Deb Abraham Spalding
It’s becoming an epidemic. People either don’t have health insurance or they can’t afford to use the insurance they do have. Whether needing basic health care from time-to-time, a sick visit, or suspecting a bigger health problem, the new Franklin Family Medicine Direct Primary Care (FFM) in Blue Ridge Summit, Pennsylvania—located in the shopping center near the Blue Ridge Summit Post Office—offers services that can help.
FFM founders, Dr. Gary Gallo and his wife Margie, a registered nurse, are the first in our area to offer Direct Primary Care (DPC) services. At the suggestion of their daughter, Jacki, a physician in the Family Medicine Residency program at UPMC St. Margaret’s Hospital in Pittsburgh, the family researched the DPC concept and took a year to set it up. The FFM DPC opportunity is new. “It’s all about good patient care and getting back to good service,”Dr. Gallo said.
FFM gives us an opportunity for primary health care that we can afford. Now, those who have no insurance, those who have insurance with high deductibles, and employers who want to offer their employees a healthy benefit, have an option that works.
FFM is a family medical practice where an affordable monthly membership fee pays for all of your primary care, routine, and sick visit health needs, plus 24-hour access by phone with Dr. Gallo for any medical question or concern. Dr. Gallo’s DPC services are affordable so that those with no insurance will have these basic health services covered, and those with high deductibles can opt to use DPC rather than pay the high price out-of-pocket for their sick visits and routine medical care (thus the advantage of offering this perk by an employer).
Basically, by cutting out the middleman (the insurance companies), the office staff who make the calls to haggle with insurance companies are no longer needed, thus reducing the overall inflation within the health care system. DPC membership is affordable and smart. Membership is just $70.00 per month per adult, plus just $10.00 per month for each child under the age of twenty-six. Dr. Gallo serves people of all ages, regardless of where the patient resides—Maryland, Pennsylvania, or any other state if in the area for a long-term temporary assignment. Please note that, at this time, Medicare patients are not eligible for membership in FFM.
With FFM membership, here’s what you get for NO ADDITIONAL FEE: a yearly physical with routine bloodwork (FFM has its own lab in-house, so standard blood work is included in DPC); yearly well-child checks; health maintenance visits; sick visits with in-house testing (if needed for strep, mono, flu, etc., plus no additional fee for antibiotics if needed); recommended vaccinations; and 24-hour access by phone to your doctor for any medical question or concern. Those suffering from—or suspecting they may have—diabetes, heart problems, high blood pressure, COPD, and/or asthma may find that FFM is an affordable way to manage their care with this opportunity. FFM uses prescription drug affiliates that cost less than even our cheapest pharmacy. Prescriptions are either picked up locally or mailed directly to your home.
When needing specialist visits, radiologic diagnostic studies, therapy, and non-routine labs and testing, FFM has established, and continues to expand upon, a local-area network of providers who will offer these services at discount pricing. Does this mean we should all start to opt out of our high-priced, high-deductible insurance? Firmly, No! But, DPC services are just beginning and the future is bright with alternatives to the costly practices currently faced in our insurance-based health care system.
Dr. Gallo explained that FFM club members rarely have to wait to be seen, and they receive more time with the doctor for more thorough care. Hundreds of DPC practices have opened around the country, and the concept is revolutionizing our nation’s broken healthcare system.
Originally from the Pittsburgh area, Dr. Gallo, Margie, their son Marcus, and daughter Jacki moved to the area in 1999. Dr. Gallo earned a bachelor’s degree from the United States Military Academy at West Point, and a law degree at Georgetown University Law School before pursuing a career in medicine. He graduated from East Tennessee State University’s Quillen School of Medicine, then completed the Family Practice Residency Program at Latrobe Hospital in Pittsburgh. He has been Board Certified in the specialty of Family Medicine since 1999, and he is a member of the American Academy of Family Practice Physicians, as well as the Pennsylvania Medical Society.
It is a bonus that while operating FFM, Dr. Gallo is the managing partner physician with Waynesboro Family Medical Associates (WFMA) in Waynesboro, Pennsylvania. Thus, there is a flow of service that can transition beyond basic and sick services to either the traditional care at WFMA or the local-area providers through FFM. Please note that the two practices, FFM and WFMA, are separate entities.
If you think FFM may serve your needs, call 717-785-1151 to learn more and to set up a free get-to-know-us introductory visit. The address of the office is 14961 Buchanan Trail East, Blue Ridge Summit, Pennsylvania. Visit FranklinFamilyMedicine.com for more information and see their ad on page 31.
Margie Gallo, Registered Nurse, and Dr. Gary Gallo, are shown outside the Franklin Family Medicine offices in Blue Ridge Summit.