How Direct Primary Care Really Works
Imagine if a regular oil change had to be billed through your auto insurance company. The hassle of getting routine adjustments to vehicles would drive prices sky high. Liability and soaring premiums would make car insurance unaffordable. “It’s a ridiculous idea, isn’t it?” asks dpcare.org. “Yet this is the way that health care works in America today.”
Although 90 percent of healthcare services are labeled as “preventative medicine,” they are still placed under the jurisdiction of medical insurance, and this, believes a growing number of direct primary care doctors, is what is driving up the cost of healthcare and “making even basic care unaffordable for many Americans.”
How Direct Primary Wants to Fix the Problem
Direct primary care, sometimes referred to as concierge medicine, may sound like a relatively new form of practicing medicine, but it is actually a return to “the old days” when doctors were paid just like a cobbler or blacksmith.
Today, direct primary care works when a doctor decides to stop taking insurance and instead charges cash upfront. For a flat monthly fee of anywhere between $50 to $100, usually much less for children) individuals can receive unlimited access to care from a general physician.
Better Care at a Reduced Cost
Because these doctors are being paid by the month rather than per visit, their salaries remain unaffected whether they see a particular patient once a year or once a day. Thus, doctors are able to reduce their patient lists from 2,000 to 300, reports MD News Love and Knuckles. This provides better doctor and patient interactions as doctors are freed up to spend anywhere from a half hour to a full 60 minutes per patient on average.
And because insurance companies are no longer involved, the cost of lab work and other supplies can drop. For Dr. Doug Nunamaker, a concierge physician in Kansas, this means that he can purchase a cholesterol test for $3 rather than the usual $90 bill that an insurance company would receive, writes CNN Money.
Other benefits of direct primary care include:
- Doctors avoiding burnout
- Eliminating the expense of a billing office to haggle with insurance companies
- People receiving care on a more regular basis and avoiding advanced diseases
All of this news might have you researching MDVIP direct primary care options for your own family. And though a direct primary care plan will still have to be supplemented with major medical insurance for emergency hospital stays, this reborn form of traditional care might be part of the answer to the current healthcare crisis in America.