn’t afford to waste time on complicated software.”

Neither did she have time for lengthy training sessions. So, she turned to Kareo’s online program.  “My first impression of Kareo University was that I didn’t want to go through that but then gave it a try and loved it!” says Dr. Ali. “Videos guided me through the entire learning process at my own speed. Even better, now I don’t have to train new staff members. I just send them to Kareo U, and they learn whenever it’s convenient for them. In just a day or two, they can be ready for work.”

Result: Superior Service
Dr. Ali wanted first-rate customer care from her software provider, just like she gives to her patients. “Many EMRs look similar during a demo,” she says. “But once the presentation is over, the reps vanish. Then you can’t get hold of customer service to help with training. The system becomes basically useless, because you can’t figure out how to use it.” With Kareo, however, she received excellent support. “Once I had an issue getting on eScribe for a narcotic prescription. Here in California, we have tough restrictions for controlled substances, and it takes several steps for registration. When I mentioned my problem to Kareo, a manager jumped on the phone and initiated a conference call with eScribe. My problem was taken care of right away.”

Conclusion: Bottom-line Benefits
“To my surprise, Kareo has saved me money throughout my direct primary care practice, especially in transcription, front office services and billing. Kareo has eliminated the need for hiring two to three extra people,” notes Dr. Ali. Equally important for Dr. Ali have been the intangibles. As founder of Dilshad Concierge Medicine, Beverly Hills, Dr. Ali lovingly dedicated her practice to her mother. "Respect, compassion and service to humanity is what my mom taught me. I want to bring her legacy into my practice," says Dr. Ali. “My mission is to practice exceptional medicine with a keen ear for listening, a caring heart for comprehending, and a competent mind for execution. Kareo supports this mission by letting me devote my full attention to patients, giving them the level of care they deserve.”

Since patients pay a premium for concierge medicine, Dr. Ali believes that she needs to do everything possible to differentiate from typical practices. That has included investing in the best EMS she could find. “High-end patients appreciate high-quality software,” she says. My patients don't necessarily care that Kareo is saving me time or money. But they notice the Kareo difference, and how it contributes to an overall experience of comfort.”

If you are intersted in seeing how Kareo technology can help you with your medical practice, visit us at Kareo.com or call (866) 219-2321.

About the Author

Alesa Lightbourne is a prize-winning author, professor and former dean of an international business school. As a freelance writer, her clients have included Fortune...

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