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Direct Primary Care Can Lower Health Care Costs by 40% or More

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Direct Primary Care Can Lower Health Care Costs by 40% or More

One of two provisions of Obamacare that goes hardly noticed deals with Direct Primary Care Medical Homes or DPC. This provision can have a long-term effect that can wreak heavy damage to the traditional health insurance business and, at the same time, create new opportunities for health care providers in the country.

In an article written by Dave Chase for Forbes.com entitled Health Insurance’s $4.4 Billion Bunker Buster – Part I, he mentions that Obamacare allows the Direct Primary Care model to compete with state-based insurance exchanges. Dave Chase is the CEO of Avado.com and former Accenture Senior Consultant before establishing Microsoft’s Health platform business.

Dave Chase writes:

“The second is allowing flat-fee primary care practices, also referred to as Direct Primary Care Medical Homes (DPC for short), to compete within the state-based insurance exchanges. The DPC models have a membership model that isn’t insurance-based and so they avoid the 40% or more of the costs associated with insurance that doesn’t positively impact patient well-being.”

 

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Primary care doctor with patient

 

Direct Primary Care is not insurance. By reducing or eliminating insurance co-pays, co insurance fees, and deductibles, it can remove many of the financial barriers to health care access. DPC will also enable small employers to provide medical benefits to their workers.

“The better alternative for the buyer of healthcare is DPC combined with a high deductible wrap-around insurance policy. When a large employer has a concentration of employees in one location, they are also increasingly using onsite clinics. For smaller employers, DPC enables the similar objective of expanding access to primary care which employers, unions and others recognize as the best bang for the buck as outlined in “Primary Care Spring” unleashed by IBM.”

 

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Author Dave Chase writes that Direct Primary Care, by eliminating health insurance, can actually bring down the cost of health care by as much as 40% or even more.

“Allowing for DPC is the best example in Obamacare of what can actually bend the cost curve, as it removes 40+% of the cost out of the equation. Previously, that 40% has gone to insurance overhead and profits. This relatively little-known provision in the law creates an affordable new choice for individuals and businesses by allowing flat-fee DPC practices to compete within the state-based insurance exchanges.”

 

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In the excerpt below, the author enumerates the advantages of Direct Primary Care membership.

“Today, flat-fee practices offer affordable, high-quality health care at up to 40 percent less than the cost of traditional insurance, even when combined with a lower-cost “wrap-around” insurance plan. Benefits of DPC membership vary by provider, but typically include many of the following:

  •     Unhurried 30- to 60-minute office visits versus typical 10 minute  appointments
  •     No limits for pre-existing conditions
  •     No deductibles or co-pays
  •     Open or accessible 7 days per week, with 24 hour cell phone and email access to a physician
  •     Low, predictable monthly fees plus savings on third-party wrap-around insurance plans
  •     On-site x-ray, laboratory and “first-fill” prescription drug dispensary
  •     Routine care including vaccinations, routine blood tests, women’s health services, pediatric care, on-site procedures and ongoing management of chronic conditions

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The concept behind the direct primary care model is that patients can have almost unlimited direct access to medical care for an affordable monthly fee and do away with the high cost of health insurance.

To understand more about Direct Primary Care, visit http://dpcnews.com for more information.

 

 

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