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What Is Direct Primary Care (DPC)? The Revised, Modern Definition.

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“A lot of people like to compare Direct Primary Care (DPC) to Concierge Medicine and say … ‘DPC is the less expensive alternative.’ But the data, the patient interviews, and the industry service offerings say something completely different. The distinguishing factor differentiating DPC and Concierge Care is not price … it’s insurance participation of the doctor, monthly billing (seen at most DPC clinics vs. quarterly/annual billing inside most Concierge Medicine programs) and the amount of services offered. In both Concierge Care and DPC, people have inherent, not ascribed value. There’s no class order … no first class or second class, just people for whom doctors serve each day. They’ve built clinics for children, families, and people who are sick … and it is these visioneering physicians who are drawing attention to the cost of healthcare across the country and designing ways for it to be available and affordable for anyone.” ~Michael Tetreault, Editor, The DPC Journal, Concierge Medicine Today and The American Journal of Retail Medicine

Jim Eischen, Esq., we think said it best at the American Academy of Private Physicians conference (April 2015) at a physician meeting in Phoenix, Arizona when he said from the podium …‘let’s focus on substance, not labels.’

slide6

By The DPC Journal

Last Updated, MARCH 20, 2017 – There are several business models and definitions that have been floated and used in the free market healthcare delivery sector of Direct Primary Care alone over the past 3 to 4 years. Even the Office of Insurance Commissioner in the State of Washington weighed in defining it by stating … A direct health care practice is a medical practice (also called a retainer, concierge or boutique medicine) that charges you a monthly fee and, in return, provides unlimited access to doctors for primary-care services.  

“While DPC is not clearly defined, the best distinction between DPC and ‘Concierge’ that I’ve found is that concierge medicine continues accepting/billing insurance in addition to their monthly fees, while DPC eschews all insurance money. Hence “direct care.”” ~Dr. Robert Lamberts, October 8, 2016 at 2:34 PM, ACPOnline

IN-DEPTH ANALYSIS of DPC/CONCIERGE PRACTICES Nationwide & Medical Malpractice Comparison Cases from 2004 to 2015 shows Concierge Medicine Doctors have far fewer medical malpractice claim payments than managed care MDs and DOs.

Nationally, direct primary care practice is considerably newer than concierge practice — and there are considerably fewer direct primary care centers (CLICK HERE FOR FURTHER EXPLANATION of NUMBERS) than concierge physicians. Michael Tetreault is Editor in Chief of several free market medicine trade publications/journals: Most notably, Concierge Medicine Today, The American Journal of Retail Medicine and The Direct Primary Care Journal. Together, these publications estimate that direct primary care physicians make up about 4% of the free market healthcare delivery (approx. 12k centers, as of November 2016) solution landscape only, and DPC represents less than 1 percent of all licensed physicians across the U.S. in 2016.

Other free market healthcare solutions include: Micro-Clinics; Micro-Hospitals; Retail Healthcare Clinics; Nurse-run Cash Only Clinics; Convenient Care Centers such as Urgent Care Clinics; Executive Healthcare Programs and even Concierge Medicine Practices. Cumm

In a recent statement to the NY Times and the Mass. Medical Society (October 2016) sources close to Concierge Medicine Today/The DPC Journal note that because there is no official federal or state registry, it is hard to pin down exactly how many physicians have switched to Concierge or direct-pay practices. For example, we estimate a count of around 140 verified Subscription-based Medical practices (a global term encompassing both Concierge and Direct Care offices) in the New York area and 156 in Massachussetts. Perhaps as many “under the radar” offerings are also available, since free market healthcare delivery models are innovating and for now, remain a branded business model with a certified designation. This estimate (12k nationally) is based upon industry interviews with hundreds of doctors, thought leaders, marketplace consultants and investors looking to capitalize in the sector over a period of several years. That is still only a minute [mahy-noot, -nyoot, mi-] percentage of the roughly 904,500 actively practicing physicians in the United States today. Given the modern-day variations in the business models and the ill-defined nature of these healthcare brands defined healthcare, it is impossible to calculate a precise number at this time. Medscape’s recent Physician Compensation Report (http://www.medscape.com/features/slideshow/compensation/2016/public/overview#page=19), stated that Concierge Care alone in particular, has stayed at around 3% annual growth for the past 3 years. We believe there may be slightly more growth than that, but conservatively no more than 5% to 6%, based on what industry sources tell us they personally experience and the increase in physician interest about the business model since the passing of the ACA in recent years. In summary, subscription-based delivery of service is not just happening in healthcare alone. Annual Concierge Medicine Programs, Monthly Direct Primary Care memberships and even telehealth/telemedicine programs are finding the subscription-based business model to be quite popular for the healthcare consuming public.

(C) The DPC Journal and Concierge Medicine Today | 2017 | All Rights Reserved. – CLICK to ENLARGE …

“Generally, direct primary care is a cash-only practice,” Tetreault says. “However, although we have no hard data, we estimate that less than 53% of direct primary care practices accept insurance. So there are some that do. We are also familiar with the multiple online directories, mappers, maps and numbers that have been touted in the marketplace by the media and doctors over the past 20 years. To relay solely on one number would be an error and can lead to false assumptions and financial errors in any business plan or Proforma that you may be assembling. It’s best to do your own research and filter the information the best you can. As stated before, because there is no official federal or state registry, it is hard to pin down exactly how many physicians.”

Given the constantly evolving industry at this time, the various business models currently being used with varying degrees of success and definitions, the openings and closures of Direct Primary Care offices we observe and discuss each month – and the lack of consumer awareness – it is impossible to know the exact number in the country, much less by state. Coincidentally, other free market healthcare delivery models suffer from this same “numbers conundrum” and find it difficult to track and organize data related to growth.

In 2007 however, the Washington State Legislature enacted Engrossed Second Substitute Senate Bill 5958, which is codified as RCW 48.150. This bill created an innovative primary health care delivery option called “direct practices.” It requires all of the registered practices to respond annually to the mandatory questions. In 2015, fewer than half of the direct practices chose to report voluntary information. Some said they do not collect this information, and others simply did not respond to the supplementary questions.  The bill requires the Office of the Insurance Commissioner (OIC) to report annually to the Legislature on direct health care practices. Under RCW 48.150.100(3), this includes but is not limited to “participation trends, complaints received, voluntary data reported by the direct practices and any necessary modifications to this chapter.”

Yes, there are maps, mappers, online directories, online lists and some registries and the like, online that attempt, with some success, to help answer these questions. According to a recent interview with the DPC Coalition in the Fall of 2016, there are an estimated 500+ Direct Primary Care clinic physicians operating in almost (but not all) States across the U.S.

RELATED STORY
DPC EDITOR: Successful “Docpreneurs” Know These 6 Things

Dr. Cory Annis, an Internal Medicine and Pediatrics physician who recently transitioned her practice from fee-for-service to Direct Primary Care who spoke recently (Summer 2015) at a Direct-Pay Medicine panel at the Pri-Med Southwest Conference in Houston, TX, said the name “Direct Primary Care” doesn’t do justice to the concept or explain it very well to patients. She makes an analogy between DPC and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), where consumers purchase “memberships” in farms and receive a share of fruits and vegetables in return. She also uses the term “Blue Collar Concierge” to describe DPC to her patients. Read this full interview here.

INSURANCE PARTICIPATION & MEDICARE PARTICIPATION

“It would be incorrect to assume that all DPC clinics do not participate in Medicare or Insurance/Payor Contracts in their State,” notes Tetreault. “The purist DPC model strives to accomplish this, but as you can see from simply the polling we’ve conducted just in the Summer/Fall of 2016, there are still a number of doctors who do participate in either Medicare, insurance or both.”

RELATED STORY
InLight EHR: Going Solo in Direct Primary Care as a Young Doctor.

Direct primary care physicians charge less than private or concierge physicians: “from $25 to less than $100 a month,” Tetreault says. “We believe that these fees represent about 90% of the direct primary care physician community.”

GLOSSARY of TERMS

Boutique Medicine.

See definition for Membership Medicine.

(C) 2017 | The Direct Primary Care Journal – All Rights Reserved. Click to enlarge …

Cash-Only Medicine.

See definition for Direct Primary Care (DPC).

RELATED STORY
‘If You Are DPC Doc, Own It!’ ~DPC Journal, Editor, Op/Ed.

Concierge Medicine.

Concierge medicine is a relationship between a patient and a primary care physician in which the patient pays an annual fee or retainer. This may or may not be in addition to other charges. In exchange for the retainer, doctors provide enhanced care. Concierge physicians care for fewer patients than in a conventional practice, ranging from 100 patients per doctor to 1,000, instead of the 3,000 to 4,000 that the average physician now sees every year.

All generally claim to be accessible via telephone or email at any time of day or night or offer some other service above and beyond the customary care. The annual fees vary widely, from US$10 per month to US$1,500 per year for an individual, with the lower annual fees being in addition to the usual fees for each service and the higher annual fees including most services.

Other terms in use include boutique medicine, retainer-based medicine, and innovative medical practice design. The practice is also referred to as membership medicine, concierge health care, cash-only practice, direct care, direct primary care, and direct practice medicine.

While all concierge medicine practices share similarities, they vary widely in their structure, payment requirements, and form of operation. In particular, they differ in the level of service provided and the fee charged. At this writing, it has been estimated that concierge medicine and direct care physicians number approximately 5,000-5,5000 physicians and/or physician clinics across the U.S.

Direct Care Medicine.

See definition for Direct [Primary] Care.

Direct Care or Direct [Primary] Care (DPC).

DPC is primary and preventative care, urgent care, chronic disease management and wellness support through a monthly care fee patients (or an employer) pay to cover the specific primary care preventative care services. A DPC health care provider charges a patient a set monthly fee for all primary care services provided in the office, regardless of the number of visits. Because the insurance “middle man” is removed from the equation, all the overhead associated with claims, coding, claim refiling, write-offs, billing staff, and claims-centric EMR systems disappears.

patient checklistDPC medical practices bypass insurance and go for a more ‘direct’ financial relationship with patients and also provide comprehensive care and preventive services for an affordable fee. DPC is a ‘mass-market variant of concierge medicine, distinguished by its low prices.’ Simply stated, the biggest difference between ‘direct primary care’ and retainer based practices is that DPC takes a low, flat rate fee whereas concierge medicine models, (although plans may vary by practice) – usually charge an annual retainer fee and promise more ‘access’ to the doctor.

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By DPC Journal Staff

SEPTEMBER 16, 2015 – Published and designed by Staff at The Direct Primary Care Journal and its sister publication, Concierge Medicine Today and the Concierge Medicine Research Collective, these organizations have combined interviews, surveys and polling data to help describe the various nuances of each of these growing healthcare sectors in their own right.

Not every physician will choose Ideal Medical Practice environments, Direct Primary Care models or even choose to work within a Concierge Medical program. Over 60% of physicians polled in 2014 were so frustrated with today’s healthcare headaches that they are willing to leave the profession of medicine altogether … and start a new career entirely outside of healthcare, according to The Concierge Medicine Research Collective. Today (2015), there are more and more free market healthcare delivery solutions and buy-out options which physicians are evaluating.

dpc-mid-year-report-2016While all Concierge Medicine and Direct Primary Care (DPC) practices do share some similarities, they vary widely in their staff employment, structure, payment requirements, insurance participation and form of operation. Both equally impressive and proven business/practice models, they differ in the level of service provided and the demographic using each. Additional characteristics of DPC include (Source: The DPC Journal):

  • DPC is primary and preventative care, urgent care, chronic disease management and wellness support through a monthly care fee patients (or an employer) pay to cover the specific primary care preventative care services.
  • DPC practices are distinguished from other retainer-based care models, such as concierge care, by lower retainer fees, which cover at least a portion of primary care services provided in the DPC practice.
  • Monthly fees at direct practices vary from $25-$85 per month or less. Patients prefer to pay monthly vs. quarterly or annually.
  • DPC patients typically come from the Generation X and Millennial population and earn a combined annual HH income of less than $100k.
  • A DPC health care provider charges a patient a set monthly fee for all primary care services provided in the office, regardless of the number of visits.
  • No insurance plan is involved, although patients may have separate insurance coverage for more costly medical services.
  • Because the insurance “middle man” is removed from the equation, all the overhead associated with claims, coding, claim refiling, write-offs, billing staff, and claims-centric EMR systems disappears.

What Is Direct Primary Care (DPC)? The Revised, Modern Definition.

Direct Primary Care (DPC) practices are distinguished from other retainer-based care models, such as concierge care, by lower (monthly) retainer fees (82% cost less than $99/mo), which cover at least a portion of primary care services provided in the DPC practice; No insurance plan is involved, although patients may have separate insurance coverage for more costly medical services; Patients typically prefer to pay monthly vs. quarterly or annually; DPC patients typically come from the Generation X and Millennial population and earn a combined annual HH income of less than $100k (SEE INFOGRAPHIC below for COMPARE/CONTRAST).

RELATED STORY
DPC Journal EDITOR: ‘The defining lines are clearer now — don’t villainize your colleagues … Be Proud to call yourself, ‘Concierge’ or ‘Direct Primary Care’ — but understand what each one entails.” 

Jim Eischen, Esq., said it best this past April 2015 at a physician meeting in Phoenix, Arizona when he said from the podium …’let’s focus on substance, not labels.’”

“A lot of people (including the media, especially smaller, local news sources, and many doctors across the country) like to compare Direct Primary Care (DPC) to its demographically different — familial companion, Concierge Medicine.  They say … ‘Well … DPC is the less expensive alternative.’  To say this, puts DPC in an unnecessary box with a stereotype a growing sector in healthcare does not need in its infancy.

Source: The DPC Journal, © 2015.

(C) The Direct Primary Care Journal | All Rights Reserved.

Related: BUSINESS MODELS: A Simple Look at the Best Corporate Structure for Your DPC Practice

Whichever business practice and business payment model you choose is your choice … and having talked to hundreds of patients and physicians in these two classifications of free market healthcare delivery over the past decade … I can tell you without reservation that it’s OKAY to be one or the other … but you don’t need to refer to yourself as BOTH any more.

Book On Sale $129.95 (Reg. $189.95)

Book On Sale $129.95 (Reg. $189.95)

Similarities

DPC practices, similar in philosophy to their concierge medicine lineage – bypass insurance and go for a more ‘direct’ financial relationship with patients and also provide comprehensive care and preventive services for an affordable fee. However, DPC is only one branch in the family tree of concierge medicine.

DPC, like concierge health care practices, remove many of the financial barriers to ‘accessing’ care whenever care is needed. There are no insurance co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance fees. DPC practices also do not typically accept insurance payments, thus avoiding the overhead and complexity of maintaining relationships with insurers, which can consume as much as $0.40 of each medical dollar spent (See Sources Below).

Differences

According to sources (see below) DPC is a ‘mass-market variant of concierge medicine, distinguished by its low prices.’ Simply stated, the biggest difference between ‘direct primary care’ and retainer based practices is that DPC takes a low, flat rate fee whereas other models, (although plans may vary by practice) – usually charge an annual retainer fee and promise more ‘access’ to the doctor.

“This primary care business model [direct primary care] gives these type of providers the time to deliver more personalized care to their patients and pursue a comprehensive medical home approach,” said Norm Wu, CEO of Qliance Medical Management based in Seattle, Washington. “One in which the provider’s incentives are fully aligned with the patient’s incentives.”

References and Sources

  • “Doc This Way!: Tech-Savvy Patients and Pros Work Up Healthcare 2.0”. New York Post. 4/7/2009.
  • Who Killed Marcus Welby? from Seattle’s The Stranger, 1/23/2008
  • “Direct Medical Practice – The Uninsured Solution to the Primary Medical Care Mess” with Dr. Garrison Bliss (Qliance Medical Group of WA).
  • “Direct Primary Care: A New Brew In Seattle”. Harvard Medical School – WebWeekly. 2008-03-03.
  • DPCare.org
  • Qliance.com
  • ConciergeMedicineToday.com
The DocPreneur Institute, an educational industry resource -- offers a wide-array of mp3's, recommended reading guides, professional access to DPC industry mentors and coaches and more ... without a sales pitch from a consultancy. Click here to learn more ...

The DocPreneur Institute, an educational industry resource — offers a wide-array of mp3’s, recommended reading guides, professional access to DPC industry mentors and coaches and more … without a sales pitch from a consultancy. Click here to learn more …

Source: The DPC Journal, © 2015.

Direct primary care practices offer a membership-based approach to routine and preventive care that can dramatically reduce health care costs for individuals, families and businesses.

At the core of a direct primary care facility is a medical practice dedicated to providing routine, everyday care, essential for the well-being and ongoing maintenance of a patient’s health. This is where patients go for check-ups, vaccinations, sprained ankles, or frequent headaches.

Direct primary care providers know their patients. They have talked with their patients in detail, gotten to know them, treated past conditions and know what recurring problems are experienced. If a patient has a chronic illness, like arthritis or diabetes, their primary care provider is already a partner in management every step of the way. And, in the unlikely event of a life-threatening accident or disease, the provider serves as the patient’s advocate, coordinating care across multiple providers, facilities, and prescriptions.

Source: DPCare.org

Membership Medicine.

Membership Medicine is a broader term used to describe the subscription-based, healthcare delivery model of both Direct Primary Care (DPC), boutique, retainer-based and Concierge Medicine Models operating throughout the U.S. In membership medicine, the membership is accessible and affordable to many people, not just the wealthy. It’s a misconception that physicians participating in this style of practice are solely doing so to experience more financial success.

DPC and Membership Medicine: As of late 2014, The DPC Journal finds that key leadership in the Direct Primary Care (DPC) industry, interviews and reports received from the business, employer and investment community operating in the DPC marketplace nationally, center around the number that there are more than 600+ DPC physicians … and growing and growing at a rate of about 5-10% nationwide.

  • DPC is primary and preventative care, urgent care, chronic disease management and wellness support through a monthly care fee patients (or an employer) pay to cover the specific primary care preventative care services.
  • DPC practices are distinguished from other retainer-based care models, such as concierge care, by lower retainer fees, which cover at least a portion of primary care services provided in the DPC practice.
  • Monthly fees at direct practices vary from $25-$85 per month or less. Patients prefer to pay monthly vs. quarterly or annually.
  • DPC patients typically come from the Generation X and Millennial population and earn a combined annual HH income of less than $100k.
  • A DPC health care provider charges a patient a set monthly fee for all primary care services provided in the office, regardless of the number of visits.
  • No insurance plan is involved, although patients may have separate insurance coverage for more costly medical services.
  • Because the insurance “middle man” is removed from the equation, all the overhead associated with claims, coding, claim refiling, write-offs, billing staff, and claims-centric EMR systems disappears.

Concierge Medicine/Boutique and Retainer-Based Care: Throughout the past several years of surveying the market (2007-2015), discussing the question with numerous doctors, interviewing industry business leaders, private equity investors, business consultants, key industry physicians and membership medicine leadership nationally — Concierge Medicine Today finds that there are slightly less than 6000 actively practicing Concierge Medicine physicians across the United States, with another 6k-8000 practicing in some form or model of “Membership Medicine” under the radar.

  • Annual fees at direct practices vary from $101-$225 per year. Patients prefer to pay annually vs. monthly.
  • Concierge Medicine patients skew upper middle class, with typical household earnings between $125,000 and $250,000 a year. They also tend to be Baby Boomers, generally in their 50s to 80s, according to doctors interviewed.
  • A greater breadth of primary care services covered by an annual retainer contract fee structure.
  • Many concierge doctors also bill insurance or Medicare for actual medical visits, as the monthly “access fee” is only for “non-covered” services. This results in two subscriptions paid by patients — the concierge medicine fee, and the insurance premium. Importantly, a few concierge practices do not bill insurance for medical visits, as the monthly fees cover both access and primary care visits.

There are approximately 12k Doctors/Clinics Operating In “Membership Medicine” In The U.S. in 2015. This represents approx. 1% of All Licensed Physicians In The U.S. in 2014 or 5+% of all Licensed Primary Care Physicians In The U.S. in 2014.

Retainer-Based Medicine.

See definition for Membership Medicine.

Subscription-Based Medicine.

See definition for Membership Medicine.

Related: BUSINESS MODELS: A Simple Look at the Best Corporate Structure for Your DPC Practice

That fees are payable by the month rather than by the quarter or year is important to many direct primary care patients, who may have cash flow problems in a tight job market. “That’s a big difference,” Tetreault says, “no long-term contract.”

Direct primary care practices may or may not offer same-day appointments. Most probably don’t, Tetreault says. The doctors probably won’t give out their cell phone numbers, meet patients in the ER if they have a late-night crisis, or make house calls — although some direct primary care doctors do make house calls, he adds.

If house calls are offered, they are typically billed separately, not included as part of the monthly fee. Flu shots and vaccinations are usually billed separately too.

Direct primary care (DPC) is an emerging model that has gained some attention nationally in recent years. Sometimes referred to as ”retainer practices,” DPC practices generally do not accept health insurance, instead serving patients in exchange for a recurring monthly fee — usually $50 to $80 — for a defined set of clinical services.

“Many direct primary care practices do not build in concierge medicine service components, such as 24/7 care, cell phone text messaging, and instant or same-day appointments,” Tetreault says. “And yet, some do.”

docpreneurship 2016Concierge practices composed exclusively of concierge patients (most practices include a mix of concierge and traditional patients) generally limit their panels to 600 or fewer patients per physician. “Direct primary care practices, because they charge a lower fee, need more patients on their rosters,” Tetreault explains. “They typically have under 1000 patients.”

The distinctions between concierge medicine, private medicine, and direct primary care may be ultimately meaningless, since some doctors call themselves whatever they feel sounds better, and there are so many practice variations, many overlapping, that it often isn’t clear which is which.*

Still confused by this semantic hair-splitting? Join the club. Even concierge and direct primary care physicians may be confused about which type of doctor they are.*

“In polls, we’re asking the actual physicians, ‘Do you consider yourself a concierge doctor or a direct primary care doctor, or do you consider yourself both?’” Michael Tetreault, the journal editor, says. “Most say that they consider themselves a concierge doctor. But they still don’t understand the differences. A lot of doctors consider themselves to be both.”

Related Article … The Difference Between Concierge Medicine and Direct Primary Care >>

HSA direct care doctorCollectively, direct primary care (sometimes linked to the term concierge medicine) has more than a half million people on their rolls, according to the California HealthCare Foundation. They highlighted five large direct pay practices that use the retainer model in an April 2013 report. These direct primary care patient rosters are estimations:

  • Iora Health, with 2,400 patients
  • MedLion, with 3,000 patients
  • Paladina Health, with 8,000 patients
  • Qliance, with 7,200 patients
  • White Glove Health, with 40,000 patients via self-insured employers and 450,000 via health plans

Direct primary care providers help keep costs low by avoiding unnecessary referrals and by referring mainly to specialists willing to offer significant discounts. Despite this advantage, the DPC model may be hampered by low awareness among health plans and primary care physicians, resistance from some insurers, and resistance from competing hospitals and specialists.

NOTE: The DPC Journal and their research and data collection arm, The Concierge Medicine Research Collective (www.AsktheCollective.org), we have found that there are four (4) distinguishing factors that differentiate Concierge Care from its demographically diverse and often misunderstood companion, DPC … and it is NOT price …

  1. Insurance participation of the doctor/practice;
  2. DPC, most commonly, attracts a Gen. X and Millenial demographic under the age of 45.
  3. Monthly billing (seen at most DPC clinics), compared to annual and quarterly retainers offered at most concierge clinics, and;
  4. The amount of services offered.

RELATED STORY

FAQs and Answers Related To DPC, Insurance Considerations, HSAs, The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), HDHPs and more.

The Direct Primary Care Coalition (DPCC) Defines DPC As:

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE about The 2015 Annual Report ... *Source: The DPC Journal, July 2015

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE about The 2015 Annual Report … *Source: The DPC Journal, July 2015

Direct Primary Care (DPC) is an innovative alternative payment model for primary care being embraced by patients, physicians, employers,payers and policymakers across the United States.The defining element of DPC is an enduring and trusting relationship between a patient and his or her primary care provider.

Empowering this relationship is the key to achieving superior health outcomes, lower costs and an enhanced patient experience. DPC fosters this relationship by focusing on five key tenets:

  1. Service: The hallmark of DPC is adequate time spent between patient and physician, creating an enduring doctor-patient relationship. Supported by unfettered access to care, DPC enables unhurried interactions and frequent discussions to assess lifestyle choices and treatment decisions aimed at longterm health and wellbeing. DPC practices have extended hours, ready access to urgent care, and patient panel sizes small enough to support this commitment to service.
  2. Patient Choice: Patients in DPC choose their own personal physician and are reactive partners in their healthcare. Empowered by accurate information at the point of care, patients are fully involved in making their own medical and financial choices. DPC patients have the right to transparent pricing, access, and availability of all services provided.
  3. Elimination of Fee-For-Service: DPC eliminates undesired fee-for-service(FFS) incentives in primary care. These incentives distort healthcare decision-making by rewarding volume over value. This undermines the trust that supports the patient-provider relationship and rewards expensive and inappropriate testing, referral, and treatment. DPC replaces FFS with a simple flat monthly fee that covers comprehensive primary care services. Fees must be adequate to allow for appropriately sized patient panels to support this level of care so that DPC providers can resist the numerous other financial incentives that distort care decisions and endanger the doctor-patient relationship.
  4. Advocacy: DPC providers are committed advocates for patients within the healthcare system. They have time to make informed, appropriate referrals and support patient needs when they are outside of primary care. DPC providers accept the responsibility to be available to patients serving as patient guides. No matter where patients are in the system, physicians provide them with information about the quality, cost, and patient experience of care.
  5. Stewardship: DPC providers believe that healthcare must provide more value to the patient and the system. Healthcare can, and must, be higher-performing, more patient-responsive, less invasive, and less expensive than it is today. The ultimate goal is health and wellbeing, not simply the treatment of disease.

*Source: Neil Chesanow, MedScape, WebMD, May 19, 2014

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NEED TO FIND A DIRECT PRIMARY CARE DOCTOR?

direct primary care 1Until just a few years ago, people mostly based choosing a doctor on the personal recommendation of a trusted friend or relative. Now with the advent of social media, word of mouth marketing is changing from a spoken word referral to a social media link referral.

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