Direct primary care practices are growing in popularity. This model provides flexibility to providers to focus on their patients, allowing for individualized, convenient care while building a sustainable and scalable business. Building and growing a DPC practice can be both an exciting milestone and a daunting task. So what does it take to successfully grow your practice? ElationEMR, who serves over 100 direct pay and direct primary care practices with an average patient panel size of 639 patients per provider, offers three tips for success in the direct primary care model.
Tip #1: Deliver a great patient experience
Focusing on your patients and delivering a great experience will have a positive side effect for your practice – your patients will help you grow. A recent study from the Center for Studying Health System Change found that word of mouth and physician referrals drive healthcare provider choice. That’s why it’s imperative for any physician to nurture existing patients. Studies have shown that DPC’s approach to personalized preventive care can lead to better patient outcomes, so practices can utilize successful patient outcomes and word of mouth a step further by leveraging testimonials and initiating referral programs.
Tip #2: Find a care-focused EMR
Another aspect of scaling up involves making the infrastructural improvements that can support a larger patient panel that continues to receive the high-quality care that DPC physicians are known for. One way physicians can prepare is by streamlining and optimizing current workflows to allow for greater efficiency and consequently, a larger quantity of patients. Tools can also support the expansion process, according to a recentblog post . One DPC practitioner recently mused that EMR’s focused on patient care, rather than coding and billing, in addition to communication and care management tools can all play a role in increasing the size of a DPC practice.
Tip #3: Think strategically about growth
Partnerships can be important when it comes to scaling DPC operations. Strategic partnerships such as employer contracts can boost the patient panel of a DPC practice. Employers both large and small find value in the emphasis on wellness and keeping employees healthy that DPC practices provide, according to the Institute for Healthcare Consumerism. Other than employers, DPC practices should also look to other DPC practices within the DPC community for partnership opportunities as mentioned in a recent article.
Whether your practice is planning for rapid growth or a smaller-scale growth strategy, DPC physicians at any level can scale up and care for more patients.