Direct Primary Care, or DPC, is a “not so new” way of receiving excellent primary care.
In the era of hospital-owned physician practices and 3,000 patient caseloads, it’s refreshing to have a primary doctor focused on your health and wellness. DPC functions much like the family doctor of yesteryear—before healthcare became big business.
DPC doctors see fewer patients, offer virtual care, use text communication, and will do home visits when necessary. Many DPC doctors also dispense low-cost generic prescriptions directly from their offices. Think of it this way, instead of seeing a primary doctor who is required to funnel patients into costly healthcare settings—such as hospital-owned imaging centers, labs, and inpatient/outpatient facilities—you see a doctor who is free to honor 30-minute same-day appointments, refer you to high-quality low-cost providers, and fill a generic prescription on-site for a fraction of the “insurance” cost.
While DPC may be a new concept to employer-sponsored health Plans, their value is rooted in treating the patient, not in driving profits for a health system. As such, many central Pennsylvania employers see the value of DPC and now offer it within their sponsored health Plans. The benefit to businesses is clear: DPC doctors improve employee health and lower healthcare costs. Moreover, patients rave about the DPC experience.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
With an employer-sponsored DPC-Centric Plan, employees and their family members can choose DPC as their primary care. Furthermore, most employers incentivize participation by paying the monthly DPC membership fee for employees and their family members. Imagine offering $0 primary care knowing that patients will receive better, more individualized care and that your health Plan will be protected from overt steerage by physicians to costly downstream providers.
ARE THERE DPC PRACTICES IN PENNSYLVANIA?
As luck would have it, south-central Pennsylvania hosts several DPC practices. Our community leads in DPC’s per capita when compared with other areas across the country. This helps employers confidently embed DPC in their Plans. But as COVID has taught us, virtual care is here to stay, and proximity need not be the defining factor when choosing a healthcare provider.
To quote the CFO of a local business: “As a self-funded health Plan, we are obligated to pay network doctors, so why wouldn’t we pay our local doctors who we know, believe in, and trust?”
At the end of the day, it’s all about running a successful business. Don’t let the status quo dictate your options. Contact BCF Group for more information on how to offer a DPC-Centric Plan and make a win-win change for your Plan and your employees.