What Is the Difference Between Concierge Medicine & Direct Primary Care?

What Is Direct Primary Care?The terms “concierge medicine” and “direct primary care (DPC)” and are often used interchangeably. While both are alternatives to the traditional primary health care model, there is a fundamental difference between the two that patients should be aware of when choosing their health care providers.

Concierge Medicine

This membership-based primary health care model was established to meet the demands of certain individuals who wanted to avoid the hassles of traditional fee-for-service health care. In exchange for a monthly concierge fee, patients receive extended access to select doctors, including same-day appointments and round-the-clock telemedicine consultations. To accommodate this extended access, concierge doctors generally limit their patient panels to several hundred patients at most (as compared to the typical 2,500-plus patient panel of a traditional primary care practice).

Significantly, the monthly fee paid to a concierge practice covers only those services that are not covered by insurance. Therefore, many concierge doctors also bill their patients’ health insurance providers for medical visits. As a result, most patients pay a premium for primary health insurance in addition to the monthly concierge fee.

Direct Primary Care

Like concierge medicine, DPC is a membership-based primary health care model in which patients pay a monthly fee that entitles them to extended access to select doctors. However, DPC completely eliminates insurance companies and other third parties from the equation – DPC doctors do not bill their patients’ health insurance providers for medical visits. This means the overhead associated with procedure coding, claim filing, write-offs, billing, and claims-centric electronic medical records (EMR) systems is also eliminated, further streamlining the health care process.

DPC members do not need to pay for costly primary health insurance in addition to the monthly membership fee. With that said, they are still encouraged to carry insurance to cover the costs associated with specialist care for complex illnesses and injuries, hospitalizations, and life-threatening emergencies.

In sum, DPC is a primary care practice model that is directly reimbursed by the patient for both doctor access and primary health care services. Unlike many concierge practices, however, a DPC practice does not accept or bill third-party payers – this is the main difference between the two health care models.

If you have questions, you are welcome to contact Optimum Direct Care. We’ll be happy to tell you about our DPC practice, which is led by Dr. Toni “Muzzi” Muzzonigro and located near Orlando, FL.

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“I never imagined Dr. Muzzi existed before I found her. Now, I can’t picture a future of my healthcare without her. If the traditional Doctor / Patient relationship makes you feel like you’re stuck in I4 traffic (frustrated & certain no one will ever fix it) and you want to change that, you’re in the right place. ”

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“My husband and I were in search of a new physician when my neighbor mentioned that we should meet Dr Toni Muzzinigro who was a “Direct Primary Care” physician. We were not familiar with the term and were very intrigued. We made an initial appointment with her and learned so many things that we didn’t think existed anymore. Her main focus is on the patient and not the insurance companies! When she doesn’t have to worry about the bureaucracy and red tape of insurance companies, she has so much more time to listen to the patient and come up with a truly great level of care. The patient comes first and foremost. Our initial appointment was so thorough. She wanted to know every aspect of our past records. I felt like she really cared about us and her main goal was to keep us as healthy as possible. During our annual appointments, Dr. Muzzi schedules enough time to go over every concern you may have. Her explanations of test results are very thorough, and she is very knowledgeable of up to date medical breakthroughs. There have been some times during the year that we needed a doctor’s advice quickly. She is available to us basically 24/7. You can get in touch with her via phone, text, or video conferencing. Many things can be handled in a quick and timely manner. However, if there is a need to see her personally, getting in to see her doesn’t take weeks. Usually, you can make an appointment the very next day. How comforting is it to know that your doctor is always available to you and truly cares about your wellbeing! That is worth its weight in gold! Her staff are an added bonus! They run the office efficiently and take care of any other needs we may have. Another great advantage is that Dr. Muzzi has a network of specialists, labs, and resources available to us and at a discounted rate and free generic prescriptions. Personally, we like the fact that someone can help us navigate the medical system and direct us in the right direction. I simply can’t say enough. Dr. Muzzi has become our doctor as well as a good friend. She will always have our best interest at heart and her main goal is to provide the highest level of care. We are so thankful to have found Dr. Muzzi and Optimum Direct Care.”

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