A new option for medical care is now available in International Falls.
Falls.MD officials this week announced the new business is accepting new patients — women, men, boys, girls, newborns, seniors, and expectant mothers — in its office located at 1580 Highway 71.
Led by a board-certified family physician, Dr. Eric F. Koperda, the practice specializes in rural family medicine, according to a news release.
“Rural family doctors are a good fit for remote communities like International Falls, where the sub-specialists are hundreds of miles away,” Koperda said. “Nobody in town is thrilled about driving to Bemidji and Duluth for tests and procedures. Is all that travel worth the effort? What if we could avoid the drive?”
Falls.MD offers direct primary care, a model where the same doctor takes care of the patient when they’re well and when they’re sick, when patients walk to the office and when they’re too weak to get out of bed. The practice offers same-day appointments, video conference visits, and house calls. Imagine a doctor being available when needed, not five weeks later at his next open appointment slot, the release said.
The direct part of direct primary care arises from the direct relationship between patient and doctor at Falls.MD.
“Government bureaucrats, insurance companies, and other middlemen are not welcome in our exam rooms,” Koperda said in the release. “Nobody gets a vote about what care may be medically necessary except the doctor, the patient, and her loved ones.”
Instead of kowtowing to myriad health plans and their limitations, the release said Falls.MD offers affordable cash prices posted right at the front door. Most patients at Falls.MD have health insurance, but they discover they don’t need to use their health insurance at Falls.MD. Their insurance card stays in their pocket, ready in case of serious illness or emergency, but not needed everyday.
“Primary care can be affordable,” Koperda said. “Often our prices are lower than if you tried to use your insurance benefits at a competing practice. Falls.MD is a good match for those enrolled in health-sharing ministries, those with high-deductible health plans, and those without health insurance.”
Doctors are enthusiastic about direct primary care for several reasons, the release said. They don’t have to file insurance claims, which has become a major expense in doctors’ private practice. Insurance companies are totally out of the picture. They can’t dictate how many times a patient can see their doctor. They can’t dictate which doctor the patient sees. If a patient needs to be monitored weekly, or even daily, that is between the patient and their doctor. Being closely monitored results in fewer hospital visits. And, with lower overhead expenses, the doctor doesn’t have to see as many patients per day. That means the patient – and the doctor – aren’t rushed.
At Falls.MD, single visits start at just $79. Subscriptions cost $49 monthly for adults, less for children. Confidential meet-and-greets with the doctor are free.
“Compare our prices to your auto mechanic, your plumber, your cell phone bill, or your insurance premiums” said Koperda.
Koperda joined the International Falls community about two years ago; he said he enjoyed the people and the northland so much he decided to stay. Before Falls.MD,he practiced at Rainy Lake Medical Center, he said. He also was an assistant professor at West Virginia University.
Koperda plays cello with local orchestras and he is building a homestead and farm near Ericsburg. He studied medicine at the University of Cincinnati and later learned the specialty of rural family medicine in Ohio and West Virginia. He is board-certified in family medicine.
Call 283-2444 for an appointment or visit www.falls.md for more information.