Direct primary care (DPC) practices are on the rise, with a number of independent physicians realizing they want to spend more time with their patients and less time billing insurance companies. The DPC model typically charges patients monthly fees, rather than fees for each visit, and they generally do not work with insurance companies. The patient receives services from the primary care provider, including virtually round-the-clock communications access and occasionally house calls, for their monthly payment.
Five new DPC clinics have sprung up from the providers’ desire to focus more on patient outcomes than on administrative tasks.
Dr. Dhillip Olshausen, in Medford, Oregon, says that “direct primary care allows the doctor to be a doctor again.” He is transitioning his traditional practice, in which he estimates he and his staff spent 50% of their time on administration, to a DPC in July 2017. He, his staff, and his patients are looking forward to developing a closer patient-provider relationship as he focuses more on healthcare delivery and less on paperwork.
Iora Health intends to collect its DPC fee from employers for a new form of healthcare coverage for their employees. Iora has entered into a contract with UniCare in the state of Massachusetts, which will “pay Iora a monthly amount per-member, ultimately lowering the bill for the state by caring for patients on a budget.”
Gold Standard Pediatrics launched in South Carolina in late 2016, “with the singular focus of providing the highest quality personalized medical care for children.” Gold Standard’s goals are to help families find affordable, quality care for their children.
In Alabama, Dr. M. Chad Williamson recently opened his DPC practice to spend more time with patients and less time with insurance companies. His pricing is listed on the practice’s website and includes discounts for military, police officers, and firefighters. Dr. Williamson also offers a membership rate of $1 annually to patients aged 100 and above!
Making the move to a DPC practice from a large medical group last year, Dr. David Cunningham launched Infinity Family Care in Mansfield, Massachusetts. Dr. Cunningham offers a special membership plan for home-bound patients, setting his practice apart from the traditional office-bound independent physician.