– Imagine if we used car insurance to cover oil changes or homeowner’s insurance to pay for house paint. The prices would be unaffordable and there would be long lines for service. This is exactly our predicament with healthcare in the United States. By expecting insurance to cover everything, policy makers have unintentionally caused premiums and deductibles to skyrocket while actual access to care has plummeted. As Medicaid MCO’s have been more profitable in Kentucky than in any other state and patients regularly report poor satisfaction with the process of accessing care, the key lesson of the ACA is that insurance coverage is not the same thing as healthcare. Direct Primary Care (DPC) is an alternative medical delivery and payment model that involves a flat, affordable fee for comprehensive primary care services. Individuals, employers, Medicaid programs, and other organizations may pay the fee. Doctors who practice this way are much more accessible to patients and help many people save over 85 percent on medications, lab work and specialty services. By embracing Direct Primary Care, policy leaders can help improve access and drastically lower costs for everyone while protecting the long-term viability of Medicaid for Kentucky’s most vulnerable citizens.
Tracy Ragland MD
Crestwood, Kentucky 40014