Direct Imaging Founder’s Story – Part 3

In Part 2 of our blog series on Direct Imaging’s founder Dave Atteberry, we learned about the psychological and financial costs he endured after venturing into private practice. After selling his Yakima imaging center to Sunnyside/Astria and reclaiming the practice after the area hospital went into bankruptcy, Dave reentered private practice – under much different circumstances…

Direct Imaging of Yakima is Back in Business

Dave assumed the credit obligations of Frontier Neurosurgery and the X-ray and imaging center – now all under Direct Imaging – setting out on his own again in June of 2019. Following the bankruptcy, he formed a parallel company identical to its predecessor in every way, except for a new tax ID.

Expanding Access to Medical Services in Yakima Valley

While he was at it, Dave thought, “Why not open a new ambulatory surgery center – and an outpatient endoscopy center at the facility?” He also knew a 30-year veteran of gastroenterology, Dr. Thomas Pulliam, who’d been laid off by the hospital during bankruptcy. With a 9-month waiting list at area providers for EDGs and colonoscopies, he knew he could help the community and create a desperately needed service line.

Direct Imaging would then include:

Hiring Board Certified Radiologists and Staff

Dave now needed a team. Many of his previous coworkers had scattered, but he was able to re-employ most of his prior medical office staff. He also teamed up with a group of radiologists who were board-certified and sub-specialized in a single body modality, ensuring incredibly detailed reads that fundamentally changed the quality of the imaging reports in Yakima.

Between the quality of imaging reading and the low cost – about 50% of what surrounding facilities charge – insurers were on board, making authorizations easier for patients seeking care and providing higher value services than what was previously available.

COVID Treatment Drives Dave to Open Ambulatory Services in Yakima

Dave managed all this through the pandemic, testing patients for the disease at his clinic and even surviving COVID himself. The experience drove him to open an ambulatory facility where patients could get not just better than standard care, but superior care. A place that functioned not for profit – but for the community’s needs. A facility where anyone could get superior treatment, not just the wealthy and well-connected, but also regular folks with Medicare.

What does Dave see as the future of Direct Imaging? Learn about the latest addition to the Direct Imaging family of healthcare services in Yakima and the role he hopes to play in the community in Part 4  of our Direct Imaging Owner Interview blog series.

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