Behind the Click: Susan Nicholas, Founder & CEO of DocPons Inc.

April 24, 2012  |  

LDC:  I’m talking to you now at a particularly interesting moment in our country’s history regarding healthcare. Would you care to state your feelings on the upcoming Supreme Court ruling?  Also, how do you feel healthcare issues particularly affects Black women in this country?

SN: Please allow me to qualify my statements on this topic to say that I do not have a legal background to discuss the legal precedent surrounding the Supreme Court hearings. However, I do have a general understanding of the Affordable Care Act. There are several changes proposed that are essential to begin healing the broken healthcare system in America. The expansion of Medicaid, inclusion of pre-existing conditions, and allowing young people to stay on their parents plan until age 26 are just a few. What is not addressed in the Affordable Care Act is the affordability of individuals entering the Health Exchange. As we all know, high deductible plans are quite expensive. Private insurers will sell deductible plans from $1,000 to upwards of $10,000 for the most catastrophic plans.  The deductible for the Obama Care plan is $4,950. Most Americans, I believe, cannot afford this. The problem with high deductible plans as I see it are two-fold. An individual pays out-of-pocket for most all outpatient care services until the deductible is reached. Most healthy individuals will not consume that much healthcare in any one year to satisfy the high deductible and thus are left with a substantial deductible payment should they need hospitalization. This scenario is what makes high deductible plans so unaffordable. Because of the high cost of routine outpatient healthcare, many people will forego routine health and wellness care when covered with high deductible plans. This leads to a vicious cycle in the healthcare system where persons are waiting until conditions become unbearable before presenting for care. This then leads to higher healthcare costs, sicker Americans, and healthcare system that is bankrupting both families and the government.

Minorities are more severely affected generally speaking with the healthcare system in its current state. This relates back to the disparities in access to care that affect health outcomes and life expectancy. This is a founding premise for the DocPons concept as it relates to the uninsured and underinsured. The DocPons mission is to provide quality affordable outpatient healthcare services to those that typically would not have access. We aim to keep all primary care coupons under $100. It is free to register and we need only a valid email address to begin serving our subscribers. In America today, the number of uninsured and underinsured combined includes more than 81 million persons.

LDC:  What is your biggest challenge during the day running this start up?

SN: My biggest challenge on any day is patience and staving off doubt. Starting a company is challenging and reaching milestones takes time. It’s easy to second guess yourself when you feel that progress in not being made as quickly as you would like it.

LDC:  What is your biggest hope for DocPons this year?

SN: My biggest hope for DocPons this year is that we can begin serving Americans with the affordable, quality, outpatient care services that they need and deserve. Though the company is just over a year old, it can feel like an eternity when you want to exact change in the world.

LDC: What has response been like to your company and why do you think it’s been received as such?

SN: Surprisingly, most people tell me that they feel inspired by the DocPons concept. Everyone that hears about it is excited. I want to capitalize on that collective feeling and provide a superior service that is transformative in healthcare. I think people feel this way because as Americans, positive change in our healthcare system is long overdue.
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