Direct Primary Care FAQs

 

What is Direct Primary Care

Direct Primary Care (DPC) is an innovative practice model being sought out by patients, physicians, employers, payers and policymakers across the United States. A key aspect of DPC is a direct relationship between a patient and his or her primary care provider without interference of third parties like insurance or the government in health decisions.

Direct Primary Care (DPC) is an innovative practice model being sought out by patients, physicians, employers, payers and policymakers across the United States. A key aspect of DPC is a direct relationship between a patient and his or her primary care provider without interference of third parties like insurance or the government in health decisions.

What are the Main Benefits for the Health Care System as a Whole?

1. Less unnecessary visits and less unnecessary procedures or tests
2. Prevention focus rather than sick focus
3. Metrics built into most practices to for Quality Improvement and population health
4. Less patient and health insurance costs and premiums
5. Reductions in hospital admission and readmissions
6. Reduces wasteful spending and put resources back into actual patient care

How is DPC different than concierge practices?

• Both improve quality of care for patients
• Both improve physician experience/pay
• Concierge severely shrinks panel size
• Workforce improved with DPC and worsened with Concierge
• DPC generally affordable for the average person (Honda vs. Ferrari)
• DPC can be successful in rural and poor communities
• DPC can lower out of pocket costs and downstream costs
• DPC panel size is optimal

How are DPC practices paid differently as compared to conventional practices?

DPC minimizes or gets rid of fee-for-service (FFS) incentives in primary care. These incentives cloud healthcare decision-making by rewarding more procedures and visits versus keeping patients healthy. This can erode the integrity of the patient/phyisician relationship and rewards expensive and sometimes unnecessary testing, inappropriate referrals, and treatment. DPC replaces the FFS approach with a simple monthly fee that allows primary care services to be provided at a much lower cost.

What are the Main Benefits for Providers?

1. Ability to remain independent and have greater practice autonomy
2. Firm and trusting patient relationships- nothing to interfere of cause conflicts of interests
3. No insurance coding or claims needed (forget ICD-10)
4. More time for personal life- less coding or charting after hours
5. Reduced practice overhead that makes financial viability much better for even solo physicians
6. Income potential similar to other specialists like Cardiology or Gastroenterology
7. Decreased malpractice costs-many companies offer discount due to lower risk
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