Holistic and Convenient
Grounded Serpent provides primary care to patients in and around Terre Haute, Indiana. Dr. Brown is a family doctor with a holistic approach who goes out of her way to provide convenient care to her patients. The clinic is open on Saturdays and late on weekdays with the goal that no patient need miss work to see the doctor. Dr. Brown makes house calls regularly for all of her patients, and it is easy to make a virtual appointment or text her directly with concerns. You will never need to wait in a waiting room or wonder if your messages to her are getting through.
Dr. Brown accepts patients who have Medicare, Medicaid, Aetna, Anthem, Blue Cross Blue Shield and all other insurance types. Dr. Brown also accepts patients with no insurance. Continue reading for more information.
Do you have fatigue?
ME/CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) is a silent epidemic and greatly in need of more attention from the medical and scientific communities. 50% of Long COVID cases meet criteria for ME/CFS and 90% of ME/CFS patients are undiagnosed. Dr. Brown takes a special interest in treating patients with ME/CFS and will accept ME/CFS patients from Indiana and Illinois. She will consider licensing in other states as well if there is enough interest.
Meet the Doc
Hello! I'm Dr. Katie Brown, the founder and physician of Grounded Serpent Family Practice. I do things a little different from most doctors.
Let me give you a tour...
Grounded Serpent isn't your typical clinic
We do not bill insurance and instead offer a monthly fee of around $100. This fee covers all of your visits and procedures (excluding supplies).
This innovative model is known as Direct Primary Care (or DPC for short).
Grounded Serpent is also a "micro clinic," which means I keep overhead costs as low as possible to pass the savings on to you. For instance, I don't have any additional staff or a physical location for my practice yet. Instead, I make house calls, or we'll have your appointment over the phone or video visit, depending on the situation. While my practice may evolve in the future, I will always limit the number of patients I see so that I can provide exceptional care to each one.
As my patient, you will schedule your own appointments. You will decide how much time you would like to spend with me, anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours. Appointments will never be rushed and you won't need to waste time sitting in a waiting room.
What is Direct Primary Care?
Direct Primary Care (DPC) is an innovative, membership-style model that allows you to have a direct relationship with your doctor. For an affordable monthly fee, you can receive concierge-level healthcare tailored to your individual needs at no extra cost, including:
Unlimited, relaxed visits in the comfort of your own home
Same-day or next-day sick visits
Email, text or call Dr. Brown for questions between visits
Weekend and after-hours appointment times with the goal of minimizing the time you have to take off work for doctor's appointments
DPC takes medical insurance out of your primary medical care. Therefore, insurance companies no longer decide what care you receive - you and your doctor do. Medical insurance is still very important to have for major expenses like specialty care, emergency treatment and hospitalizations.
Why A Membership Model?
Why not just pay per visit?
By receiving monthly payments from the entire patient panel, I'm able to limit the number of patients I care for, resulting in a small and personalized patient panel. In contrast, the average family physician juggles a whopping 2,400 patients at any given time. This high volume forces them to keep appointments brief and their schedules packed to cover costs. Meanwhile, you can access your doctor when you want, how you want, and you know you won't be surprised by unexpected bills.
Now that you know about my practice...
Let me tell you a bit more about myself.
My interest in medicine started when I was a senior in high school and I heard Patch Adams speak at a local college. I've always been fascinated by the personal side of medicine, and Patch's message about the importance of the physician-patient relationship deeply resonated with me.
During my first year of medical school, I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, which gave me a unique perspective on the limitations of the mainstream medical system. It took me 7 years to recover, during which I became interested in treating others with the condition. I've learned that in some cases, the traditional medical model doesn't always have answers, and that's where creativity and exploration of alternative modalities come in.
One area that particularly interests me is mind-body medicine. It was through this approach that I was able to recover, and I'm passionate about exploring and sharing these techniques with my patients. I believe in empowering patients to take control of their health and well-being, and I'm excited to work with you towards that goal.
When I'm not working, you can find me spending time with my husband, reading books or spending time outdoors.
I earned my M.D. from Indiana University School of Medicine
I completed my family medicine residency in Urbana, IL in 2023
I specialize in treating Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) and Long COVID.
Can you do procedures and point of care tests?
Yes, procedures and point of care testing can be done in your home just as if we were in an office. Procedures and tests offered will grow as demand increases and as funds for supplies become available. You can see the most current list of procedures and tests offered HERE.
Can you refer me to specialists?
Yes. Like other family physicians, I am able to refer you out when you need specialized care. However, because of the time I have to spend with you, I will likely not need to refer you as often as the average Family Physician.
Are labs and medications covered by my insurance if you order them?
Even though I do not bill your insurance directly, you do have the option of billing your insurance for the labs and medications I order. However, I also have access to affordable cash prices for labs, imaging and medications that may be less expensive than your insurance co-pay, so it is worth getting a quote from your insurance to decide if it is worth billing them or not.
Do you offer vaccinations?
No. Because vaccines are expensive, expire quickly and require strict storage protocols, I am not able to stock vaccines in the clinic at this time. I do provide guidance on which vaccines you are due for and where you can get them.
I am already paying for insurance. A monthly membership feels like paying double for healthcare. Is DPC only for people without insurance?
DPC was never intended to replace insurance. It is still important to carry insurance for emergency room, urgent care and specialist appointments. However, the DPC monthly membership is not just extra money spent on something already covered by your insurance. With a DPC membership, you get access and relationship, rare commodities in a profit-driven clinic where as many patients are seen in as short a time as possible and a single doctor is caring for thousands of patients.
With your standard insurance, how quickly could you get in to see your doctor for an acute illness? Would you see your doctor who knows you or someone else? Does your doctor know your medical history? Do they know you as a person well enough to treat you as an individual? How much time do you get with your doctor? Your answers to these questions highlight the failings of our mainstream medical system. Health insurance does not guarantee health care. At Grounded Serpent, I practice medicine my way, in a way that prioritizes patient care. I decide how many patients to carry on my panel, not my employer. I decide how patients are scheduled and how many patients I see in one day, not the bloated hospital system whose priority is clearly their shareholders and their bottom line, not good patient care.
If I were to charge my patients by appointment, many of these important markers of good care would go away. It would incentivize me to bring you into the clinic as often as possible rather than treating you in the most convenient way possible. It also requires me to fill up my schedule to make a profit, increasing the number of patients on my panel while degrading both your access to me and my personal relationship with you.
I am not interested in treating you as a collection of diagnoses and symptoms. I want to know you as a person and treat you holistically. The membership model is the structure through which I can do that most effectively.
The Meaning of The Name
The name "Grounded Serpent" seems to take people by surprise when they hear it. Snakes, it seems, are generally regarded with fear and it appears strange to have them associated with medicine, but the rod of Asclepius, a rough staff entwined with a serpent, has been a symbol of healing for thousands of years.
The snake, uniquely, spends its entire life in full contact with the ground. To the Greeks, the Earth was the source of life. From her comes all living things, even our own bodies. If anyone wanted to know how to heal, they needed the Earth's knowledge. And what creature could have more of this knowledge than the creature who lived closest to her?
Perhaps that's why the snake was the constant companion of Asclepius, the god of Medicine, and his wife, Hygeia, the personification of Health. Hygeia is often depicted feeding the snake, nourishing it. From that archetypal image, I have come to see the snake as a metaphor for our physical bodies, which are a part of the Earth and possess innate wisdom and potential for healing. In order to regain health, we must reconnect with our body.
Too often, we are dissociated from our physical selves, ignoring signals of thirst, hunger, or fatigue. We may develop this dissociation as a defense mechanism when our culture tells us that our needs are not important and that having needs is weak or selfish.
The best thing we can do for our health is to return to the wisdom of the serpent. How can we heal that which we do not honor and respect? Our body is not something to be conquered, used, and feared but rather loved and partnered with. In partnering with our body, we can learn to honor its wisdom and trust its ability to guide us on the path to health.
Statement of Inclusivity
Grounded Serpent embraces people of all races, genders, sexual orientations, family structures, religions, sizes, abilities and political affiliations. We strive to provide quality medical care that is culturally sensitive, individualized and respectful of the diversity of the human experience.
We acknowledge that structural racism and fear of the "other" are public health issues. We therefore vow to speak out against all forms of discrimination and bias in our society. We stand in solidarity with the First Nations peoples, the Black community, the LGBTQ+ community, the homeless community, the incarcerated community, the disabled community, the plus-sized community, the spoonie community and all other people who may face discrimination or have trouble obtaining quality healthcare in our society.
Our Guiding Values
Grounded Serpent seeks to restore the doctor-patient relationship in order to foster an environment of trust, connection and compassion in which the patient may be most effectively supported in the pursuit of their health goals. We strive to accomplish this through our five guiding values:
INTEGRITY: The doctor-patient relationship is a sacred responsibility. Therefore, the physician is held to the highest standards of justice, honesty and humility.
KNOWLEDGE: We strive to keep abreast of the latest research and recommendations so that we can provide the highest quality, evidence-based care.
WISDOM: All medical decisions are made in light of the individual patient and their goals. The patient will be empowered with the knowledge they need to make informed decisions about their care.
CREATIVITY: We utilize the full spectrum of healing arts, emphasizing the treatments most likely to support the mind-body in its own healing.
INTERDEPENDENCE: We operate from the assumption that everything is interconnected and respect for the Whole is necessary for healing. No imbalance can be corrected until the context that fostered it has been fully witnessed and understood.