Direct Primary Care is a new way to pay for medical care from your family doctor, with some real advantages for you and for us
When you go out for dinner, are you willing to wait a long time to get a table, have only 5-10 minutes to eat, and then pay a bill that includes additional charges from a middleman who pays the restaurant for you, but refuses to pay for an appetizer or dessert?
But that’s how your health insurance works, and it just doesn’t make sense.
It is increasingly difficult for family doctors to operate independent practices because of poor reimbursement and growing paperwork imposed by insurance companies and the government. Many local family doctors have retired, gone to work as hospitalists or sold their practices to the hospital. Because of current circumstances the number of physicians training to be family doctors has dropped dramatically. . If this trend continues, there will be few or no independent family doctors in our community in the near future.
The cost of health insurance for all of us is rising rapidly. Employer-based health insurance often leaves employees with very high co-pays and deductible costs. It is very expensive for people without employer-based health insurance to purchase individual health insurance. The Affordable Care Act provides very expensive health insurance with unaffordable out of pocket costs for many individuals.
Without good access to a family doctor, many patients seek care after they are ill at Urgent Care Centers or the Emergency Department. Emergency and Urgent Care Centers charge much more for services than a family doctor’s office. In Urgent Care Centers and the Emergency Department, lack of familiarity with the patient often leads to unnecessary care and to duplication of services.
Increasingly, families and patients avoid getting medical care anywhere because it has become so expensive.
Most people can afford to get regular service for their car to keep it working and to avoid bigger problems later. What sense does it make for people to have to avoid regular check ups, preventive health care services and management of diseases like hypertension and diabetes because it is too expensive? Good medical care from an experienced family doctor can lower a person’s medical costs and improve their overall health.
Direct Primary Care is a cost-effective arrangement through which there is an agreement between Access DPC and patients for medical services, with no involvement of an insurance company.
With Direct Primary Care, a yearly doctor-patient contract for direct medical care is signed between individuals/families and Access DPC. Individuals/families agree to pay a set fee directly to their family physician office at the end of each month. Our office will limit the number of contracted patients to a manageable size to ensure we can deliver services as promised.
For Direct Primary Care patients, our office will not be under contract for participation with their insurance company. When medical care from our office is delivered to Direct Primary Care patients, they will be provided a form upon request specifying what services were provided. Patients with insurance can submit this to their carrier to be applied toward any coverage or deductible that applies.
Under the terms of the Direct Primary Care contract, Access DPC office visits for each patient are provided at a very low flat rate of $5 per visit
When needed, other services provided within our office (for instance x-rays, lab tests, and minor surgical procedures) are made available at dramatically reduced rates based on a published fee schedule made available in advance of the contract. Payment is required at the time of service to eliminate billing expenses.
Primary care services will be provided to each Direct Primary Care patient by Access DPC on a scheduled basis within several days. A physician or nurse practitioner from our office will be on call and can be reached promptly after hours by calling the Access DPC office number. Access DPC will make every effort will be made to provide medical care remotely when practical so trips to our office, as well as the emergency department or urgent care center are minimized, and so unnecessary time away from work is avoided. Many medical problems can be handled over the telephone or through a direct video link provided at no cost to the patient.
Our office intends to be the first point of contact for medical care at any time for our Direct Primary Care Patients. When a Direct Primary Care patient of Access DPC is admitted to a local hospital or nursing facility, one of our doctors or nurse practitioners will follow up in a timely fashion to ensure continuity of care.
When specialist services or ancillary medical services outside the practice are needed by Direct Primary Care patients, Access DPC is committed to recommending the best, most cost effective alternative available.
Existing patients except Medicare/Medicaid patients have the option to sign a Direct Primary Care contract, but are not required to do so. Access HealthCare Multispecialty Group will continue to provide services to our existing patients with insurance, including Medicare/Medicaid, as it has always done.
Please contact our office if you are interested in learning more about Direct Primary Care.
If you know of someone else who may be interested in a Direct Primary Care arrangement, please encourage them to contact our office at (434) 316 7199.
Access Direct Primary Care