The direct primary care (DPC) practice model is innovative and unique. In today’s unsettled healthcare policy environment, a DPC is even more attractive to both the independent physician and patients. In a DPC practice, the physician is not overly burdened by administrative tasks but can actually spend more time focusing on the patient’s needs. The DPC patient does not have to worry about co-pays or per-visit fees, as nearly all basic services are covered under a monthly or yearly membership fee.
Making the move to a DPC model can be challenging, however, as the need for financial stability continues even as the method and frequency of income shifts to those membership fees. How can the independent physician continue to grow a DPC practice?
Spread the word! Using social media to inform new patients about the structure and benefits of the DPC model – and about the features of the independent physician’s particular practice – can contribute to a growth in the physician’s patient panel. Many potential patients may not understand how a DPC works. It actually may sound too good to be true. Bits of information distributed via social media can encourage those patients to give it a try.
Learn from others. The DPC provider can learn a lot by networking with other DPC providers, joining a shared interest group online, or attending events such as the Direct Primary Care (DPC) Summit. The 2017 summit, for example, “offered guidance for physicians who might be considering the innovative practice model but are unsure how to proceed.”
Take advantage of technology. The independent physician who uses electronic health records (EHRs) for tracking and managing patient data, communicating with patients and other providers, and identifying patients who aren’t meeting goals will have an advantage in developing a reputation as a physician who focuses first and foremost on patient outcomes.