There is a quiet revolution taking place in the area of family medical practices and it’s one that will have tremendous benefit for the average joe (especially if you have a family). Not only does it have the potential to improve the quality of care you get from your family doctor by leaps and bounds, it also will be dramatically less expensive than what we currently pay.
So what is this revolution? It’s called direct primary care and it’s got a lot of people in the healthcare industry (insurance companies and the politicians they control) very angry because it’s cutting them out and taking away their gravy train.
Here’s how it works:
Rather than paying for insurance (and enormous premiums) that covers you for your primary care, you pay a monthly fee or “subscription” directly to your family practitioner. The prices vary depending on the practice and where it’s located but the membership fees typically cost less than your monthly cell phone bill or cable costs. There are also usually savings for families or if you pay for the year upfront.
What do you get for your membership costs?
- unlimited doctor visits with $0 co-pays.
- same day or next day appointments
- option for phone calls or even in-home appointments (with some practices)
- wholesale costs for prescription drugs
- in-house medication dispensing (not need to wait at the pharmacy)
- no dealing with insurance companies to see what’s covered
It’s difficult to list all the benefits of having a direct care phsycian because they are different depending on the practice. For example, not all practices offer in-house appointments. Some will after speaking to you on the phone and determining that it’s better for your health if they come to see you at home.
But above all, here is the biggest advance of direct primary care: you get a doctor that is actually focused on your health. How many times have you been to the doctor and the doctor walks in completely stressed and takes a big sigh. Then after asking you what’s wrong, they interrupt you and wrap up the visit in 5 minutes. Asking you to get some lab work done or prescribes a medication you need to pay more for. Then come back in 3 weeks. This is after you’ve already waited for an hour in the waiting room.
With Direct Primary Care, the doctor may call you after you schedule the appointment to ask what’s bothering you. From there, they may ask you to come get lab work done (which they often handle in-house for free). Then when you’re appointment comes that day or when the labs are ready, they are waiting for you and eager to review how to make you feel better again.
With DPC, you have a doctor that actually wants to make sure you stay healthy rather than earning their living off of how many times you come into a visit and how many patient visits they can jam into a day’s schedule.
Needless to say, we are huge fans of DPC not only because of the savings but because of the outstanding care you get from your physician. That’s not to say it’s for you … maybe you prefer the current way of care from your insurance carrier. But if the idea interests you, then check out this directory and find a physician close to you.