Direct Primary Care (DPC) is not regulated as health insurance. Federal law does not consider a standalone DPC to be health insurance and only 24 states exempt DPC practices from the regulatory authority of their insurance code.
Direct Primary Care is a service and payment agreement established between the primary care physician and the patient. In the arrangement, a patient (or employer) agrees to pay a set monthly fee in exchange for a broad array of medical services. These services typically include office visits, routine procedures and some diagnostic testing. The arrangement restores the patient-physician relationship and assumes that the primary care physician can manage 90-100% of a person’s typical health care needs.
Direct Primary Care (DPC) physicians earn a percentage of the revenue they collect through membership fees. In a DPC practice, overhead costs are limited and there are very low administrative costs involved in collecting payment. These factors are a stark contrast to the elaborate overhead costs and expenses involved to bill health insurance found in traditional fee for service medical practices. The DPC physician establishes a lower number of patients compared to traditional physician practices, typically around 500 members and charges a flat monthly fee ranging from $50-$150/month.
A concierge medicine practice charges a monthly fee in order for a patient to be part of the practice. In addition to the monthly fee, the practice can still bill the patients’ health insurance for any care rendered. In this model, the patient is typically paying a higher monthly fee in exchange for exclusivity, including being able to directly call their doctor, same day appointments and usually a smaller patient panel.
Direct Primary Care (DPC) charges a flat monthly fee that is typically much lower than concierge membership fees. Direct Primary Care practices do not bill the patients’ health insurance for any services. All treatment is included in the monthly fee. In a DPC practice also have the ability to call their doctor, receive same day appointments and typically have a slightly larger patient panel.
Direct Primary Care is a fast-growing practice model that eliminates insurance billing for primary care services. The patient pays a flat monthly fee to the medical practice in exchange for most routine and customary primary care services including office visits, procedures and testing.
Most concierge doctors bill health insurance for medical treatment in addition to the yearly membership fees charged to the patient.
The differences between direct primary care and traditional primary care come down to three main points; Payment, Quality and Convenience of care.
Traditional and Direct Primary care involves the medical treatment of the entire family for common and routine healthcare needs. The difference is Direct Primary care charges a flat monthly fee as opposed to Traditional Primary care charging your insurance a fee for service model. Direct Primary care providers typically manage 500-600 patients, so typically they are able to give more personalized care and it is usually easier to get a same day appointment. Traditional primary care providers manage around 3,000 patients and provide less personalized care.
Direct Primary Care is a legal payment and service agreement established between a patient or an employer and a medical practice or physician. It is not regulated as health insurance.
Direct Primary Care doctors typically manage between 500 – 800 patients.
Primary care involves the medical treatment of the entire family for common and routine healthcare needs. These include office visits, preventative medicine and health education, treatment of acute injury and illness, treatment of chronic illness, procedures such as skin lesion removals, biopsies, joint injections and some diagnostic tests such as lung function testing, EKG’s, and rapid tests for flu, strep throat and urinary tract infections.
The purpose of direct primary care was to restore the relationship and decision making between the physician and the patient. It is designed to improve cost, quality, convenience and affordability for primary care, which many argue is the most important level of health care delivery.
The first formal direct primary care practice was created by 3 physicians backed by Amazon and Dell.