WHAT IS DIRECT PRIMARY CARE?
Direct Primary Care is a new practice model which allows providers and patients to have a relationship, which does not involve insurance companies. Your provider is employed by YOU. In this alternative payment model, patients pay a monthly membership fee and we provide professional service. Patients have a direct relationship with their doctor! We can spend MUCH MORE TIME with each patient. Included in the monthly fee, patients have easy access to the physician via phone, email, video chat, and in-person visits. There are no co-pays or additional fees for procedures! Many in-office tests are free with the membership. Labs and radiology are offered at deep discounts; up to 95% discount from insurance-based prices. In addition to providing accessible, quality health care, Direct Primary Care offices often have medication dispensaries on-site, which sell medications at wholesale prices. Medications are purchased in bulk and dispensed at wholesale prices to our patients. DPC takes out the middle man, cuts through the layers of complexity, and provides good, old-fashioned customer service just like in the golden years of family medicine.
THE HEALTH CARE SYSTEM IS BROKEN!
Many people want to reform healthcare but this is a huge and ill-fated undertaking in my opinion. Certainly, political opinions about this are all over the map. However, rather than a “top-down” reform, I believe that an innovation-driven by patients and doctors is very possible. The “disruptive innovation” of Direct Primary Care is changing the way that we practice primary care for the better. It is driving DOWN the cost of healthcare and slashing numerous restrictions. It is providing access and value for patients to finally get the care they deserve.
PATIENTS ARE FRUSTRATED!
Patients are frustrated with the lack of time that the doctor spends with them or the inconvenience of having to come to the office several times for multiple complaints instead of being looked at in a single visit. It takes weeks to months to get in as a new patient, not to mention coming in for an immediate health issue. Patients have to take many hours off of work and wait in the waiting room for a busy doctor only to get a 7-10 minute visit where many of their questions remain unanswered. It is very common for people to feel forced to choose a walk-in clinic where they see a strange doctor whom they have no connection with and who will not know the patient's history; local doctors' offices simply don't have enough time to see all patients.
DOCTORS ARE FRUSTRATED!
Lately, doctors have been portrayed as apathetic and greedy people who prefer to spend only 7 minutes with patients. This statement could not be further from the truth. Doctors are working harder than ever, seeing more patients just to make ends meet. The insurance companies' regulations are so complicated and cumbersome that doctors have to hire billers and coders to keep up with all the busy work. This costs more money and time, so doctors are making less and less money, which makes them have to see more and more patients make up for the difference. Many doctor’s offices are closing their doors because insurance is not reimbursing them enough to keep the lights on and pay their staff. Staff is being let go and billing & coding jobs are being sent overseas. Doctors are retiring/quitting earlier than they had expected because of how burned out they are. Doctors are committing suicide at alarming rates. Dr. Pamela Wible has done some tremendous work on the subject of physician burnout. Please see her blog HERE.
WHY DO WE NEED DIRECT PRIMARY CARE?
Most people are in agreement that the current health care system is broken. I do not go through a day without hearing either a disgruntled patient or doctor lamenting how ridiculous the paperwork is or how low the reimbursement is. Direct Primary Care takes insurance out of the equation, allowing nearly all of the frustrating parts of medicine to fall away and leaving only a great relationship between doctor and patient.
Direct Primary Care (DPC) is taking the nation by storm because it’s a new idea that is working! No more long wait to get an appointment or sitting in the waiting room, lack of access, endless phone calls, staff that block the patient from talking to the doctor or nurse practitioner, insurance costs, third party companies requirements for preauthorization, bloated costs, and waste of money and time.
INSTEAD, DPC OFFERS:
NO CO-PAYMENTS OR IN-OFFICE PROCEDURE FEES
MONTHLY BILLING WITH TRANSPARENT PRICING
UNHURRIED, LEISURELY APPOINTMENTS OFTEN 60 MINUTES WITH NEW PATIENTS
SAME DAY/NEXT DAY APPOINTMENTS FOR EXISTING PATIENTS
NEW PATIENT VISITS WITHIN 1 WEEK OF JOINING (OFTEN MUCH SOONER)
EASY ACCESS TO THE DOCTOR WITH EMAIL, PHONE, AND VIDEO CHAT - DID YOU HEAR THAT? YOU CAN EMAIL WITH YOUR DOCTOR DIRECTLY!
ACCESS TO YOUR ELECTRONIC MEDICAL RECORDS FROM YOUR COMPUTER
DEEPLY DISCOUNTED LABS AND IMAGING
This article was authored and shared by Kimberly Nalda, MD of Rekindle Family Medicine in Wilmington, DE
Call us if you'd like to know more about DPC with Mark Baravik FNP-C Family Practice.