Today, we’re going to explore what exactly “Direct Primary Care” is, as it’s probably a term you’ve been hearing more and more in today’s world. Keep reading to learn the ins and outs of this unique and highly pleasing benefit.
What is Direct Primary Care?
Direct Primary Care, frequently abbreviated to DPC, is a new way to receive medical coverage for an individual or family.
In the more traditional model that most are used to as far as healthcare insurance goes, individuals pay for insurance on a “fee-for-service” basis, meaning, paying a bill after visiting a physician in accordance with what the visit was for and what it might have entailed.
In the DPC model, an alternative is offered. Here, physicians charge patients on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis – kind of like paying a retainer for your own or your family doctor.
This “retainer” typically covers almost all primary care services. This includes a list of items such as clinical, laboratory, and consultative services along with care coordination and comprehensive care management.
What are the benefits of Direct Primary Care?
According to the Wall Street Journal, less than 2% of of America’s 900,000 licensed physicians are involved in direct primary care to date. And while that seems like a small number, it’s one that is certainly on the rise, especially in today’s political and economic climate.
There are several benefits to DPC that should be noted:
- More personalized service – most physicians who offer DPC don’t have a wide range of patients, so they are more able to offer personalized service and care to those that they do see.
This means less waiting on hold with the nurses at your doctor’s office every time you have a question and more direct contact with your MD. Many physicians involved in DPC actually report that they are in close contact with their patients, even calling and texting them on a regular basis to discuss medical questions.
- Less wait time – as a patient, receiving care from a DPC doctor means less time in the waiting room. We all know how frustrating it can be to require doctor’s attention yet feel like there’s a never-ending wait to do so, seeing a stream of administrative help and nurses before finally seeing your actual doctor.
That is not the case when receiving DPC care as these doctors are typically not as swamped, meaning they can also spend longer with patients.
- No middle man – because these doctors are paid via a retainer or regular fee as noted above, there is no middle man – such as a billing office – to deal with.
Instead of having to file medical claims and call 1-800 numbers with billing questions, everything will be dealt with directly through your physician, making it more simple and straightforward.
As you can see, there are many upsides to this type of medical service. Look out for our upcoming article, where we continue to give you the download on DPC.