As the General Assembly debates the merits of direct care arrangements, here are some resources for those who want more information on this subject:
Direct Primary Care (DPC) Puts Patients Back in the Driver’s Seat
Empowering the relationship between doctors and patients is the key to achieving superior health outcomes, lower costs and an enhanced patient experience. DPC fosters this relationship by focusing on five key tenets:
- Service: The hallmark of DPC is adequate time spent between patient and physician, creating an enduring doctor-patient relationship.
- Patient Choice: Patients in DPC choose their own personal physician and are reactive partners in their healthcare.
- Elimination of Fee-For-Service: DPC eliminates undesired fee-for-service(FFS) incentives in primary care. These incentives distort healthcare decision-making by rewarding volume over value. This undermines the trust that supports the patient-provider relationship and rewards expensive and inappropriate testing, referral and treatment.
- Advocacy: DPC providers are committed advocates for patients within the healthcare system. They have time to make informed, appropriate referrals and support patient needs when they are outside of primary care.
- Stewardship: DPC providers believe that healthcare must provide more value to the patient and the system. Healthcare can, and must, be higher performing, more patient-responsive, less invasive, and less expensive than it is today. The ultimate goal is health and well being, not simply the treatment of disease.
How “DPC” Works:
- DPC practices have extended hours, ready access to urgent care and patient panel sizes small enough to support a commitment to greater long-term care and service.
- DPC patients have the right to transparent pricing, access and availability of all services provided. Empowered by accurate information at the point of care, patients are fully involved in making their own medical and financial choices.
- DPC replaces fee-for-service with a simple flat monthly fee that covers comprehensive primary care services.
- DPC providers accept the responsibility to be available to patients, serving as patient guides. No matter where patients are in the system, physicians provide them with information about the quality, cost, and patient experience of care.
- Direct primary care can be tailored to fit your individual budget and, more importantly, your health care.
- Direct primary care can be applied to specialty care, including direct surgical care.
By having a direct care arrangement with a provider, patients can lower costs to themselves and their families by 1/10th the price of normal treatments and visits.
Source: Beacon Center of Tennessee
- Georgia Public Policy Foundation commentary: Georgia Needs Direct Care Now
- Georgia Public Policy Foundation: ER Costs vs. the new model of Direct Primary Care
- Heritage Foundation study: Direct Primary Care: An Innovative Alternative to Conventional Health Insurance
- This Beacon Center study includes a section on direct care
- Study from the Show Me Institute in Missouri
- Heartland Institute overview and list of resources
- Foundation for Economic Education: Concierge Care for the Little Guy
- Alaska Policy Forum: Direct Primary Care: The Hidden Nugget in the Affordable Care Act (includes examples of cost savings and a Georgia-specific example)
- Forbes magazine: With Direct Primary Care, Health Care Doesn’t Have To Be Expensive
- Testimony in support of Direct Primary Care in Texas
- Christensen Institute: Disrupting the Traditional Primary Care Business Model – Direct Primary Care
- Find direct care practices in your state: http://www.dpcfrontier.com/mapper/
- Example of Pricing and Services: Epiphany Health; Atlas Health Fees/Benefits
Dr. Josh Umbehr, the founder of Atlas MD in Wichita, Kansas, discusses direct primary care on this panel discussion from our 2014 Legislative Forum.
Dr. Lee Gross of the Docs4Patient Care Foundation discusses how direct primary care gave his clients a better option and likely saved his primary care practice near Sarasota, Florida at a 2014 Luncheon Briefing.