Changes in local health care affect thousands


The landscape for primary care in Archuleta County is undergoing major transitions.

With one primary care practice seeing big changes and Pagosa Springs Medical Center’s (PSMC) primary care expansion project postponed, many patients might be wondering where their health care is headed.

On Oct. 9, Dr. Nick Kurz of Cornerstone Family Medicine announced that he will be transitioning to a solo practice, given he retains enough patients with the new concierge model he plans to implement.

Cornerstone’s other providers, Tabitha Zappone, Dr. Carole Nasralla, Fran Schreiber-Custer and Amy Ramsey are no longer with the practice, as stated by Kurz in his email update to patients.

According to the announcement, Kurz will manage emergent needs for 30 days, as well as assist patients in transferring their records to a different provider.

As of Nov. 1, Kurz will implement a concierge model of medicine. The practice will be cash only, and will no longer bill patient insurance. In addition, Kurz will no longer accept commercial, state or federal insurance. He will, however, continue to accept workman’s compensation insurances.

According to the announcement from Kurz, “Concierge medicine is an alternative medical model in which a doctor sees a reduced panel of patients, each of whom pays an annual retainer.”

The annual retainer for Kurz’s service is $1,000, plus a minimum of $100 per visit. Additional procedures may cost more. Labs, imaging and other tests done outside of Cornerstone will cost extra, but can be covered by insurance as usual.

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