by Katherine Restrepo
Director of Health Care Policy, John Locke Foundation
More and more primary care physicians are severing their contracts with insurance companies. Cutting ties not only grants physicians more time with their patients, but also allows them to deliver basic health care services at a lower cost since 40 percent of overhead is no longer being spent on getting paid by private and public payers.
Direct primary care (DPC) is a true representation of value-based medicine. In exchange for an age-based periodic fee, patients can schedule same-day appointments and receive services that may include but are not limited to comprehensive annual physicals, EKG testing, joint injections, laceration repairs, and skin biopsies. Industry-wide data show that average monthly memberships vary from $25 to $85.
Now that double-digit health insurance premium increases, narrower coverage networks, and rushed medical visits are taking the stage due to the Affordable Care Act, DPC may be a more appealing option for health care consumers who want to enjoy the traditional doctor-patient relationship.
To date, there are about twelve DPC practices in North Carolina, located between Asheville in the west and Williamston in the east.
Read here for more information on this simple and effective business model.