Can you imagine a world where you are at work, the stye you were treating at home becomes more uncomfortable, you text your physician, have a video visit the same day from your office, and there is no additional copay? Can you imagine a world where you are given the total price of needed labs during your 30-minute visit? Can you imagine a world where you learn a family member has cancer, email your physician to ask if there is a screening you should complete, and your physician emails you back? This world of direct access to your physician and upfront pricing is here. Direct primary care (DPC) is a membership-based model of primary care where members pay a monthly fee to cover their visits with their physician. Think of it like a gym membership PLUS having access to the personal trainer with unlimited sessions but in this case it’s your primary care needs with your personal physician. Visits can be done in-office or virtually with no additional copays. Some DPCs offer home visits as well.
Benefits of Direct Primary Care For Patients
Direct primary care has many benefits. One calming benefit is that it helps you avoid the surprise after visit bills that often make your heart sink. DPCs offer upfront pricing on most labs. The physician can tell you the cost of your labs while with you so you can determine if you want to proceed or not. You no longer have to have anxiety about opening a lab bill after your visit. You know the cost during your visit.
Another relaxing benefit is that direct primary care physicians usually spend 30-60 minutes with you each visit. You are not rushed while having your concerns addressed. Your physician has more time to listen and answer questions. You also have comfort in knowing that when you need your physician, you will be cared for by your physician and not a different physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant. You can text or email your physician directly to have your concerns addressed. The multiple layers of front desk and nursing staff that stand between you and your physician are removed. With this direct access to your physician, you can schedule visits the same or next day when needed. What’s also incredible?! You are usually seen within 5 minutes of your appointment time, so you do not spend excessive time in the waiting room.
Benefits of Direct Primary Care For Small Businesses
Direct primary care can also provide great benefits for small businesses. Many medical issues that happen with employees while working are issues that can be handled by a primary care physician. Same and next day availability and use of virtual visits with a DPC physician can decrease lost productivity for the employer and lost wages for the employee. Cash pay pricing for labs can also reduce out-of-pocket costs for both employers and employees.
So, what is direct primary care and is direct primary care for you? Simplifying how much you will pay for visits and labs. Texting or emailing your physician directly. Seeing your physician when you need care instead of another clinician. Scheduling longer visits to have your concerns addressed. Having flexibility for in-office and virtual visits when you need them the same day or next day. Having access to the “gym” and the “personal trainer” at a cost less than most people’s cell phone bill.
This is direct primary care, and if this all sounds good – it is indeed for YOU!