Allison Park independent medical practice sees continued growth

Wednesday, January 1, 2020 | 3:30 PM

Highmark vs. UPMC Health Plan.  AHN vs. UPMC.  The “Alphabet Soup” of healthcare has left many in the Pittsburgh region frustrated.  That’s when two local doctors decided to do something about it.

Rising health insurance costs, due to the Affordable Care Act, have left many individuals with a choice:  to purchase insurance or not.  Drs. Lela Dougherty and Kirsten Lin of Family Matters Direct Primary Care in Allison Park decided to to make healthcare more affordable, more accessible, and more patient-centered.

“There are two common public misconceptions:  that health insurance equals healthcare and that healthcare is expensive.  These are myths that we are finally being able to dispel,” explains Dr. Dougherty.  “Most patients don’t realize that third-party payers, including health insurances and government payers, actually increase the cost of care and limit access as well.  When somebody else is paying the bills, they dictate what care you may or may not receive.”

Drs. Dougherty and Lin got frustrated with burdensome regulations, pre-authorizations, and high patient volumes required in traditional medical practices.  That’s when they decided to open Family Matters.

“Our practice is a type of practice called ‘Direct Primary Care.’  That means we accept all patients regardless of health insurance carrier or health insurance status.  But by not billing them, this allows us to accept all patients, keep their costs low, and make us more accessible to them.  We contract directly with our patients, not insurance companies.”

“Because most people think you have to have insurance in order to obtain great medical care, it was a little hard at first to break through the public perception.  But since we opened about two years ago, we’ve been growing by leaps and bounds.”  When asked what is contributing to their growth, Dr. Dougherty replied, “Word of mouth.  Our patients with and without insurance are seeing lower costs and better care…so they tell their friends.”

Drs. Dougherty and Lin are currently accepting new patients.  To find out more, visit: