What is DPC?
What are the advantages?
Glad you asked! Direct Primary Care, also known as DPC, is an increasingly-popular practice model in which you, the patient, and your doctor engage in a straightforward relationship to provide the majority of your primary care needs, without the interference of a "middle man." Fees are paid monthly or annually. Like a gym membership. There are now over 500 DPC physicians in the US and the number is growing.
Many! Because insurance billing and collections are eliminated, a DPC practice can operate with a smaller staff and less overhead. Where a typical primary care physician cares for 2000-3000 patients, a DPC physician usually cares for around 600. This means easier access for appointments and refills, more efficient referrals when needed, and more time with the doctor in the office. Happier patients, happier staff, and happier doctor. Isn't that how it should be?
But I have insurance !
Great! In fact, we encourage all of our patients to continue their health care coverage if they have it. In DPC, the philosophy is to utilize insurance as it was originally intended, for more expensive items such as hospitalizations, surgery, scans, and specialty consultations. Because of the improved access and more personalized care, DPC makes having "good insurance" even better. Medicare included. Yes, we can still prescribe medications for you, and we will advocate for you if a prescription is denied.
What about labs?
No problem. The emphasis in a DPC practice is simplicity and value. We draw your lab studies in our office, and there is no additional charge for a number of basic labs, such as cholesterol and glucose testing. For more expensive lab tests, we offer significantly discounted pricing, or our reference lab can file with your insurance. Your choice.
Can you still refer me ?
Absolutely. With rare exceptions, we are able to refer you for whatever specialty care is needed, for X-rays and scans, and for procedures we do not perform in the office. We have recently added the services of RubiconMD, giving us access to a number of specialists around the country who can provide education and guidance concerning your care.
What if I go to the hospital?
Hopefully that will be rare! But should you need to be hospitalized, we can refer you to the hospital of your choice, communicate with the hospital staff caring for you, and access your records when appropriate.
What about my HSA or FSA?
Currently this is unclear. We advise that you check with your Human Resources Department, or your tax advisor. Hopefully in the very near future legislation will clarify this, and more definitively enable you to use these plans for your DPC care.
What if I change my mind?
We want you to be satisfied. Should you decide to leave our practice at any time, for any reason, we will refund the "unused" portion of your membership fees. Our goal is to care for patients who are happy with our care.