Direct primary care center to open in Grand Rapids

The answer to affordable health?

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - In a time where many are struggling to find affordable health care, one new Grand Rapids facility is hoping to change that.

It's a direct primary care center and its the first of its kind in West Michigan.

If you have health insurance, you're usually paying a monthly fee as well as premiums. The Christian Healthcare Center is throwing that model out the window.

Kent County resident Lorri Jerrils and her husband had no intentions of changing their coverage on Wednesday, June 28.

"He [her husband] said on the way here 'we're not going to sign up, we're going to check it out,' and I'm like 'OK OK'," Jerrils said.

But after seeing the facility and speaking with staff,Jerril says they couldn't find a reason not to. The Christian Healthcare Center opened its doors to the public to give a glimpse of a new kind of coverage.

"Its becoming more expensive and less accessible, so we said 'let's create a health care that's more in line with, like your gym membership and you pay a monthly fee' and you get all the services they provide," CEO and President of Christian Healthcare Centers, Mark Blocher, said. 

$80 a month will get someone a full list of services.

"All your doctor visits, all in-house procedures, most of the medications people get, the generics. We offer x-rays, we have our own labs so we do all of our blood work here," Blocher said. 

But the doctors won't strictly specialize on physical heath.

"I believe what we created here has the ability to give patients and physicians the opportunity to really focus on quality of life," Dr. Jeffrey Allen Woo, said. "How's your relationship with your spouse? Do I need to be worried about addictions? Are you being a good mentor and parent to your children?"

"I don't take care of numbers. I don't treat numbers. I treat people and an individual is more than just data points. We are mind, body and spirit," Dr. Woo added.

Jumping on board, a new approach to medicine many hope is the answer to affordable healthcare.

"Direct primary care has shown effective in reducing those types of costs: hospitalizations, ER visits, urgent care visits and I think we provide a high quality care for a whole lot less money than it needs to be," Blocher said.

The membership plan does not cover emergency room visits, but officials say it covers 90 percent of health care of what the average person needs. According to the non-profit organization's website, you can cancel your membership with a 30-day written notice.

It is a Christian based facility but the CEO tells WZZM 13 you do not need to be a Christian to be treated, it's a center that's open to the public.

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© 2017 WZZM-TV


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