July Spotlight – Primary Care: A look at Direct Primary Care

Submitted by Kay Kerr, MD, System Chair, Family Practice

 

Despite the fact that Primary Care is the economic as well as the care basis in this era of Health Care Reform, it is an extremely difficult time for primary care physicians. “Optional” third party payer programs, which have substantial data reporting, require physicians to not only have an Electronic Medical Record, but also to be able to extract the necessary data and have the expertise to develop the reports.

 

This has led many physicians across the country to seek alternative ways of delivering primary care.  A movement that is rapidly developing popularity is “Direct Primary Care (DPC).” Unlike the “concierge” model, it offers accessible and affordable health care to patients in all socioeconomic groups.   Physicians in a DPC practice typically operate with low overhead because they don’t take insurance, they charge patients a monthly fee for easy access to care, and reduce their patient volume while their income and quality of care increases.

 

This form of practice is being highlighted at this year’s American Academy of Family Medicine National meeting in Washington DC October 21-25 with 3 interactive lectures and 4 expanded learning sessions.

 

The AAFP will also be holding a series of regional workshops aimed at giving family physicians information about transitioning to the DPC model of care.  One will be in January 2015 in Wilmington, Del.

 

For more information about Direct Primary Care link to the AAFP article at

 http://www.aafp.org/practice-management/payment/dpc.html

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