How is Direct Primary Care different?
Direct Primary Care (DPC) is a viable solution to the health care crisis that plagues our country. DPC is a fairly new practice model that hearkens back to the way medicine used to be. Instead of involving insurance companies for preventative and routine physician visits, a DPC practice bills patients directly via monthly membership fee, and in return, the patients become "members" of the office and enjoy enhanced access to their doctor and to medical care. This ends up working out very well for the both the physician and the patient -- by cutting out the very expensive and beaurocratic middleman of insurance, the doctor can provide longer visit times, same or next day appointments, phone/video visits if needed, and the patient has direct access to their doctor via phone, text, and email. DPC practices often provide prescription medicines at a fraction of the cost that you get them at the pharmacy. DCP clinics also limit the number of members in order to ensure that the physician has sufficient availability for members of the practice.
The monthly membership fee covers all office and virtual visits/communications that you have with during the month (up to 20 visits a month). If you happen to not have any visits or needs that month, you are still charged the monthly fee (similar to a gym membership).
Who would be interested in this type of practice? DPC has something to offer almost anyone, but the model works especially well for:
- 1) Patients and families who are frustrated with the current care they receive: short, rushed appointments; difficulty getting in with their doctor; difficulty seeing an MD or DO and always getting pushed off to a mid-level provider (NP or PA); long wait times; difficulty contacting their doctor via phone or not receiving calls back, etc.
- 2) Patients who have high deductible or catastrophic insurance/high co-pays
- 3) Patients who don't qualify for Medicaid or CHP+ but can't afford private insurance
- 4) Patients who participate in health sharing ministries