Direct Primary Care, Is it for you?

1.  Why choose DPC?

If you’re tired of working in factory medicine, then DPC may be right for you. What is factory medicine, you ask? It’s seeing 25-40 patients a day with no breaks for eating, going to the bathroom or thinking. I remember pulling into the parking lot of the office where I used to work and sitting in my car dreading going in. I loved my staff and I loved my patients. I hated the pace and the company culture. I’m a person that likes to be busy but having 3 minutes to spend with a post-hospital patient on 20 medications and no discharge instructions is not my idea of a good time. It’s hard to develop a relationship when the only thing you have time to focus on is teaching them to not mix medications that would kill them. Sad but true.

Why is the system so broken? In my opinion, I think it’s the invasion of the insurance companies into the provider-patient relationship. In addition, the low reimbursement and denials by the insurance companies create a revenue gap that requires clinicians to see more patients to generate more revenue. The cost of billing insurance is reported to be 0.35-0.40 on every dollar. 35%-40% of every dollar used to bill insurance? Talk about driving up healthcare costs!! A great analogy that Josh Umbehr, DPC advocate and DPC clinic owner (Atlas.MD) uses is that your car and homeowner’s insurance don’t pay when you need new paint or your air conditioner stops working so why does health insurance pay for primary care? Approximately 80% of healthcare claims are generated in primary care.

Can you imagine the cost saving if insurance got completely out of primary care? We would be back at having insurance for the big things like surgeries, accidents, and catastrophic illnesses. If a person could pay $600-$1200 for unlimited access to primary care with no co-pays and discounts on labs, medications and radiology paired with a lower cost catastrophic policy so much money would be saved.

So why doesn’t everyone participating in DPC, you ask? That’s a great question. Distrust in the medical establishment? No access to DPC? The mindset that “I pay for insurance so I’m going to us it”? Really? People pay for car insurance but people don't run into a tree to get a new paint job. No one sets their house on fire when the roof needs to be replaced. In our market, we have found that people don’t believe that what we offer is true. They can’t believe that we can stay in business offering wholesale pricing on meds and labs. No copays? Only $50 per month? No way! Fortunately, it does work. Actually, it works fantastically. I love seeing a person as often as needed at no extra cost to them. They have a sinus infection and need a z-pak? It cost $1.60. That’s it. You don’t want to use my wholesale pharmacy? No problem. I’ll send it to the pharmacy of your choice where you can get it for $25 through your insurance company. Makes sense, right?