For doctors, the main idea behind direct primary care is to simplify — scale down, deal mostly in cash and focus on taking better care of fewer patients. This includes a good deal of listening and analysis of how a patient’s current environment or life situation may be affecting her health. This type of service took off as a movement in 2011, and the model was first evaluated in a 2013 study by the California Health Care Foundation. According to Laurence Baker, the chair of Stanford University’s Department of Health Research and Policy, it’s gaining significant traction.
By David Gorn August 11, 2016
One place she makes calls on is the home of Ann Caponio. Visiting Caponio’s one-bedroom apartment in Half Moon Bay, California, you can tell she’s a knitter: baskets of wool and hanks of yarn adorn the room, and in the corner sits a wooden spinning wheel. But arthritis has put an end to that hobby. And for a while, Caponio, 69, wasn’t leaving the house much, either. “I kind of stopped going downtown,” she says, in her Midland, Texas twang, a holdover from childhood. “Omigod those stairs.” She’s talking about a steep, 17-step staircase leading to her front door. Three hip replacements left negotiating them a dangerous proposition. “I tend to fall. And I fell on those damned stairs once.” That’s where Lorraine Page comes in.