Telemedicine & Direct Primary CareJun 24, 2019
Many direct primary care (DPC) physicians use telemedicine to effectively deliver health care services to their patients – even over long distances. By complementing in-office visits with telemedicine consultations via voice, video conferencing, and SMS text, these physicians are saving their patients significant time and money. Sounds like a good thing, right? So, why aren’t all physicians taking advantage of telemedicine?
The reason is relatively simple. Many providers who practice under the traditional fee-for-service health care model are hesitant to adopt telemedicine because some of those services are not reimbursable by private insurance carriers and government payers.
DPC Puts Patients First
By opting out of insurance contracts altogether, DPC physicians have freed themselves from the constraints of insurer-imposed billing code structures and other burdensome requirements. In effect, DPC physicians do not allow fee-for-service payment policies to dictate how they practice medicine. Instead, they contract directly with their patients, offering unlimited primary health care services in exchange for a set monthly membership fee – which includes unrestricted access to the physician, both in the office and via telemedicine.
A key advantage of telemedicine is that it extends the doctor-patient relationship beyond the exam room. With 24/7 access to a physician “in their pocket,” a DPC member can have a continuing conversation with his or her physician, which can prove to be very beneficial throughout the patient’s life.
Multiple Expert Options via eConsults
Another telemedicine benefit that many DPC physicians include in their membership package is e-consults, or online consultations for specialty care. For instance, through RubiconMD, a primary care physician has the ability to consult remotely with a network of top specialists, enabling the physician to provide timely, expert clinical advice and potentially eliminate the need for costly and time-consuming specialist visits.
In sum, the DPC model clearly illustrates that the practice of medicine is more flexible when it bypasses the complexities of health insurance. If you’d like to learn more, contact Optimum Direct Care, a DPC practice in Orlando, FL.