Just what the doctor ordered — a new model of healthcare. Here’s an in-depth Q&A with Dr. David Tusek about his approach to modern medicine.
What do you think is the biggest problem in healthcare today?
I believe there are two: the rising cost of healthcare and the rising rates of chronic disease. The reality is that the conventional healthcare paradigm needs to be updated from one based solely on “pathogenesis” (disease generation) to one that also embraces and nurtures “salutogenesis” (health generation). Cloud and other similar practices are building new models which support health in a broader context and not only improve outcomes but also significantly reduce costs. We own that bias exists in healthcare, and our model is designed to bias our patients’ best interests rather than those of any third parties.
How does your practice work?
Cloud Medical offers unlimited access to all your pediatric, gynecological, adult medicine and urgent care needs with additional phone, text and email access to your personal provider. Our three Boulder County locations offer onsite visits during business hours and urgent care after hours. We also pair our program with major medical coverage provided by several low-cost plans providing global coverage. The net result is full-stack, concierge level healthcare at half the cost of a stingy “bronze” plan on the exchange. Additionally, we don’t charge copays, and we fight for price transparency on labs, imaging and medications to help ensure no one is blindsided. Our core value is to be champions for our patients’ health and financial well-being.
How is Cloud different from other new emerging healthcare models?
While good portions of the emerging models are trying to solve for the inefficiency of conventional healthcare, these convenient designs (e.g., tele-doc services or retail clinics) continue to perpetuate the dangerous trend of depersonalization of modern medicine. Cloud Medical strives to be both highly-efficient and highly-personalized, and our affordable membership models allow us to make that combination a reality for our patient-members. Our enhanced level of personalized attention allows our providers to treat the source cause of illness, rather than merely the symptoms.
Who are your members and are you accepting new ones?
Our members are health-conscious individuals, families and businesses in the area that include people with a wide variety of health needs: be it diabetes reversal or Ironman training. Since our model is “disrupting” the status quo, many of our members would consider themselves innovators who value the biohacker philosophy. Regarding our membership, we have been capped at about 1000 members for most of 2018 but have recently reopened enrollment for several hundred more since we have staffed up and focused heavily on our operations.
Who does the Cloud Medical team consist of?
Our founding team started with one of Boulder’s most beloved physician-healers, Dr. Charles Tawa, and myself. We recently hired several new “rockstars” to help us take Cloud to the next level, including our “Chief People Officer” Ariel Radack Kassner, and our clinical team consisting of Sheila Kupersmith, FNP and Susie Kelly, FNP. Also, we have a phenomenal support staff who bring passion and heart to the daily clinical flow.
What are your next steps?
Our practice has several big moonshots which revolve around our desire to harness the power and intelligence of the collective to reprogram healthcare at a deeper societal level. In some ways, we’re trying to do in healthcare what Kimbal Musk and his team are doing with the food industry. If it’s going to happen anywhere, it will be in a place like our beloved, vibrant community of Boulder, and it’s an idea whose time has come.