“Why should I pay for insurance and a healthcare subscription?” We get asked this question quite often. Direct Primary Care (DPC) is a relatively new healthcare experience based on an old model of healthcare. It wasn’t that long ago that family doctors were the primary source of care in a community. They were available to you when you needed them, charged reasonable fees, and even made house calls. They developed real, long term relationships in their practice.
Now, fast forward to 2018.
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation/Health Research & Education Trust 2017 Employer Health Benefits Survey, "Annual premiums for employer-sponsored family health coverage reached $18,764 this year, up 3% from last year, with workers on average paying $5,714 towards the cost of their coverage". Additionally, the Society for Human Resource Management reported the average deductible to be "$1088 for individuals and $2421 for families". That is only a few hundred dollars short of the IRS definition for a high deductible health plan which set a deductible threshold in 2017 of $1,300 for individuals and $2,600 for families. And the high deductible health plans have much lower premiums. Not only is insurance expensive and deductibles high, the working environment on healthcare providers has suffered as well.
A 2012 study found that physicians spend only 22 minutes per patient encounter, with face to face time around 8 minutes. Nearly half their day is spent on documentation and administrative tasks. They have 93.2 patient encounters each week and have an average panel size of 2,300 patients! What’s more? The rate of physician burnout is higher now than ever! In a recent survey by Medscape, 46% of physicians reported career burnout. Something must change!
Direct Primary Care is a meaningful alternative to traditional healthcare. For a simple, affordable, and transparent monthly fee you can get most of your primary care services covered. Even better, there is no copay, no deductible, and no insurance to get between you and your healthcare provider. You also have access to at-cost labs, discounted medications, imaging, and unlimited visits with your healthcare provider. Oftentimes these visits can be performed via telemedicine platforms, saving you even more time. No need to leave your work or home to see a provider.
Healthcare providers love the DPC model, too. They report better work-life balance, significantly more time with patients, 35 minutes vs. 22 minutes under an insurance model, and report they have time to perform more medical research and stay up-to-date on new therapies. This means better care for you and your family.
DPC models will save you both time and money. So replace your high premium insurance plan with a high deductible and HSA plan. You can also consider one of the many Medical Cost Sharing Networks. A few of these will even pay a part of your monthly DPC fee. Talk about innovative!
At 5900 Health, we believe in providing complete and holistic primary care using this innovative model. So, if you are ready to take back your healthcare, then schedule your free phone consultation today and let’s change the way healthcare is done!
Jordan Bernard APRN, FNP-C
3. Shanafelt T, Goh J, Sinsky, C. The Business Case for Investing in Physician Well-being. JAMA Intern Med. 2017;177(12):1826–1832. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2017.4340