Dr. Elizabeth Eaman in her clinic (photo credit: Jenny Jimenez)

Dr. Elizabeth Eaman in her clinic (photo credit: Jenny Jimenez)

Renton physician cuts health insurance out of the picture

Dr. Elizabeth Eaman said she started her clinic because health insurers prioritize profit over care.

Dr. Elizabeth Eaman started the Oodle Family Medicine clinic in Renton as a way to “flip traditional primary care on its head.”

The relatively small one-doctor clinic operates under a model known as direct primary care. It’s a model that essentially cuts health insurance out the picture, and instead, patients pay a one-time monthly fee.

For $75 a month, patients can schedule as many appointments as they need at no extra charge, and appointments can even be scheduled for the next day.

Eaman said appointments at a traditional clinic would last about seven minutes per patient on average, as physicians often have to see 18 to 25 patients per day.

She said her appointments with patients last 30 minutes to an hour if needed, as she works to provide comprehensive preventative care to each patient. She also promises reduced wait times.

Eaman said “divorcing” herself from health insurers not only allows her to take better care of her patients, but it reduces the cost of care by up to 90 percent at times.

She said health insurance companies in the United States have inflated the cost of equipment, supplies, procedures and care in general.

“The amount of ways they can inflate the cost of something like a blood draw is insane,” she said.

Blood labs at Oodle Family Medicine cost a fraction of the price, according to Eaman, because her clinic is not subject to administrative fees that occur in other clinics and hospitals because of “transportation” or “processing.”

She said as a physician for a more corporate traditional clinic, she would often spend an equal amount of time actually seeing a patient as she would filling out billing and coding forms to comply with health insurers.

Additionally, she said the corporate health insurance systems seemed to provide monetary incentives for doctors to see healthier people. She explained that physicians may get “dinged” for seeing chronically unhealthy people that cost insurers more, which could lead to them losing bonuses.

“The corporate system felt like it had more to do with working the game of getting paid than it did with actually helping people,” said Eaman.

Feeling “beaten down” by the system, Eaman said she felt like she was not allowed to be the kind of doctor she wanted to be.

Because she is not nickel and diming anyone who receives health care at her clinic, she admitted that she is making a fraction of what a typical physician might make, but she said she is infinitely happier.

“I am not doing this because I want to be rich,” Eaman said. “I am doing this because I want to love my job.”

Eaman also has a background in transgender health care and has done a lot of work to to examine how the health care system can be more accepting of people on the gender spectrum — and how physicians can work to repair the damage and distrust that particular communities and individuals may have of our health care system.

“I am focused on making my space the best space for my patients,” said Eaman.

For more information on the the clinic, visit: www.OodleMD.com


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@rentonreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.rentonreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

Dr. Elizabeth Eaman (photo credit: Jenny Jimenez)

Dr. Elizabeth Eaman (photo credit: Jenny Jimenez)

More in News

Police vehicle damaged after collision (Photo Credit: Renton Police Department)
Renton Police still looking to arrest suspect after officer involved hit and run

RPD spokesperson said suspect fled on foot after causing officer’s injury.

Design renderings of new elementary school (courtesy of Renton School District)
Renton School Board approves plans for new elementary school

The school is expected to be opened by Fall 2023.

Renton’s Kat Salvo and her competition Toyota 4Runner (courtesy of Kat Salvo)
Renton resident to compete in all-female navigational off-road rally race

The Rebelle Rally forces teams to race across the desert with only a map and a compass.

Courtesy of the Washington State Department of Health
Inslee sets June 30 target for Washington to fully reopen

Meanwhile, fully vaccinated people can stop wearing masks in most places, the federal CDC said.

Volunteers prepped for food donation pop-up (photo courtesy of INSP)
Local non-profit is concerned about the expiration of USDA Farm to Family program

INSP has provided thousands with food during pandemic, but is worried about being able to continue.

Matt Marshall, leader of the Washington Three Percenters gun rights group, addresses a crowd rallying for Second Amendment rights Jan. 17, 2020, at the state Capitol in Olympia. File photo
Open-carry of weapons now illegal at state Capitol, rallies

A new law bars people from carrying guns within 250 feet of a permitted demonstration.

(Pixabay.com)
As rates of stoned drivers increase, law enforcement face challenges

WSP trooper said a THC breathalyzer would be a “game changer” for law enforcement and courts.

E. coli. Photo courtesy of the Food and Drug Administration
Seven King County children sickened with E. coli

Seven children in King County have been infected with E. coli, a… Continue reading

Arial footage taken of incident with police drone (photo credit: Renton Police Department)
Renton first responders help coax woman out of tree

Woman stayed in 110 foot tree for two hours until a police negotiator convinced her

Most Read