Wow… this was unexpected! Almost a year ago, Lifespan and Care New England, along with Brown University, announced a proposed merger. At that time, I wrote a blog about why this was such a horrible idea. While the physicians at Direct Doctors completely understood the downsides of such a merger, especially in this small state, we did not think Rhode Island would get this right! Well today, the Attorney General denied the merger while at the same time an FTC advisory board voted 4-0 to file a joint lawsuit to do the same. While news organizations are calling this “stunning,” this is likely only because we tend to get these decisions wrong all the time. There is not necessarily anything stunning about realizing that having one organization in charge of 80% of inpatient care in a state is a bad idea! It seems obvious to us, given the mountain of evidence that AG Neronha cites, that health care monopolies cause prices to go up, access to go down without any appreciable change in care.
Now, Rhode Island still has a long way to go to fix our broken health care system. We need to focus more on primary care including incentivizing more primary care physicians to practice here. We need to give innovative practices (like Direct Primary Care) more of an opportunity to thrive. We have to work on giving patients more choice while also lowering costs. We are doing that here at Direct Doctors and will continue to do so as we grow in the future.
Dr. Ashley Lakin DO is "over the moon" to be starting her own branch of Direct Primary Care with the help of her friends at Direct Doctors. Dr. Lakin, trained at Brown with Drs. Turshen & Hedde. As a fellowship trained Maternal-Child Health Family Physician, Dr. Lakin is excited to add prenatal care and lactation medicine to Direct Doctors. With a special interest in primary care for newborns and whole families, Dr. Lakin is a great addition to the Direct Doctors' family. Drs. Hedde & Turshen "are so excited to have a colleague joining us as we expand the services and locations of Direct Doctors direct primary care practices in Rhode Island. Dr. Lakin is a long-time colleague & friend as well as a phenomenal and caring physician." Dr. Lakin is currently accepting new patients and will be working out of the East Greenwich office until her new practice location is up and ready in Riverside, RI where she plans to stay long-term.
Lauren Hedde, DO; James Hedde, DO and Mark Turshen, MD are Family Physicians and Co- Founders of Direct Doctors, Inc. a Direct Primary Care Practice.