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Direct Primary Care: A New Alternative to Health Insurance

Posted by on Jun 18, 2012 in DPC News | 0 comments

Direct Primary Care: A New Alternative to Health Insurance

A growing number of primary care physicians are finding a new health care alternative called Direct Primary Care (DPC) which they claim is more affordable and provides more benefits than conventional health insurance. DPC is not insurance and it does away with health insurance altogether. In his program on National Public Radio®, host Robert Siegel interviews Dr. Arnold Milstein, director of the Stanford Clinical Excellence Research Center, about how the DPC system works. Transcript of “Direct Primary Care: A New Option For The Uninsured” Radio Program Below is an excerpt from the National Public Radio® program’s transcript.  It discusses some of the advantages of the primary health care model. MILSTEIN: There are two features. Number one: it’s a fixed price so that the primary care doctor have no time constraints, as it pertains to payments that typically occurs on a cost per visit basis. And most importantly, the more enlightened versions of these models are offering care seven days a week, including after-hours care. SIEGEL: What are the advantages to the doctors? Would doctors with a reasonable caseload that they can be available to at all hours, can they make a good living? MILSTEIN: Absolutely. Certainly not if they try to do it alone but these are – the best of these models are typically implemented in groups so physicians can work reasonable hours. From the perspective of most primary care physicians, this offers a pathway from the what’s been referred to as life as a primary care hamster. Read the entire transcript here Dr. Arnold Milstein also said that Direct Primary Care offers more satisfying benefits for both doctor and patients. Under this system, conscientious primary care doctors can give better attention to the health needs of their patients. MILSTEIN: …what it tends to do is free up physicians – since they’re being paid a monthly fee, whether they see the patients are not – to be able take the time that those patients prefer. Primary care doctors spend, you know, with them – typically patients with chronic illness – who’ve got a list of more than one, you know, minor problem to problem to handle. And it turns out to be much more satisfying for the patient. They’re able to kind of get through their whole problem list. And also much more satisfying for conscientious primary care doctors. Read the entire transcript here More Info on Primary Care Know how the DPC system can boost America’s ailing health care system. Visit http://dpcnews.com/ for more information on Direct Primary...

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Writing Out the Insurer with the Direct Primary Care System

Posted by on Jun 6, 2012 in DPC News | 0 comments

Writing Out the Insurer with the Direct Primary Care System

While the formidable cost of health insurance prevents many Americans from receiving better health care, the new direct primary care system helps to eliminate the role of insurance altogether. Not only will it make health care more affordable, it will significantly improve health care quality as well. Can the Primary Care System Ensure Improved Health Care? In a Huffington Post article entitled “Direct Primary Care: Skip The Insurer, Get Better Health Care?”, author Catherine Pearson wrote: “The idea behind direct primary care practices (DPCPs) is that patients pay a modest, monthly fee (often adjusted according to age and existing conditions) and receive direct access to their doctor. This means practices generate revenue directly from fees and not from billing insurance companies or ordering tests.” Read more So what are the benefits that both doctors and patients can expect from the new direct primary care system? Supporters of the system say there are a lot. “Because the fee model limits the amount of time doctors have to spend filling out insurance paperwork or battling over coverage, they have more time to devote to patient appointments. The Direct Primary Care Coalition says that many Americans have never experienced a high level of care because doctors rush through appointments. (CNN reports that the average doctor appointment is now 13 minutes.) Freed from those constraints, doctors at DPCPs have more time to spend with patients, which could improve the quality of care.” Read more Direct primary care models will be made available to the public by participating in health insurance exchanges and will be a integrated in the proposed health care reform in 2014. These exchanges will allow millions of uninsured Americans to get the coverage they need. “Indeed, at least one thing DPCPs don’t eliminate is the need for emergency coverage. The Direct Primary Care Coalition says that patients should also have an emergency care insurance plan — often a less-comprehensive one with lower premiums — as accidents do happen. It adds that direct models are a return to a kind of halcyon days in the realm of managed care, given that insurance was “originally created to cover unplanned serious illnesses and crises.” Read more   Better Physician-Patient Relations with Direct Primary Care System Proponents of direct primary health care maintain that health insurers have no reason to be involved in primary care. The monthly charges will ensure that physicians can maintain a manageable patient population, receive their revenue directly from monthly fees and not from insurance companies, have more time with their patients. There will be no middleman to stand between the doctor and patient. For more information, go to http://dpcnews.com to understand more about the direct primary care system.  ...

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Resurgence of Direct Primary Care Can Help Solve Healthcare Issues

Posted by on Apr 26, 2012 in DPC News | 0 comments

Resurgence of Direct Primary Care Can Help Solve Healthcare Issues

Can a time when primary care physicians seriously doubt their profession be a good time for the revival of primary health care? Smart and shrewd investors will likely jump in where others are starting to bail out. On the other hand, when the majority view is to invest, shrewd investors usually move out. Dave Chase, a Forbes.com contributor and author of the well-written article “Solving Healthcare Requires Primary Care Renaissance”, writes that now is the right time to invest in primary care to improve the nation’s health care program. “For my money, if I could invest in family medicine residency programs right now, I would. As primary care leaders such as Dr. Glen Stream, President of the American Academy of Family Physicians, wrestle with a reimbursement system that has disadvantaged primary care, they should be emboldened that there is an increasing conclusion that the only way to improve the health of the population and reduce healthcare costs is to to build it on a primary care foundation.”   Read more…   Dave Chase, founder of Microsoft’s Health business and previously a consultant with Accenture’s Healthcare Practice, believes that primary care is about to undergo a much-awaited revival due to a number of reasons, some of which are cited below. 3. Simple laws of supply and demand. There’s already a shortage of primary care. Look to Massachusetts to see the further demands expanding coverage has put on primary care.  While one can argue the merits of that health reform, it’s indisputable that it has created more demands on primary care. Analysts believe a core reason CIGNA and Humana have bought onsite clinic businesses is to ensure they have a supply of primary care physicians as demand increases for primary care. 4. The rise of onsite clinics that have primary care as their foundation continues to create more demand for primary care doctors. Dissatisfaction by purchasers of healthcare will continue to expand the onsite clinic trend. 5. In the so-called “Pharma 3.0″ trend, pharmaceutical companies are repositioning themselves as “health outcomes” companies. Major players I’ve spoken with are putting primary care as central focus areas which is a shift from where many of them have focused. In one case, they are already delivering primary care themselves. Read more…   Like all great beginnings, the ongoing revival of primary care will surely experience some labor pains. Dave Chase, however, maintains that the future of primary care will bring a brighter promise than its past. The knee-jerk reaction to the predicted renaissance of primary care is to believe it will come at the expense of specialists. As I commented in an earlier piece on Direct Primary Care, that potential zero-sum-game is the elephant in the room, but the biggest fat in the system is burdening day-to-day healthcare with insurance bureaucracy. Physicians would be well advised to address that rather than fight amongst themselves in my opinion. No renaissance comes without some bumps in the road, but I’d argue that the next twenty years of primary care will be far better than the last twenty. Read more… If you need more news and information about Direct Primary Care, you can visit our website at http://dpcnews.com/.  ...

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New System to Revive the Nation’s Health Care

Posted by on Apr 25, 2012 in DPC News | 0 comments

New System to Revive the Nation’s Health Care

Direct Primary Care or DPC is sometimes associated with concierge medicine. Like concierge health care, DPC gets directly involved in a financial relationship between health care providers and patients. It typically offers the medical care given by family or general practitioners, at an affordable monthly fee. DPC alleviates many of the financial roadblocks to health care access . It can eliminate or reduce insurance co-pays, co-insurance fees, and deductibles. Direct Primary Care is not insurance. For this reason, physicians can sidestep the overhead and the complicated process of dealing with insurers, which can cost as much as $0.40 for every dollar spent on health care. The Benefits of Direct Primary Care Over Insurance Texas health policy attorney Erin Gilmer has written an informative article about the benefits of Direct Primary Care in her Health as a Human Right blog site. Here’s an excerpt from her article:   “The idea behind DPC is simple: pay your doctor a monthly fee for your care. In other words, your doctor charges you say $50-$100 per month and provides your care. Usually when this model is discussed, it is in the vernacular of “concierge” medicine. The word concierge brings with it a sense that such a health care system is only available to the wealthy. However, DPC is actually a way in which we can help everyone care regardless of their socioeconomic status. It’s like a membership. You already pay (or your employer pays) insurance premiums each month and those premiums are well over $100 per month. In fact, on the individual market, insurance is easily above $400 per month per person. If employers and government invested in this model of care, the savings would be overwhelming. The benefits of DPC are not just monetary (which seems to be the only thing anyone is concerned about these days) – it takes out the middle man, insurance. Thus the administrative burdens are gone – allowing doctors to focus on patient care instead of fighting for reimbursement. Patients in these practices often receive better care. Patients who wouldn’t have access to care because of the prohibitive cost of insurance have access to care. And the DPC model can incentivize med students to actually choose primary care over other specialties in a time where of dire need for primary care physicians (PCPs).”   Direct Primary Care Provides More Patient Care at Less Cost In this excerpt from her article, Ms. Gilmer points out that insurance companies are after increasing their income first, and improving the patient’s health second. “Insurance companies are for-profit companies. Make no mistake, they are not primarily interested in improving health outcomes. They are focused on increasing profits. As such, they direct your care, not your physician. The physician can recommend treatment, but this has to be approved by the insurance company. Insurance companies waste money (as I talk about in this post on Health Insurance). More than 19% of claims are incorrectly processed according to the American Medical Association (AMA) a cost of about $17 billion annually. Insurance companies deny claims which are then appealed or insist on further review for claims that could be easily processed, wasting more money and time (time being of the essence when health is at stake). That burden gets passed on to employers and individuals who...

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Shot In the Arm for America’s Ailing Health Care System

Posted by on Apr 25, 2012 in Blog | 0 comments

Shot In the Arm for America’s Ailing Health Care System

As the cost of health insurance continues to soar, the ability to afford preventive care is now getting virtually impossible for many American patients. A unique and affordable system, however, has been catching a lot of attention lately, totally bypassing the insurance industry – Direct Primary Care or DPC. The article Direct Primary Care published by Steve Knapp in Health401k.com takes a look at DPC and how it could enhance the quality of health care for less than the cost of a ___ per day. “Direct primary care was designed to help American citizens save money on healthcare costs, and so far it has done just that. A broad definition of direct primary care includes several key attributes, such as doctors seeing fewer patients and patients having direct access to a doctor in person, by phone or email. In order to access these benefits, patients are charged an annual or monthly fee. Proven benefits that patients have reported consist of a better relationship with their doctor, access to more preventative medicine, as well as more and helpful advice on wellness and nutrition. The advantages that doctors have experienced from direct primary care include stability of income, improved hours of work, and an opportunity to simply be a physician.” Read the entire article here   The Concept Behind Direct Primary Care The concept behind direct primary care is that patients can receive direct access to their physician for an affordable monthly fee that is usually adjusted according to their current health condition and age. “While the price of entering a direct primary care contract can vary from as little a $1000 per year for each patient under direct primary care, there seems to be no upper end to what a doctor can charge to provide his services to individuals or to families. In most cases, doctors will complete a process whereby their patient base is asked to join a direct primary care arrangement. In some practices, patients’ options are to either continue on with their current doctor under the new program, which allows them access day and night, or to find a new doctor. Patients may also benefit from getting better access to their doctor, being appointments the same or next day. Longer appointments allowing more advice to be offered in preventative measure supporting well-being, such as a nutritional diet being encouraged. Additionally, your doctor may decide to retain those patients who do not wish to convert to the new format. Under direct primary care, patients are asked pay a combination of visit fees or fixed monthly fees (or a combination of both), which grant them access to a certain prearranged set of medical services. These services typically include same and next-day appointments; these could be in the form of house calls or office visits. Access to a high deductible health plan (HDHP), a health savings account (HSA), and direct primary care also takes away the normal hassle of dealing with insurance companies, since direct primary care practices do not normally accept insurance payment.” Read the entire article here   With direct primary care, doctors and clinics can generate income directly from fees and not be preoccupied in billing insurance companies. Abundant Health Implications Mr. Knapp’s article says that the health implications of DPC can be plentiful. “Because physicians under...

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Video to Congress from the Direct Primary Care Coalition

Posted by on Apr 25, 2012 in Blog, DPC News | 0 comments

Video to Congress from the Direct Primary Care Coalition

The Direct Primary Care Coalition has produced a video message to Congress, underlining the value of direct primary care (DPC) in boosting the country’s ailing health care system and real cost savings.     The Message to Congress Made by the Direct Primary Care Coalition     The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 includes a provision that allows non-insurance based direct primary care medical homes to compete in state-based insurance “exchanges” starting in 2014. Their inclusion will enable more Americans to choose direct primary care, a far less expensive alternative to conventional insurance, as the leading option for their health care. It will also offer every American the opportunity to avail of high-quality and more affordable primary health care straight off from the provider rather than through an insurance company. Regulations implementing the Affordable Care Act, including those governing direct primary care, are already being drafted. Direct primary care models will be included in the upcoming health care reform and will be available in state-based insurance exchanges. However, direct primary care won’t qualify unless bundled with the health plan sold by insurance companies. Proponents of direct primary care, state lawmakers, providers, and patients are all aware that getting the rules regarding primary health care written correctly is of major importance. They are advocating for the Secretary of The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to: Model the Affordable Care Act after Washington State’s primary care law, and Ensure that federal regulations will allow direct primary care practices to remain separate from insurance companies The video message to Congress stresses the strong points of direct primary care and its important role in the future of America’s health care. By being independent of insurance companies, Americans can be assured of continued top-quality primary care at a very affordable cost. If you found this page informative and helpful, you please share it with your friends by clicking the link above the title. You can find out more about Direct Primary Care by clicking on this link.  ...

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