Direct primary care (DPC) is steadily growing in popularity among patients, as an alternative to the traditional primary health care model– and for good reason. For a set monthly membership fee, DPC patients receive direct, unlimited access to a direct primary care physician with no insurance company involvement (or the hassle that typically goes along with it).
The “Direct” in Direct Primary Care (DPC)
In the traditional fee-for-service, insurer-billed healthcare industry, burdensome insurance company requirements are leaving many primary care physicians crunched for time. That’s one reason why quality face time with a doctor – that lasts longer than a few fleeting minutes – has become a priority for patients when seeking a physician.
In an effort to find a more meaningful way to practice medicine – and what they actually envisioned when they started medical school – some physicians are rejecting the traditional primary care model in favor of the more patient-friendly DPC model.
Studies show that DPC physicians are more likely to follow up with their patients and handle chronic health conditions in a hands-on manner; overall, they tend to spend more time communicating with their patients than their fee-for-service counterparts. What’s more, DPC physicians often make themselves available to their patients during extended hours via telemedicine. Because consultations via voice, videoconferencing, and SMS text provide no financial incentive, traditional physicians usually do not spend time interacting with patients outside the office.
More Attentive Care Leads to Better Health
The level of personalized attention that a direct primary care physician is able to provide – which is virtually nonexistent in a traditional primary care setting – leads to greater satisfaction for both patients and physicians. Ultimately, the goal of DPC is to help patients achieve and maintain optimum health and well-being.
No Hidden Fees
Traditional healthcare practices are often bogged down by the tight restrictions placed upon them by insurance companies. With Direct Primary Care, rather than charging a separate fee for each service provided, a DPC doctor offers all-inclusive primary health care services in exchange for a flat monthly membership fee.*
A DPC practice offers a transparent pricing schedule upfront. A monthly membership fee covers unlimited primary care office visits and services, including on-site tests and procedures, and generic prescription medications from the office formulary. Group discounts are often available, and patients can also receive off-site tests and procedures at discounted rates. While DPC patients do not need to pay high insurance premiums for primary health care coverage – another plus – they are encouraged to purchase a complementary health insurance plan to cover any complex or catastrophic medical services outside of primary care.
*It’s important to note that certain healthcare services are not included in a DPC membership, such as hospitalizations and specialist visits. Many patients choose a relatively low-cost, high-deductible insurance plan to cover those services.
If you’re in the Orlando area, and you’re interested in a Direct Primary Care doctor, contact our team! You can set up a free meet and greet with our board certified family physician, Dr. Toni Muzzonigro. We’re happy to answer any questions you may have, and help you decide if DPC is right for you.