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Doctor opening membership-based practice

July 20, 2017
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Belen Amat
Belen Amat. Courtesy Direct Primary Care of West Michigan

A new 1,000-square-foot medical practice with a membership-based business model is coming to Grand Rapids.

Dr. Belen Amat, a primary care physician, is hosting an open house on Monday for the grand opening of Direct Primary Care of West Michigan, at 3501 Lake Eastbrook Blvd. SE.

Amat’s practice will incorporate the “direct primary care” model by offering patients monthly memberships for various types of care and feed-based services for certain care, like after-hours visits and some labs, not covered under memberships.

The practice’s membership will be limited to 600 patients.

Patients can become members of the practice for $10 to $75 per month, based on their age, and a one-time $50 enrollment fee.

Members will have unlimited access to their doctor via in-person appointments, as well as by phone, text and email.

In addition to access to Amat, patients will not be required to provide a co-pay and will have access to wholesale medications, labs and in-house procedures, such as stitches, biopsies and joint injections, included in their memberships.

Other services included are regular checkups, routine care and preventative medicine.

There are no long-term contract requirements, but patients who cancel their membership or cease payment will be required to pay a $150 re-enrollment fee if they choose to return.

Though insurance is not required by Direct Primary Care of West Michigan, the practice recommends patients have some form of insurance in case of catastrophic injury or illness.

Amat currently makes up the entirety of the practice, and she plans to hire a staff member in the near future.

Amat was born and raised in Mexico City and after graduating from Universidad Panamericana with a degree in internal medicine, she came to Grand Rapids to pursue a dual specialty in internal medicine and pediatrics at Grand Rapids Medical Education Partners.

After several years working at Spectrum Health and St. Mary’s, she chose to open her own practice under the direct primary care model after feeling dissatisfied with the health care system and to try to “recover the personal side of medicine.”

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