Direct Primary Care and Concierge Medicine

Family Practice Center of the New Era: Direct Care and Concierge Model

September 21, 2020

Harsha Moole, M.D., MBBS

Initial Thoughts on Having a Family Practice Center

Health care in America has been a largely controversial matter for the past few decades. While we have witnessed the conversation transition from health care insurance being largely privately funded to being government subsidized!

We believe the bigger question here is whether the traditional health care system properly assesses and accommodates every patient’s needs to begin with.

America’s health care system is neither healthy, caring, nor a system. - Walter Cronkite

The Best Family Practice Center in the Form of Direct Primary Care

Each American, on average, spends about $10,739 a year on health care according to the California Health Care Foundation (CHCF). Looking at health care spending according to medical condition, Americans spend the most on routine health care in comparison to other health care services.

That’s $289.9 billion spent on family practice center appointments, family medicine doctor visits, and the like for the last 10 years, as per CHCF statistics.

If you have gone to visit your family practice doctor in the last year or so, you know how much of an ordeal it is to come and see them, not to mention the added expenses that accumulate despite having an insurance plan.

Out of approximately $694.3 billion spent on physician and clinical services annually, $60.1 billion are paid for out-of-pocket – this pertains to consumer spending via copays, deductibles, and other services not included in insurance premiums.

If you are fed up with being just another number in your family medicine doctor’s office, you are definitely not the only one. If impersonal appointments, cut down to 5-10 minutes tops, don’t sit well with you, it’s because you’re right – that should never be the case in the first place.

Appointments with your family practice doctor should be far from rushed, especially when you’re paying hard-earned money for that service. Ideally, sessions should be conducted at a comfortable pace, giving you and your doctor enough time to hash out all the details about your health.

This is why, for the past few years, a new health care model called Direct Primary Care has been conceived and developed. Unlike the traditional fee-for-service health care model (this is your typical insurance-based health care model) where the patient’s needs and best interests have seemingly taken the back seat.

the Direct Primary Care and Concierge Medicine model provides patients with invaluable benefits such as highly specialized, top-quality health care, reduced overall health care spending, unrestricted, convenient access to your family medicine doctor, and so much more.

For a monthly membership fee, the Direct Primary Care and Concierge Medicine model provides patients with first-class health services and unrestricted access to their preferred family physician. No more constant copay fees, rushed appointments, taxing booking procedures, and less than average services – just superb health care, as it should be.

In this blog, we give you a crash course on Direct Primary Care and Concierge Medicine – how (pleasantly) different it is from the traditional health care system, what type of quality service you are provided, and why you should definitely consider subscribing to a Direct Primary Care/Concierge Medicine physician for all of your family practice center needs.

 Family Practice Center

Do You Feel Like You Deserve More Than Your Current Family Medicine Doctor?

Breaking Down the Key Differences between the Traditional Health Care Model vs. the Direct Care Model

1. Traditional health care physicians see about 2,000-3,000 patients in total. Direct Primary Care/Concierge physicians see 200-800 patients only.

2. In the traditional health care model, appointments with family practice doctors are limited to 5-10 minutes only per patient. In the Direct Primary Care/Concierge Medicine model, appointments with family medicine doctors are stretched between 30 to 60 minutes.

3. To book an appointment at your local family practice center, you have to go through a rather tedious, time-consuming process. With your Direct Primary Care/Concierge physician, you have constant access to their direct line whenever you need them.

4. Traditional family medicine doctors work under the best interests of their insurance company / corporate hospital owners rather than their patients’ health. On the other hand, in Direct Primary Care/Concierge Medicine, as there is no middleman in between, physicians have no other vested interests other than the patient’s well-being alone.

5. Given that family medicine doctors in the traditional health care model are not given adequate time with their patients, there is a tendency for patients to be referred to multiple unnecessary specialist consultations to be rid of the risk of liability. On the contrary, Direct Primary Care and Concierge Medicine physicians have all the time they need to fully understand a patient’s medical condition.

6. Traditional family practice doctors are not expected to do home visits/sick visits. Direct Primary Care and Concierge Medicine physicians are on-call and offer specialized care when needed.

7. Traditional family medicine doctors are so overburdened that they no longer have time to empathize and be meticulous with their patients. True to their profession, family practice doctors in the Direct Primary Care and Concierge Medicine practice treat their patients like family which adds a layer of trust in the doctor – patient relationship

Bid Farewell to Your Traditional Family Practice Doctor

Because of all the negative experiences brought about by the traditional health care model from both the side of physicians and of patients, many doctors from family practice centers are frustrated for not being able to provide the health care which they feel that their patients deserve.

This is why more and more family medicine doctors are releasing themselves from the shackles of the insurance-based, fee-for-service health care system and turning to Direct Primary Care and Concierge Medicine practice instead.

Unlike the traditional health care model where insurance companies play the middleman between family practice doctors and patients, the Direct Primary Care/Concierge Medicine model provides a direct relationship between physicians and their patients.

Rather than paying for a copay fee for appointments where they are constantly shortchanged, patients in Direct Primary Care subscribe to a monthly membership fee in exchange for unlimited visits and direct, unabridged access to their family medicine doctors.

Direct Primary Care and Concierge Medicine physicians are required to see a lot less patients which means their time is spread out more evenly from patient to patient.

While it is true that you will still have to retain your insurance premium for ER visits, surgical expenses, and other in-patient services, the Direct Primary Care and Concierge Medicine model will cover everything else with regard to routine primary care and other out-patient services, all at first-rate quality, no less.

Patients are guaranteed to have enough time with their physicians for meticulous routine check-ups and round-the-clock, superior care. By subscribing to a Direct Primary Care/Concierge Medicine physician instead of going through the painstaking procedure of booking an appointment in a family practice center every single time, patients are entitled to round-the-clock care; convenient, virtual consultations via phone call or text message; same-day appointments; home visits; and discounted rates on out-patient labs and medical procedures.

The Awesome Benefits of the Direct Care Model Used by Family Practice Centers

How a Good Family Practice Center Should Be?

1. No more long queues and tiresome front desk calls at your local family practice center.

With the Direct Primary Care/Concierge Medicine system, you get 24/7 direct access to your family medicine doctor. Your Direct Primary Care/Concierge Medicine physician will always be available for quick tele-consultations, same-day appointments, house visits – you name it.

You no longer have to worry about being put on hold, waiting for your turn at the family practice center, going straight to voice mail, or having to book an appointment at the front desk every time you need to see your doctor.

2. Say goodbye to shortchanged copay fees and say hello to long-term savings.

What’s great about the Direct Primary Care/Concierge Medicine model is that you no longer have to worry about copay fees every time you visit your family practice doctor. You simply subscribe to a monthly membership fee and you have unlimited access to your family practice doctor anytime you need them.

By having direct access to your family practice doctor, you get to cut the intermediaries out as well and save on costs for out-patient medical services, such as laboratory tests / minor procedures and the like.

Although you will still retain your insurance premiums on top of your Direct Primary Care/Concierge Medicine subscription, monthly fees are as affordable as a couple of dinners at a restaurant. You also get to reduce your insurance premiums to cover in-patient and hospitalization services only and you can finally let go of having to pay for copay fees for routine care appointments.

Here is another awesome perk: the Direct Primary Care/Concierge Medicine system also entitles patients to discounted out-patient medical services, which may not always be covered by your insurance premiums.

For example, a Complete Blood Count (CBC) test might cost $50-$60 at a hospital whereas it may only cost you $1-$2 in a Direct Primary Care clinic.

3. Rushed appointments and getting passed on from one specialist to another are things of the past.

Because your Direct Primary Care/Concierge physician has more than enough time to sit down with you and actually understand your medical condition, you no longer have to worry about rushed, robotic appointments. “Do this, do that. Tick-tock, your time is up.”

If getting passed on from one specialist to another is also a major pet peeve of yours, this is something you no longer have to worry about with the Direct Primary Care/Concierge Medicine model. Patients are usually passed on from one specialist to another so that physicians are rid of the risk of liability. With Direct Primary Care and Concierge Medicine, the benefits go both ways.

These physicians are not bogged down by unnecessary paperwork and overbooked appointments, which means their time is fully devoted to early disease diagnosis and in-depth medical assessment. Patients, on the other hand, save time, money, and effort from unnecessary specialist consultations and tests.

4. You are not just a number waiting to be called at the family practice center.

With the Direct Primary Care/Concierge Medicine system, you are provided with premium care like never before. Nothing feels better than having your physician’s undivided attention and care, especially when you are sick.

Direct Primary Care/Concierge Medicine physicians go above and beyond to get to the bottom of your medical concerns and actually make you feel better.

Family Practice Center in a Nutshell

If there’s a key takeaway you should keep in mind from this blog, it’s that Direct Primary Care and Concierge Medicine gives patients like you what they truly deserve: better quality of life, top value for money, reduces morbidity, gives you peace of mind, and most importantly, a tight-knit, personalized doctor-patient relationship grounded on trust and genuine care.

This is what FindMyDirectDoctor.com stands for. Our life’s work is to improve the health and well-being of patients like you by doing well on two very important things: first, making the invaluable benefits of Direct Primary Care and Concierge Medicine doctors consistently available to you, and second, connecting you to a wide selection of Direct Primary Care and Concierge physicians who are just one phone call away. Join the movement for better health care and see a Direct Primary Care physician near you today.

Authored by Harsha Moole, M.D., MBBS

Advocate of healthcare models that promote direct relationship between patients and doctors. Founder @ FindMyDirectDoctor, LLC.

Read more here.