Innovative healthcare clinic offers care to uninsured residents

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. Doctor Craig Gustafson has been practicing medicine in Grand Junction for 10 years and says throughout his decade of work he's seen too many patients fall victim to expensive medical bills about a year ago he decided a change needed to be made, "I got to the point where I said there has to be a better way to deliver this there's no way this system is sustainable."

Gustafson took a note from clinics on the Front Range who launched a similar medical program that didn't require insurance or co-pays. Their success led him to create the first program of its kind on the Western Slope.

For just $79 a month Appleton Clinics offers annual physicals, x-rays, skin biopsies among other services. On an average day Gustafson sees 20 to 30 patients and has about 6,000 in his network. He said since not all of his current patients will want to take part in this new system he's looking forward to serving about 1/3 of the people he treats now.

"They're going to be able to have more time to tell me what's wrong i have more time to listen and less time to talk or run over them or rush out of the room," Gustafson.

Some may ask how you can get a prescription at a low cost without insurance. Gustafson said they have an in-house pharmacy with nearly 100 of the most common drugs. You can get a generic prescription at your appointment for a few bucks without waiting in line at a pharmacy and worrying about the cost.

While Unlimited Primary Care doesn't go into effect until October 1st Appleton Clinics expects to reach its patient quota by then. However it's not too late for you they're one of few medical offices in the Valley still enrolling new clients.

Doctor Gustafson is holding an informational meeting Wednesday for people who want to learn more about this plan. It's at CMU between 6 and 7 PM at Houston Hall in room 138.

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