Lower East Side doctor launches monthly subscription service

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LOWER EAST SIDE, Manhattan — At Dr. Dave Ores' office, there's no wait to see the doctor.

"I don't have staff it's just me and my iPhone," Ores said.

He's been providing healthcare to the Lower East Side and has never taken insurance.

"I been here for 30 years doing pay what you can medicine, $30, $60, $80, depending on what the problem is," Ores said.

Ores is testing out a subscription service, what's known as direct primary care.

It includes unlimited visits for a flat monthly fee and patients can text and call any time, which Ores says can catch a serious illness before it's too late.

"Most patients don't know if what they have does or doesn't need a doctor," he said.

"The better system is zero barrier care, so you come and see the doctor and the physicians will decide if the skin lesion you have is cancer, or the migrane you have is a blood pressure problem."

There are nearly 600 direct primary care practices nationwide. Monthly fees can range from $25 to $85.

Lab tests, vaccinations, scans and generic drugs are often cheaper and there are no per visit charges.

Direct primary care patients still need insurance to cover hospitalizations and other costly services, but with their primary care needs covered and have their pick of high deductible plans with low premiums.