Dr. Rebekah Bernard is a very prolific writer and a staunch supporter of DPC. That’s because she is a DPC doc. She just wrote another nice piece on KevinMD pointing out how DPC is not concierge care. Here are some highlights:
- Direct care cuts out third-party payers like Medicare, Medicaid, and insurance companies. Instead, patients pay the doctor directly, usually through a monthly fee, which averages $77 for DPC practices.
- Because direct care doctors are not beholden to the insurance company, they spend less time on unnecessary documentation and more time on patients. And because doctors don’t have to spend a fortune trying to get paid by an insurer, they can often keep their overhead remarkably low, passing savings along to patients.
- It is easy to criticize a new model if you don’t really understand what DPC doctors do. The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) argued that DPC is structurally flawed, in that it incentivizes physicians to accept healthier patients. But this argument does not match with the reality that many DPC practices experience. In my practice, most patients have multiple chronic illnesses — the very reason they see the benefit in paying a monthly membership for care. New patients have sometimes been without health care and off medicines for months to years, and require frequent visits to get stabilized.
Dr. Bernard gives at least a half dozen names of DPC doctors who rebuke the “concierge” title.
This is how we get the word out. JAMA may not like us but does anyone actually read that journal anymore?
Keep fighting the good fight and thanks again, Dr. Rebekah Bernard, for your efforts in promoting DPC.