Pediatric practice is a Stepping Stone to healthiness
By SAMANTHA PAK
Redmond Reporter Reporter
September 28, 2012 · 9:34 AM
For some families, a doctor’s visit may mean forgoing groceries for a week or fewer outings because they can’t afford to fill up the car, as well.
Pediatric nurse practitioner Amy Adkins-Dwivedi is working to eliminate that need to choose with Stepping Stone Pediatrics, the medical practice she opened in June in Redmond. In addition to accepting patients with health insurance, Adkins-Dwivedi also offers a direct-care plan in which families pay $39.99 a month per patient, for unlimited care.
“I don’t think having health insurance or not having health insurance should stop people from getting care for their kids,” she explained, adding that she also offers discounts for families with multiple children.
She can offer a direct-care option to families because Washington state is one of 19 states that allows health care providers to do so. Adkins-Dwivedi, who sees patients from birth to 21 years of age, is required to report her numbers regarding direct-care patients to and is governed by the Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner.
Adkins-Dwivedi said with Stepping Stone’s direct-care plan, patients are not locked into a long-term commitment so they can leave and come back as needed. She came up with her pricing by polling families and single-working adults about what they thought primary health care should cost.
“It’s less than a regular cup of coffee a day,” Adkins-Dwivedi said as a comparison to her direct-care plan.
Growing up in Ohio, Adkins-Dwivedi said she remembers her father not going to the doctor and usually ending up in the hospital as a result. She also remembers her mother plastering her husband’s arm after he’d injured it because they couldn’t afford health care.
“People did what they could,” Adkins-Dwivedi said. “You let everything go.”
She stressed the importance of primary care, saying ignoring a small medical concern and letting it go can lead to bigger issues that could have been prevented if they’d been caught earlier. Adkins-Dwivedi said one preventative care dollar equals 10 emergency room visit dollars.
In addition to seeing patients at her office, located at 8105 166th Ave. N.E. in downtown Redmond, Adkins-Dwivedi also makes house calls 24 hours a day, seven days a week. She is the only pediatric-care provider who does house calls and said she will see patients anywhere on the Eastside. Adkins-Dwivedi added that this service is good for families with multiple children, newborns or those with mobility issues. She said house calls are also more convenient for families with children who may get stressed out outside their home environment.
As a nurse practitioner Adkins-Dwivedi — who received her bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Cincinnati and master’s degree in nursing from The Ohio State University — treats patients for anything from ear infections and asthma to depression and behavioral issues. Stepping Stone also does vaccines, and various tests including strep, urine and blood tests.
“No matter what their needs are, I’m here for them,” Adkins-Dwivedi said, adding that she will also refer patients to specialists when it is needed.
Before opening Stepping Stone, Adkins-Dwivedi worked in a pediatric emergency room, as well as in a private primary care office. Stepping Stone is her first business.Contact Redmond Reporter Reporter Samantha Pak at email@example.com or 425-867-0353, ext. 5052.