Direct Primary Care (DPC) is growing in popularity with primary care physicians. Under the DPC model, billing is virtually eliminated as patients pay a monthly membership fee rather than paying per visit. Physicians are also able to spend more time with fewer patients in a day as a DPC, given that their income is based on the monthly fee and not on the number of patients they see.
Patients also have a number of reasons they cite as to why they love the DPC model. A recent blog post in Twine Health lists four of those reasons:
-Less expensive. Patients pay a monthly fee instead of paying a copay or full fee at each visit. Insurance copays can add up when a patient has multiple primary care visits within a month’s time. With a DPC, there is only one payment per month and that is usually low, typically in the $25-$85 range.
-More convenient. A patient can generally make an appointment sooner and receive more services than with the typical primary care physician model. Patients have more access to the physician during the visit as well as through communication in between visits.
-More effective. In a DPC model, patients become more engaged in their own healthcare. The primary care physician is not just there to send patients to other providers, but is able to offer more “coordinated and continuous” care, an aspect particularly important to patients with chronic or complex illnesses.
-More personal. Primary care physicians who operate under the DPC model see fewer patients per day and so are able to spend much more time with each patient. Their patient engagement increases, as does the patient’s satisfaction with the level of care received.
A recent article in the Wall Street Journal adds a fifth reason why patients love direct primary care. In a DPC model, patients “can provide their own quality control.” If the model or the practice does not work for them, they can leave. The WSJ adds that, so far, “satisfaction rates run high.”