Even with insurance, rising healthcare costs can make simple doctor visits too expensive. A visit to the doctor for a simple cold can exceed your monthly budget. Direct primary care (DPC) is an alternative payment model that allows doctors the option to charge patients a monthly or annual fee which covers all or most primary care services. Like Netflix for medicine, patients can see their doctor 1 time or 20 times for the same low monthly fee.
Direct Primary Care in a Nutshell
Direct primary care is just as it sounds. It is direct care between the healthcare provider and the patient without the insurance company in the middle. Doctor visits are covered with a simple fixed monthly fee and patients also receive large discounts on medications, labs, and x-rays, making these services more affordable. There is also much more flexibility in the style of practice for doctors. Patients have access to their doctor via text, e-mail, phone calls sometimes with virtual visits when applicable. Doctors typically can spend 30-60 minutes on average per visit if needed allowing doctors to actually listen to their patients and address all of their problems.
Because direct primary care is not insurance, patients are advised to either get a health sharing account membership or catastrophic insurance coverage to help cover the cost of emergency room visits and hospitalization. Patients who get traditional insurance can still save a lot of money by getting a higher deductible plan that costs less.
Direct primary care is designed for primary care services and doesn’t cover most emergency healthcare services such as surgeries, trips to the emergency room, or serious injuries that require prompt and complex treatment.
Benefits to Small Businesses
Direct primary care practices have also helped businesses with 250 or less employees save money through decreased costs and decreasing or eliminating missed days from work by employees. DPC typically contracts with self funded or self-insured employers who provide direct primary care as an option for employees seeking free or greatly reduced office visit fees. Employees are able to see their healthcare provider more quickly due to same day and next day visits; and in some instances healthcare needs can be addressed virtually via phone or text allowing employees to get medical advice and or treatment without having to leave work.
Make the Switch
Call QLMD Direct Primary Care today to see how we can help you save money and get high quality healthcare at the same time! Whether you are a small business, an individual, or a or family looking to trim your budget; we can help.