By: Christopher Davis | Category: Health & Fitness | Issue: June 2014
Dr. Melita Tate examines a patient at Grassroots Healthcare.
Summertime is here. Camping, hiking and sports are all popular this time of year. Unfortunately, playing hard can sometimes lead to injury. Before you head to the nearest emergency room for that twisted ankle, consider an easier and less costly alternative – Grassroots Healthcare in south Tulsa.
For those who worry about long waits in crowded hospital rooms, and overpriced and impersonal doctor visits, Grassroots Healthcare offers a unique alternative to help families keep costs low without sacrificing health.
In May of 2011, Grassroots Healthcare opened at the corner of 91st and Sheridan. Since then, patients have fallen in love with the “third-party free” clinic. Melita Tate, M.D., and Kelly Compton, NP, lead a team dedicated to providing quality, affordable healthcare.
“We do not deal with insurance, nor do we take Medicare,” says Dr. Tate. With all the controversy about healthcare reform in the news, it is refreshing to see a clinic that focuses on the patient. The concept behind the clinic is as simple as it is ideal. A patient schedules an appointment; the doctor meets and treats the patient. The patient pays. Follow up as needed. No extra paperwork to deal with a week later. No calling to haggle with faceless call center representatives during a lunch break. No hidden costs.
In fact, fees for procedures are posted at the front desk. With third parties removed from the doctor-patient equation, costs remain low. Doctors and patients do not need to worry about extra costs and paperwork and, instead can focus on health. This straightforward approach, reminiscent of small-town practices, is advantageous for several types of patients.
“Some of our patients have coverage, but want to avoid the wait times associated with larger hospitals,” says Dr. Tate. Others who have coverage may face high deductibles, and would rather not deal with paying the inflated cost of services at larger hospitals. And, for those who have no insurance at all, the clinic represents a surprisingly affordable alternative to urgent care or emergency room visits. Many of Dr. Tate’s patients are regulars because they trust her knowledge and appreciate the attention she dedicates to their health.
This month, Grassroots patients will recognize a familiar face returning to the clinic. Nurse Practitioner Kelly Compton will be joining Dr. Tate in mid-June. “Kelly did some of her training with us a while back,” says Dr. Tate. “We are excited to welcome her to our team.” The addition of Compton is well-timed, as summer tends to bring with it an increase of sports-related visits.
Grassroots sees many patients for their sports physical exams. And, Dr. Tate’s experience in urgent care makes her clinic a convenient resource should an injury occur. If the injury is serious enough to warrant a trip to the emergency room, Grassroots will waive their visit fee.
“We treat our patients like people,” adds Jane Velezquez, medical assistant. This principle guides every facet of the clinic’s operation, from the welcoming atmosphere of the waiting room to the way medical records are secured. Most patients schedule an appointment, which means wait times are relatively short compared to large hospitals and emergency rooms. There are never hour-long waits amongst dozens of suffering, yet hopeful, would-be patients.
Patient confidentiality and data security are a top priority for Grassroots Healthcare. Medical records are digitized for convenience, but are not uploaded off site, or to “the cloud.”
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Christopher Davis is an educator and musician, as well as a writer. A California native, he resides in Tulsa with his wife, two sons and a modest menagerie of pets. When he isn't inspiring young minds, you will most likely find him spending time with his family or playing drums and percussion with Project Huckleberry or the Movetet. In addition to Value News, Davis also writes for Currentland. You can view his work at https://seedavis.wordpress.com.