Direct primary care has experienced a growth in popularity in the past few years, primarily because it gives people a much more attractive option compared to traditional primary care. Its flexibility and potentially reduced overall cost make it an attractive option, so why aren’t more people moving to direct primary care for their healthcare needs?
Because this type of health care is relatively new, many people don’t fully understand how it works or why it could be a better option. As a result, there are still some misconceptions about direct primary care floating around that need to be addressed.
Today, we will dive deeper into the details about direct primary care and debunk the myths surrounding this healthcare option.
Myth #1: Direct Primary Care Causes a Primary Care Doctor Shortage
The direct primary care model is very attractive to primary care doctors because, in direct primary care, the patient load is much smaller. With a traditional healthcare practice (one that bills insurance), doctors must see many more patients, which means every patient gets less time with the physician.
The traditional medical practice setting is more likely to be the reason behind a shortage of primary care doctors. Physician burnout has become more common in busy practices where doctors can only spend a few minutes with each patient, have a higher patient load, and deal with insurance companies denying coverage for services they don’t deem medically necessary.
Conversely, in direct primary care, doctors have a smaller patient load and are less likely to experience burnout. It also leads to better care for members since physicians can spend more time with each one.
Myth #2. Direct Primary Care is More Expensive
Many people think that paying a low monthly fee for all your healthcare is ‘too good to be true,’ and there must be hidden expenses that will make it more expensive than traditional healthcare.
This is simply not true. Direct primary care clinics have lower overhead because they don’t have to pay for billing or deal with traditional insurance hassles. With lower overhead, they can afford to charge less than the cost of typical insurance premiums in many cases.
Considering that traditional healthcare costs include premiums, copays, deductibles, and coinsurance, most people are surprised to find that direct primary care is much lower, even if you have a separate ‘catastrophic coverage’ plan. With one payment covering most of your healthcare needs, it can seem too good to be true, but in reality, it simply makes good financial sense for many people to choose direct primary care.
Myth #3. Direct Primary Care Only Covers Office Visits
While it’s true that direct primary care includes coverage for office visits, it also covers so much more. Many direct primary care practices have plans that include lab tests, imaging, and prescription drug coverage, often at a negotiated rate that is much lower than members would pay if they used traditional healthcare providers.
While some services are not included with a direct primary care membership, you would be surprised at how much your primary care provider can do when they have time with you. Providers in the traditional system have on average of about 5-9 minutes to diagnose and treat your issue, where in direct primary care, your doctor can spend the time they need to do all they can within their scope of care. This means that direct primary care providers refer to specialists up to 90% less than traditional providers!
When something does come outside of the scope of the direct primary care provider, your doctor can coordinate with outside specialists when necessary to help ensure that you receive the best care possible. Since many people choose to add a ‘catastrophic coverage’ plan or high deductible health insurance policy, overall costs may still be lower than if you used traditional healthcare alone.
Myth #4. Direct Primary Care Doctors Aren’t Available When I Need Them
Many people worry that they won’t be able to see their doctor whenever they need to in direct primary care settings. While they may not see the same doctor at every visit, they will have access to an entire team of physicians that are available even for urgent care visits.
With direct primary care, members spend more time with their doctors, so they build a stronger relationship. Since every doctor at the clinic has access to every member’s medical history, it’s easy for members to move between physicians if they choose, or stick with the same doctor for every visit.
If care is needed urgently, direct primary care members can often be seen immediately or the next day. Plus, direct care physicians are available by telephone 24/7 to provide support and care at any time the members need it. The issue of availability simply isn’t an issue with direct primary care.
Myth #5. Direct Primary Care Isn’t Real Healthcare
Direct primary care is a relatively new concept. It’s not well-known, and for some, it can seem too good to be true. But it is a very real and valid form of healthcare that can save its members money and allow them to develop deeper relationships with their family healthcare providers.
Choose Assurance Healthcare Family Medical Clinic for Next Generation Primary Care
Your health should feel important to you and your healthcare provider, and the personalized and attentive care provided in the Direct Primary Care model is the best way to ensure this. If you’re tired of dealing with brief, impersonal appointments where there’s not enough time to address all of your concerns adequately, you can put your trust in the hands of Assurance Healthcare & Counseling Center.
Our simple membership plan promises same-day appointments for sickness & injury, unlimited visits, and medications and tests at a low, not-for-profit cost. Most importantly, you’ll get a provider who can make time for you and all of your concerns when you need their attention most. Contact our team now and learn more or to become a member.