I’ve written a lot about how direct primary care (DPC) helps save money on health care claims because these doctors can spend more time with their patients by opting out of insurance. There are many different DPC models. Entrepreneurial-minded physicians are hanging their own shingles. Others are running their practices as non-profits in which patient membership fees offset the cost of charitable care provided to low-income patients unable to pay. And then there are larger organizations such as Paladina whose salaried physicians care for employees of large self-insured employers – like Union County.

This past week at the John Locke Foundation, Union County HR executive director Mark Watson presented the latest findings on cost savings for Union County DPC participants compared to workers who opt to stick with solely a consumer-driven health plan (CDHP).

I give you the key takeaways:

  • Of Union County’s 2,000 covered lives, 40% are DPC participants, while the remaining 60% are signed up with a consumer-driven high deductible (CDHP) plan.
  • DPC participants incur 38% less in medical expenses than CDHP participants, yielding annualized savings of $1,408,089.
  • DPC participants incur 37% less in prescription expenses compared to CDHP participants, yielding annualized savings of $269,680.
  • DPC participants spend 46% less out of pocket for prescription and medical expenses than CDHP patients, a $333,639 annualized savings.
  • 73% of DPC participants report significant improvement in their overall health since electing the DPC option.
  • Participants average 3.1 visits per year compared to 0.6 for those on a CDHP.

For the full presentation, view it here.