An increased use of the innovative health care delivery model called Direct Primary Care could lead to better outcomes for treatment of patients with chronic diseases, and that could mean cutting the incidence and severity of disabilities, according to this John Locke Foundation Policy Report.
For the nation’s health care system to slow the growth of health care spending and better manage the prevalence of chronic disease and its association with disabilities, patients need better access to health care, writes report author Katherine Restrepo, Director of Health Care Policy at the John Locke Foundation. In turn, providers need the flexibility to spend more time with their patients. By analyzing data, Restrepo makes the case that Direct Primary Care has a good record of addressing these concerns.
DPC is a health care business model that removes insurance companies from basic primary care. Patients pay a monthly fee averaging $75 and, in exchange, they have unrestricted access to their physician and unlimited access to a defined package of services. In most cases, primary care physicians are available around the clock, whether that’s in person or by phone, text, or email. DPC is also being used by Union County, North Carolina government, which has experienced savings in medical claims without sacrificing quality care. Restrepo urges state lawmakers to consider so-called “clarifying legislation.” Seventeen states have enacted this type of legislation that specifically defines DPC as not acting as insurance.
The author concludes that following suit in North Carolina would save providers from being subject to regulations from the N.C. Department of Insurance and would likely lead to a stronger DPC presence in the state.
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