Why Partner with us to Provide Direct Primary Care to your employees?
Direct primary care is a popular alternative to traditional fee-for-service insurance billing. Most widely adopted in the individual market, the model allows doctors to spend more time with each patient as a result of smaller patient pools and less administrative paperwork. Employers can also take advantage of the benefits of direct primary care by offering access to their employee populations. It’s a convenient way to provide quality care, improve employee health and provide a competitive benefit for recruitment and retention.
What would direct primary care mean for my employees?
The doctor/patient relationship is deemed to be the core component in the ethical practices of medicine. Increased healthcare costs remain an unfortunate topic that goes hand-in-hand with the decline of primary care visits. Simply put, many people do not have a doctor or avoid seeing their doctor due to barriers like cost or appointment availability. The need for a more personalized doctor/patient relationship that promotes preventive care and easy accessibility is why direct primary care (DPC) is one of the fastest-growing alternatives to traditional fee-for-service healthcare.
We often hear patients make stark contrasts between what they are used to and the type of care they receive in a direct primary care setting. Many employees are frustrated with what they’re used to in a traditional setting. For the time and effort employees invest in seeking medical care, they don’t get much in return.
Research looking at Traditional Primary Care practices published in the American Journal of Managed Care estimates that it takes an average of 121 minutes each time a patient seeks medical care, including 37 minutes of travel time and 87 minutes at the clinic.
Out of those 121 minutes, patients spend 8-12 minutes face-to-face with their doctor. That’s less than 10% of the total time patients invest in seeking care.
Direct primary care flips this narrative. A smaller patient pool (typically 800 depending on membership age) and lower administrative burden allow physicians to spend as much time as necessary with each patient – whether it’s a 45-minute discussion of multiple issues or a quick phone call. Clinics also accept same-day appointments.
This drastic change in experience can have life-changing impacts on patient health. Employees are more willing to seek out care for chronic conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure when they know their doctor will listen to them and work with them to develop a plan of action.
Employees also welcome immediate financial savings at the point of care: employees pay nothing out-of-pocket to use the clinic. Say goodbye to co-pays.
You’ll see the approaches differ in three very significant ways:
- Emphasis on complete patient care, not volume or paperwork:
To see the 24-30 patients a day in a traditional practice, doctors must limit the time spent with each patient. A 2017 survey revealed six out of ten physicians agreed with the following statement: “My visits with patients are often too short for me to answer their questions and treat them effectively.”
In the direct primary care model, smaller patient panels allow physicians to spend as much time as needed with each patient, ensuring no question goes unanswered. The physician operates independently from your traditional insurance, meaning clinic staff is not burdened with claims processing and can focus on delivering patient care.
- Long-term treatment and management of health conditions versus episodic:
Episodic care, when employees rush to specialists, Urgent Care or the ER for escalated health issues, is expensive and fragmented. In contrast, the additional time built into the direct primary care model allows physicians to uncover future potential risks or health issues before they become catastrophic – something that can’t be done in an 8-12 minute visit.
Whether employees are in need of long-term care for chronic conditions or are maintaining their current health status, the clinic becomes their medical home, and the physician their singular point of care.
- A focus on cost-effective referrals and coordination:
Physicians in a direct primary care clinic take the time to provide a broader scope of care, drastically reducing the number of specialist referrals (1 in 3 patients are referred out in a traditional system). When patients are referred outside of the clinic, care doesn’t end there. The physician coordinates with fair-price providers and advocates for each patient, generating savings for them and for your health plan
Traditional Primary Care -VS- Direct Primary Care
Production Driven and Impersonal:
Traditional Primary Care practices (TPC) tend to be larger to help accommodate the significant patient volume, paperwork, and diverse patient mix, including walk-ins, insured and uninsured patients, and more. These complexities can make it common for your employees to see someone other than their Primary Care Doctor.
As patient count increases, so does wait time. With a primary care doctors handling all patients and paperwork, their time with each patient is limited. Add in long hours in the waiting room, and your employees are likely to opt-out of visiting their primary care doctor.
Patient-Driven and Personal:
It’s important to know that no two DPC models are exactly alike. However, on average, DPC practices typically care for 1/3 of the patients that TPC settings do. Because our DPC practices are much smaller, the emphasis is on personalized care, your employees will always see their Primary Care Doctor every appointment, helping to form a trusted doctor-patient relationship.
A Focus on Preventive Care:
The DPC doctor advocates and promotes wellness visits due to the personal touch of our small practice. Your employees will feel more comfortable seeking preventive care, reducing unnecessary illness and additional medical issues.
Varies Per Service:
Primary Care Doctors charge an individual fee per service and treatment in TPC settings. Additionally, any chronic conditions or issues brought up during the appointment could increase the cost of their visit.
Unlike most businesses, traditional primary care practices don’t provide charges and fees upfront.
With our DPC, employers pay a monthly membership fee to give their employees access to the clinic, which includes unlimited visits and time with their dedicated doctor.
Companies pay a per-member per-month fee that gives employees access to the DPC office with a dedicated doctor. Employee membership is 100% voluntary, with no out-of-pocket charges anytime they visit the office for primary care services.
Packed offices and schedules often limit appointment time options for your employees, making waits to see the doctor weeks away. It may also be inconvenient for employees to take time off work to commute to a doctor’s office and wait in the waiting room for an hour or more only to see their Primary Care Doctor for about 15 minutes.
Our DPC solution offers customized plans that help your employees get easy access to their primary care doctor. Same day or next day office visits, virtual telemedicine visits, and 24 hour access by telephone to their doctor.
Based on Availability:
Seeing a Primary Care Doctor is based on their limited availability.
Schedule an Appointment
Same-day visits are few and far between and usually result in seeing a nurse or different doctor based on availability
A Dedicated Doctor:
Your employee’s Primary Care Doctor will be the only doctor they see each visit.
Easy, Direct Access:
Your employees can expect same day visits, direct phone access, and can email, or chat with their doctor anytime. No more being directed to the nurse’s station or being placed on hold for hours.
Why should your business embrace direct primary care?
Employers should embrace direct primary care because it offers a proven alternative to a system that doesn’t work. Employers should be attracted to the idea of an independent physician who is compensated in a way that delivers quality care and lowers costs.
The impact of this idea expands into the strength of your workforce. Because direct primary care provides a better and more convenient experience, healthcare becomes a recruitment and retention tool. Employees who make use of DCP provider spend less time away from work and are more productive.
The direct primary care model is also cost-effective. It complements an existing group health insurance plan, and employers bypass insurance companies to pay for care directly. In addition to managing potential catastrophic claims in the future, employers can achieve up to a 20% reduction in total healthcare costs.
Call to schedule a meeting to discuss options for your business today.