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What is Direct Primary Care (DPC)?
Taking healthcare back from the out-of-control healthcare industry.
During our generation, primary care has changed dramatically. For almost all of America's history, people paid their medical providers directly for care. It was only in the late 20th century that health insurance become the primary method of payment for healthcare. Since the turn of the 21st century, the original practice of direct care is making a strong comeback. There are now approximately 6,500 direct care physicians in America, with more joining every year.
Direct primary care is a departure from the fee-for-service healthcare model. Instead of receiving revenue from co-pays and insurance payments for each visit, a DPC office is supported only by membership payments from their patients. In order to remain free from the constraints of insurance companies, DPC offices don't bill insurance for their services. Patients, however, still have the freedom to use their insurance to pay for other healthcare expenses such as medications, laboratory studies, imaging, specialty care, ER, and hospitalization. Although, with high deductibles and growing healthcare costs, often these services are shockingly expensive through insurance. In contrast, many DPC offices contract directly with labs and imaging companies to provide these services for their patients at a fraction of the cost and with transparent availability of the cost up front. They also buy some medications directly from distributors and dispense them to their patients for pennies on the dollar. DPC may be an answer for you to deal with rising healthcare costs, long waits to get into fee-for-service offices, and short impersonal office visits. Studies have shown that direct primary care can even decrease unnecessary testing, frequency of ER and hospital visits and lower overall healthcare costs.
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