Does it take weeks instead of days to get an appointment with your doctor?

When you are sick, are you told to go to the nearest “Doc in a Box” for care?

Do you have adequate time to explain your symptoms and concerns with your medical provider during routine visits?

Are health conditions requiring more frequent follow-up/medication adjustments scheduled in a timely manner?

Have you experienced feeling more like a number on a chart than a human being who needs care?

We all know that our healthcare system has become more similar to a giant corporation than to the family doctor who made home visits when needed. While progress must be made, we are all experiencing less and less face-to-face time with our primary care physicians. MBody Healthcare owners, Mike and Melissa Major, are here to put the “care” back in healthcare by offering membership-based, affordable healthcare. Everything Knoxville sat down in their comfortable, “homey” office to discuss how they differ from insurance-based medical providers and how this could be a big benefit to you.

EK: Let’s start with the basics. What are your medical backgrounds and what brought you to Knoxville?

Mike: After graduating from the University of Portland with a bachelor of science in nursing (under an ROTC scholarship), I spent the next eight years in the Air Force working as a nurse, including being in charge of the Pentagon primary care clinic. With encouragement from several physicians, I applied and was accepted to the Uniformed Services University medical school, completed a Family Medicine residency, and faithfully served for 17 years. As a civilian, my main practice has been as a hospitalist.

Melissa: As a Registered Nurse from Pensacola State University, I worked in inpatient and rural health for the next 13 years, primarily focusing on underserved communities. I then pursued my master’s degree in nursing with a focus on adult gerontology at Boise State University. Upon graduation, I also worked as an inpatient hospitalist.

Mike: We were still living in Boise when I got a job in Knoxville working a week-on week-off schedule at a local hospital, commuting back and forth. I really liked the area and knew Melissa and the kids would feel at home here, too. We took the plunge and relocated our family right as the pandemic was ramping up.

EK: With all of your combined medical experience, you both seem eager to connect with Knoxvillians who are seeking more personalized care. Why is that?

Melissa: We have the unique perspective of being medical professionals AND patients. In early 2020, I received a reminder postcard prompting me to schedule my annual check-up. When I called and was offered the first date available – two months out – the reality of how broken the system was hit me hard.

My once daily routine at the hospital – sitting at the bedside and talking with patients – had been slowly replaced with phone calls and meetings focused on proving “medical necessity” to get insurance coverage approval for my patients. They were not getting the care they needed – even with excellent insurance.

Mike: This was certainly no different for physicians in the outpatient setting. The required “volume to meet productivity” has reduced the doctor/patient visit time to about six minutes. Three of the most obvious drawbacks are the amount of pharmaceuticals patients are being prescribed, the pattern of automatically sending patients on to specialists, and the growing chronic disease burden we face as a nation. Our experience is that people are spending more on medications and specialists than ever, yet getting sicker. We knew there had to be a better way.

EK: So how is MBody Healthcare different from a “traditional” primary care model?

Mike: The most striking difference between us and traditional primary care is the access and time our patients receive. We offer same/next-day visits with extended visit times to ensure they never feel rushed. For after-hours and weekends, we provide direct calls and texting access. Our patients can rest assured, knowing we are always a text away if they need us. We also offer virtual visits for when they are out of town or tied up at work. We understand that busy lives can get in the way, so we strive to make the healthcare experience easy and convenient with minimal downtime.

Melissa: We wanted to offer a way to give patients the time they needed and their health deserved. We knew the key was to shift the focus back to preventative care and to reduce pharmaceutical usage if at all possible. After two years of researching alternative models of care, it became clear that the only way we could provide a better care was from the “outside,” allowing us to remove (potential insurance) barriers and to restore the essential doctor-patient connection.

EK: Can you explain how the Direct Primary Care (DPC) model works in terms of insurance vs. membership?

Melissa: The flat monthly rate includes unlimited visits, direct provider access, and all primary care needs, including basic labs and wellness care. Beyond this, we provide in-office procedures and urgent care needs. We will happily utilize your insurance if you have a policy for anything we do not cover. We assist those without insurance by getting them the most affordable cash-pay options available. We do believe insurance has its place – to serve as catastrophic coverage – similar to the policies we hold on our vehicles and homes. Most of our patients do carry a policy; however, they don’t tend to utilize it. This, we believe, is the ideal place for insurance – as a safety net, not smack dab in the middle of the doctor-patient relationship.

Mike: DPC is a subscription-based healthcare model that can operate outside commercial medical insurance – those third-party payers that are, unfortunately, incentivized to reject claims. We are not incentivized by anything other than getting you healthy and keeping you that way!

EK: What do you see are the biggest benefits of belonging to DPC healthcare?

Mike: People often ask how it is possible to offer the level of care we provide and guarantee same/next-day visits. The answer is twofold. The first has to do with volume. While the typical primary care doctor today is responsible for more than 3,500 patients, we have limited our patient panel to 500 per provider.

Melissa: The second is that our patients honestly do not need us nearly as much as you would think! Once they are enrolled and we have spent time getting to know each other, an amazing thing happens – they begin to realize that we are there, any time of any day. This not only aids in them reaching out at the onset of an issue, assuring quicker diagnosis and resolution, but it relieves anxiety regarding not knowing what they will do if they get sick. Simply being available has proven to be one of the most medicinal approaches to care we have found.

EK: Is there more information you would like our readers to know?

Melissa: We offer employer incentives beyond traditional insurance to keep employees healthy and productive. Our goal is to encourage everyone to choose “wellness” over co-pay insurance hassles. We welcome the opportunity to become your primary healthcare option. Dr. Mike and I have a heart for those struggling in our current insurance-based healthcare. We think you deserve better – better access, more time, and a deeper patient/provider connection.

Employer Membership Plan

Membership based primary care provides small business owners the opportunity to extend healthcare coverage to their employees.

• Support employee health
• Increase job satisfaction/retention
• Reduce absenteeism
• Affordable
• Easy enrollment process
• Immediate coverage
• Option to include dependents

Contact the office for more information.

“For the first time in 11 years I feel like I have a caregiver who really cares. MBody has let me take control of my health again. They take the time to get to know me and my medical issues and remember me whenever I call or go into the office. Appointments are never rushed and we work together to get me to a good outcome. MBody is one of the very best health decisions I have ever made.” – Dean E.

MBody Healthcare
10414 Jackson Oaks Way
Knoxville, TN 37922
865.399.6026 office
865.685.9351 text