With skyrocketing health insurance premiums raging against our lifetime savings year after year, primary healthcare is now becoming a luxury rather than a basic necessity – However, is traditional primary care the only option we have to exercise our rights on basic medical amenities and care?
Direct Primary Care – The Revolutionary Primary Care Subscription-Based Practice
is revolutionizing the healthcare system by offering it a chance to repent for the national healthcare crisis we currently live in. To make it short before we delve into the nitty gritty of Direct Primary Care, there are three vital takeaways that you need to know to understand its basis:
- A pure membership-based model which charges a fixed fee for pre-defined services, without any hidden copays or deductibles.
- No affiliation with any insurance company, giving you a chance to opt for basic medical care free of any interference.
- More quality time with your doctor, allowing you to convey your symptoms and health queries without a ticking clock in the background.
If traditional primary care is equivalent to flying economy in a flight, DPC is the nouveau business class which is not only comfortable but also feels like a worthwhile upgrade.
The Direct Primary Care services at Manhattan Medical Arts range from $99 to 249 per person, offering the opportunity to not only get direct access to your general physician but also to a host of basic healthcare amenities that you rightfully deserve.
In addition to the low membership costs, DPC also ensures one-on-one consultation with your general physician In DPC, you will have the luxury to consult for 30 – 60 minutes with your GP, in contrast to the measly timed visits in conventional primary care.
This is only possible as DPC has a smaller pool of patients to take into attendance every month. In comparison to the 4000 patients per physician in conventional primary care, a physician in DPC can only provide care to a limited number of patients. In most DPC practices, this number has been chalked to 600 patients per month, making DPC an ideal route of family medicine practice for pre-existing as well as forthcoming doctors.
Why is Traditional Primary Care Losing Its Touch?
Shortage of Primary Care Doctors
Currently, the traditional primary care system is more focused on resolving symptoms rather than tackling the actual problem in the first place. The major reason? Physician saturation, of course.
Higher Patient Volume
With at least 40 patients or more to see every day, primary care physicians find it impossible to spend more than 15 minutes per patient on each visit. A high influx of patients not only leads to poor preventive care but also results in overworked and frustrated doctors who wish for their horrible day to end before it even starts.
Prolonged Waiting Time
Plus, due to the increasing pool of patients, there are huge waiting periods to navigate before you can actually book an appointment with your primary care physician. On average, booking an appointment in traditional primary care can take up to 24 days or even more.
Even if you do get lucky to book it within the urgent referral route, or in simpler words, within the two-week wait time, another ordeal awaits your arrival to the clinic – You guessed it!! The tedious waiting room agony, where a patient spends a minimum of 20 patients before they can be seen by their doctor.
Lengthy Insurance Paperwork
But, physician saturation isn’t the only problem with traditional primary care. Most of the trouble begins with the inclusion of an insurance company in the midst of a doctor-patient relationship. If you think that is all there is to the cons of traditional primary care, wait until you have to pay costly co-pays and deductibles on every visit.
Moreover, patients usually get the short end of the stick when seeking an affordable physician for basic healthcare. While the hunt can be extremely exhausting, not to mention, expensive, given the insurance plan you choose, having an intermediary mediate your doctor-patient relationship can also be limiting.
In addition to spending approximately 15 minutes per patient, the physician has to wade through wads of paperwork before they can begin assessing each patient.
There is another downside to practicing in conventional primary care. Doctors take an oath to dedicate their practice to taking care of their patients relentlessly. In traditional primary care, doctors are so easily burnt out that their oath to serve and practice well begins to hang loosely.
Given the harsh lifestyle of doctors in primary care practice and the inability to provide upfront healthcare with adequacy, advocacy, and preference, upcoming doctors get discouraged from opting for family medicine as a specialty in the first place.
How DPC Service Works – An Easy Outline
Direct Primary Care membership models have no hidden fees or expenses which would unravel at the end of a chosen procedure unexpectedly. DPC is also targeted towards preventive healthcare rather than simply treating symptoms and shoving each patient to the end of the backlogged waitlist month after month.
Each subscription plan brings its own fee-for-service criteria, and includes amenities that can be accessed at any time should the need occur.
Let’s take a sample subscription model from Manhattan Medical Arts’ Direct Primary Care services to explain how this works. Featured below are three subscription plans which, as shown, have varying pricing options and crisp outlines of offered amenities.
Compare the Essential health plan with the Select and Premier ones, to find the differences in the amenities that are offered with each plan. The Essential DPC plan charges a one-time monthly fee of $99 for seven broadscale services as well as discounts on imaging and screening tests.
The Select and Premier DPC subscription plans, on the other hand, offer additional services, which are stated in bold, for $149 and $249, respectively. Similar to the Essential DPC plan, each of the two premium plans also come with discounts on vaccinations, and imaging and screening tests.
Some DPC plans also provide discounts for family subscriptions, which you would be offered as an extra perk, if taken into account, by your DPC service provider.
By now, we have gotten a fair understanding of the pros and benefits to preferring Direct Primary Care over Traditional Healthcare. But, despite all efforts, DPC comes with its own set of cons.
- Direct Primary Care refers to Primary Care which is accessible directly to the patient without any interference from any third party or insurance company’s broker. But, as it only tends to primary care, you would still need insurance to cover expenses spent on specialist referrals, hospitalizations, and inpatient care.
- More physicians might enter family care medicine only to opt for placements in Direct Primary Care clinics to offer personalized care to every patient with utmost care and attention. But, this also means that more physicians may opt out of traditional primary care practice, giving less room for flexibility in appointments, and consequently, more saturation in physician consultations and errors in manhandling of paperwork and patients.
- While the DPC is fairly inexpensive as compared to costly insurance premiums for traditional primary care, you would still be spending money to keep the rest of your insurance plan afloat for dire emergencies.
- The DPC subscription model also creates a sense of hierarchy over those patients who could afford basic healthcare and insurance premiums for covering expensive unforeseen healthcare procedures and life-threatening emergencies.
The whole idea of the DPC program at Manhattan Medical Arts is to provide a holistic approach to conventional primary care, but many people might regard such subscription healthcare models as replacements for their major medical coverages. DPC members need full disclosure before opting for or upgrading their DPC program from a basic plan to a premium one as well.
– Disclaimer –
This blog is for informational & educational purposes only and does not intend to substitute any professional medical advice or consultation. For any symptoms or medical advice, please consult with your preventive care physician, call 911, or Book an appointment with our board-certified doctors at Manhattan Medical Arts.
If you want to learn more about Primary Direct Care then read these blog posts: Why choose membership-based Direct Primary Care? | Direct Primary Care: solving health insurance affordability issues | Here’s why DPC Healthcare Services should be your first choice | Understanding Direct Primary Care: Overview Of DPC Practice