Local doctor brings affordable care to Lake County

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  • Vanessa Sandoval, C.M.A.

  • 1

    Cara Harrop, M.D.

  • Vanessa Sandoval, C.M.A.

  • 1

    Cara Harrop, M.D.

A Polson doctor is offering patients an alternative way to gain access to healthcare on a regular basis.

Cara Harrop, M.D., owner of pure Health DPC, has been offering Direct Primary Care since July 9. The business is located at 1105 1st St. E. in Polson.

While the movement has been offered throughout the nation since the late 1990s and early 2000s, the program is now in Lake County as “an alternative to the complicated healthcare system.”

For a fee of $75 per month, a patient can then have unlimited visits a month with her by their choice of a “face-to-face” meeting, email, video chat or what they need to address their health needs without signing a contract.

Harrop said she came across the opportunity by “serendipity.”

Taking one year off from her practice to earn her Master’s degree in Healthcare Innovation, Harrop said she stumbled across the program while studying and conducting research, thinking it could work well in Lake County.

Harrop said that it is usually more cost-effective to visit a doctor before going to an emergency room.

The goal, she said, is to make healthcare accessible to everyone in Lake County.

Harrop said that a misconception about the program is that patients need to be uninsured to participate.

While it is true, she said her goal is to bring patients the highest level of healthcare possible.

For patients who do have insurance, the only thing their coverage won’t pay for is the membership fee.

Some ways patients try to decrease healthcare costs are by not visiting the doctor at the initial signs of a problem, but rather going later when the diagnosis is in late stages, thus causing the cost of the medical care to increase.

Charging less is difficult because Harrop said that the margin is already thing.

That leaves making healthcare “ridiculously accesible,” she said.

The fee includes having labwork on urine analysis, some blood work, and covers strep and mono testing.

The program takes a look at healthcare as a whole, and not just each individual visit.

She said there are opportunities for patients to learn about ongoing health in group settings, inlcuding yoga and healthy eating and nutrition classes.

Harrop said that as a physician, she’ll also “walk the walk,” adding she participates in various group activities alongside patients.

Harrop has been a doctor since 2001.

Her office staff includes one other member; her assistant, Vanessa Sandoval, C.M.A.

For inquiries, contact the Pure Health office at (406) 319-2599.

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