Nurse practitioner adds fresh healthcare options for folks on the KP

Scott Turner Bret Price, of Vaughn, opened his medical practice in Key Center last year. Photo by Scott Turner, KP News

On June 2, 2014, Bret Price opened a new medical practice in the Key Peninsula Health and Professional Center in Key Center.

Price, 44, is an advanced registered nurse practitioner (ARNP) and specializes in family and elder care.

He and his wife, Chris, live near Rocky Creek in Vaughn and have raised their four children on the Key Peninsula. Their oldest daughter and son go to Peninsula High. The two younger kids attend KPMS and Vaughn Elementary.

Prices medical training and experience is broad.

Early on he worked as an RN at Cottesmore Nursing Home in Gig Harbor on the Medicare-certified wing.

“We saw a lot of post-surgical people who had had joint replacements and other kinds of surgeries and just needed some recuperation, some therapy and someone to do wound care. It was a good experience,” he said.

While he was working on his Masters (ARNP) degree at Seattle Pacific University, he and his wife owned an adult family home in University Place where they cared for six elderly clients.

“We managed their care every day,” Price said.

As soon as he passed his ARNP board certification exam in 2001, he went to work for Franciscan Health Services.

That was also the year he and his wife and kids moved into the home they built in Vaughn.

With Franciscan, he said, “I had sort of dual duties, because I saw patients in long-term care facilities along with an internal medicine provider –– and I was also in a clinic environment.”

In his Lakebay practice, Price focuses on family practice –– seeing patients of all ages. His wife assists him in the business aspects of his clinic and greets the patients.

“Shes my right hand,” he said. “Shes very good with patients. She helps people feel comfortable and decreases their anxiety in meeting a new provider.”

As a nurse practitioner in an outpatient clinic setting, theres not much Price cant do.

“We manage medications, we do chronic disease management. We do EKGs, and injections. And I have provider specialists I refer patients to if its beyond my skill set,” Price explained.

The clinic is contracted with most major insurance companies including Medicare and some Medicaid plans and in the nine months since he opened his practice, Prices patient base has grown steadily.

“Were getting a pretty good number of community referrals which has been great to see,” he said.

“But theres always room for us to grow. The only limiting factor is that I want to try to keep my operating expenses as low as I can so I dont have to see 25-30 patients a day to pay the bills.

“I think people like to feel like theyre not just in a revolving door in and out. I want to be able to listen and take time to hear and understand their problems and at the same time be able to give them some education about their condition. That pays big dividends in their ability to help themselves get better,” he said with a smile. 

Being preventative” is one of the best things any medical provider can do for their patients, he said.

“Often times that means helping them understand that at this point in their health, if they dont make some changes soon they could have diabetes, or they could have heart disease or other serious problems.

“You dont necessarily see that in the world –– your ‘competitor wanting to help you succeed. But they have gone above and beyond in trying to help us succeed. The local support has been great.”

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