Biz Look: Primary Health Partners
Mike Eskew has always had a passion for making a difference.
He’s been a teacher, a coach, and an emergency room nurse. Now he’s helping people take charge of their health as an Advanced Nurse Practitioner with Primary Health Partners. “My patients pay a set monthly fee, and they get unlimited access to me,” says Mike. “The focus is on the patient, not on billable hours or what insurance wants us to do.”
Primary Health Partners uses a direct primary care model. Patients can call or come in whenever they need care, without paying extra fees. “Most medical business models are based on volume, not quality or value,” says Mike. “We try to bring more value to our patients.”
Mikedidn’texpecthisnursingcareertotakethis turn. Until a few years ago, he had never heard of direct primary care. Then he served a rotation with Dr. Kyle Ridner, who was getting ready to open the first Primary Health Partners clinic in Yukon along with Dr. Robert Lockwood. Mike loved the concept, and he asked if he could join as a patient. “My family and I have been involved since the beginning,” he says. Three years later Dr. Ridner offered him a position at Primary Health Partners’ newest clinic in Northwest Oklahoma City. Mike was thrilled to say yes.
Patients always come first at Primary Health Partners, and that’s just the way Mike wants it. “There have been several studies showing direct primary care patients do better than patients in the traditional system,” he says. “They know we care about them, so they begin to care about their own health.” The clinic can fill many prescriptions and do basic lab work at cost, so patients end up saving money as well as getting more consistent care. To cover other expenses such as hospital visits and preventive screenings, Mike encourages his to patients to carry a high-deductible insurance policy and have a Health Savings Account.
When Mike isn’t caring for patients, he enjoys improving his woodworking skills. “It’s very therapeutic to have a creative outlet,” he says. He understands the importance of time off and good self-care, but he’s quick to admit he isn’t a perfect role model for his patients. “The best way to be a role model is to be transparent in your own struggles,” he says.
The Edmond and NW OKC Clinics are accepting new patients. Mike Eskew looks forward to many more years working in direct primary care. “I know the difference it makes in our patients’ lives,” he says. “I feel very fortunate to be a part of that.”
Primary Health Partners Northwest OKC Clinic is located at 14100 Parkway Commons Drive and the Edmond Clinic is located at 1265 E 33rd Street. To learn more,