Your doctor will see you now. Really, now. Come on in! Forget about waiting for two months for an appointment, hours on hold, or a six-hour wait at an urgent care clinic. Your doctor can see you now; shoot them a text.
More and more primary care clinics are providing a more personal, accessible, convenient, and affordable health care option called direct primary care (DPC). This model focuses on patients rather than being dedicated to and dictated by insurance companies. Typically, for around $100 per month per adult and $50 per month for children, a simple direct text message straight to your doctor’s cell phone leads to a same-day appointment or maybe just a quick phone call back to answer your question without the need to spend time in the office.
Direct primary care cuts out insurance and provides 80 to 90 percent of health care needs for a fraction of the cost. It’s just a doctor and a patient; it’s that simple! Members can come into the office, call, text, or email their doctor as often as they need to without copays or visit fees – similar to how a gym membership works. In addition to unlimited, direct access to your doctor and 30 to 60-minute visits, members also have several in-office tests such as COVID-19, flu, and urinalysis, and in-office procedures like stitches and skin biopsies, all included in the monthly membership.
This conveniently accessible care saves money and also saves precious time. DPC can prevent frequent lab visits with their ability to draw blood in the exam room and can help members avoid long waits at the pharmacy by dispensing medications right from the office. And for a cherry on top, DPC sells their medications and blood work for a 70 to 80 percent savings off the retail price, which saves members even more money.
Members are recommended to maintain a low-premium health insurance plan for the big things like hospitalizations and major surgeries or even for routine blood work and screening tests if using insurance is advantageous. But direct primary care can provide 80 to 90 percent of your health care more conveniently, personally, and affordably. In this model, health insurance is used how it was meant to be – to prevent large debt from medical expenses, just like car and home insurance are used now. Can you imagine how much more expensive and cumbersome it would be if we had to go through our insurance companies to put gas in our cars, get our oil changes, or change the light bulbs in our homes?
Unlimited, direct access to your doctor without copays or visit fees.
Relaxed, 30-60-minute visits with minimal to no wait.
Several in-office tests and procedures included.
Save time with more convenient care and reduce trips to the pharmacy and lab.
Save money with more affordable care, 70 to 80 percent off medications, labs, and imaging, and reduce urgent care, ED, specialty, and hospital visits.
Simple, transparent billing.
Many, like myself, chose the direct primary care model because it feels like the corporate systems are more interested in getting paid and increasing profits than actually helping patients. And this prevents doctors from being the doctor they’ve always wanted to be, and their patients need them to be. So much time, energy, and money are spent on billing and insurance issues, and in DPC, all this time and energy can be spent on the patient, and all the money wasted can be saved. The DPC model is growing across the nation for good reason. At a minimum, the membership’s savings end up paying for itself. It can save patients thousands of dollars at its best while providing more convenient, personal, and accessible care.
Landen Green is a family physician.