Posts Tagged primary care

How to Have it All with Kre Johnson, D.O.

How to Have it All with Kre Johnson, D.O.

TRUSSVILLE – Dr. Kre Johnson knows what it’s like to be stretched so thin at work and at home to the point at which more than a few things begin to fall through the cracks. It’s something most of us can relate to. Not having enough time to devote to family, friends and clearing the day’s checklist before leaving the office at the end of the day is something a lot of working parents struggle with every day. Earlier this year, this working wife and mother made a decision that not only changed her life but also her family and her patients.

Beginning Feb. 1, 2019, Dr. Johnson’s current practice, Brownstone Healthcare and Aesthetics became the third medical practice in Birmingham to see patients under a membership-based system known as direct primary care. Direct primary care members enrolling with Brownstone can pay a flat $70 monthly fee, which covers an unlimited amount of office visits with no co-pay or deductible charges. Under direct primary care, insurance is not required but is recommended in case patients wind up needing surgery or hospitalization. The practice is not 100 percent DPC-based, however. Dr. Johnson still sees Medicare patients from her previous medical practice.

Making a Change

“I’m really loving it,” Dr. Johnson said. “I’m doing what I call kind of a hybrid because I still see my Medicare patients, but I know we’re making a difference in our community. I knew the first week we made the change that it was the right thing for us to do.”

In that first week, Dr. Johnson and her staff saw a patient who presented with a large lump in his throat. The patient didn’t have insurance and had previously had some difficulty finding the best treatment for what turned out to be cancer. That patient is now on a great path to wellness, receiving good treatment and care thanks to Dr. Johnson and her staff.

“We’re able to see so many patients now without certain encumbrances, and we feel it’s been a blessing for a lot of people,” Dr. Johnson explained. “So I was like, Lord…I really feel like I need to do this. It was simple, really. Because I’m His hands and feet. I’m here to meet the needs of the people, and I know there’s a need for access to health care in this area. It’s been a good transition. I’m happy about it, and it helps me with my quality of life.”

Like many women in business, Dr. Johnson soon discovered that having it all comes with a price. Not long after she began practicing medicine, she and her husband decided to start a family, and Dr. Johnson has also been very driven to give back to her community. But, there’s just never enough time in the day.

“I was seeing in-patients and out-patients every day of the week, and then I had a baby. My husband was like, ‘Do you ever plan on being at home?’ Women are inherently driven to do so much. Soon everything at home was lacking. Changing my business model has given me a little more work-life balance. I may be on-call for my patients more, but I can still make it to the events at my daughter’s school. She asked me if I was trying to take her Daddy’s job!” Dr. Johnson laughed.

Giving Back to the Community

Switching her practice to direct primary care also gave Dr. Johnson the opportunity to fulfill her desire to work more in her community. Not only has she started a scholarship program for area high school seniors dreaming of a future in medicine, but she’s created a workshop and written a book for working women.

Dr. Johnson created the Wifeology Working Wife Retreat as an annual retreat for married professional women looking to network and find new ideas to live their best lives. The retreat is June 21-23 at the Tutwiler-Hampton Inn & Suites-Downtown Birmingham.

“As working women, we have to make time for ourselves to find our passion again. That’s what this retreat is all about,” Dr. Johnson explained. “We get together for a weekend so we can talk about our lives, rejuvenate ourselves and then go back to our lives refreshed. This is a great way to get to know women from different professional backgrounds year after year, and it turns into a kind of family reunion! I think it’s just been a kind of blessing for a lot of marriages for the women to attend to be able to say to each other that they are not alone in their struggles in finding ways to balancing a good marriage and a good professional life. We aren’t superhuman, but we like to think that we are.”

Learn More

If you would like to learn more about Dr. Johnson’s Wifeology series or to book her as a guest speaker, find her online at and learn more about her direct primary care practice here. She’s also very active on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Posted in: Physicians Giving Back

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Primary Care Cut Restored; Physicians Must Re-Attest to Qualify

Primary Care Cut Restored; Physicians Must Re-Attest to Qualify

In a press conference Thursday, Sept. 22, Gov. Robert Bentley and Alabama Medicaid Commissioner Stephanie Azar announced that the primary care cut, which became effective Aug. 1, will be restored on Oct. 1. However, Medicaid-enrolled primary care physicians who qualify for the Primary Care Enhanced Physicians Rates must self-attest in order to continue to receive the payments. No dates have been set by Medicaid for the attestation process. Medicaid will be sending a notice out to providers shortly on how to re-attest.

To qualify for the reinstated bump beginning Oct. 1, physicians will need to re-attest and meet one of the following requirements:

  1. A physician must have a specialty or subspecialty designation in family medicine, general internal medicine, or pediatrics that is recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), the American Board of Physician Specialties (ABPS), or the American Osteopathic Association (AOA), and they actually practice in their specialty.
  2. A NON-board certified physician who practices in the field of family medicine, general internal medicine, or pediatrics or a subspecialty under one of these specialties, is eligible if he/she can attest that 60 percent of their paid Medicaid procedures billed are for certain specified procedure codes for evaluation and management (E&M) services and certain Vaccines for Children (VFC) vaccine administration codes.

Alabama Medicaid: Primary Care Enhanced Physician Rates “Bump” Certification and Attestation Form

*Note: Practitioners (physician assistants or certified registered nurse practitioners) providing services under the personal supervision of eligible physicians may qualify.

When the cuts originally took effect on Aug. 1, they amounted to 30 to 40 percent of medical practice revenue, according to Executive Director Mark Jackson.

“Regardless of what kind of business you’re in, if you’re seeing cuts of 30 and 40 percent, it’s going to make a major impact on your bottom line,” Jackson said.

The restoration of the bump will also allow the state to continue to implement RCOs. This renewed funding should put the rollout of the RCOs on track by next July, according to Azar.

Posted in: Medicaid

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