Updated: Mar 24, 2022
Direct Primary Care (DPC) is just that. I work DIRECTLY for my patients. In fact, since opening my DPC practice – Tailored Pediatric Medicine – I’ve recognized that this is the most amazing, patient-centered model of healthcare!
I knew that making it easier to call your doctor, text pictures of a rash, and get timely answers to questions, would be an incredible benefit for my patients, but there is so much more depth to the patient/family benefits in a DPC practice.
I would suggest DPC results in healthier children, less anxiety for parents and the potential for lower healthcare spending for your family or household.
Direct Primary Care is actually very simple, but it is so novel in some areas of the country that it initially seems confusing. My practice is a pediatric DPC based on a monthly membership fee. Patients (or really their families), pay a set monthly fee, as you would at a gym, and then all the care I provide is included. That’s it.
No, there is no separate charge for visits, there are no co-payments when you come to the office, there are no line-item add-ons not covered under the membership. My one exception is for molecular COVID tests (equivalent to a PCR), because they are too expensive for me to include, so I simply offer them at cost for my patients.
The monthly membership includes all well-child visits, all sick visits, telehealth visits, vaccines, and all other testing available in my office.
The best part about this membership model is that I do not accept insurance. Wait, what?? That sounds unusual but it turns out health insurance companies have a lot of rules. When they decide what they are going to pay, doctors must see more and more patients to stay afloat financially. I could never take an hour for my well-visits, talk on the phone to parents when they have a question, or answer about 50 percent of your questions by secure text, if I accepted insurance. I would not be able to stay in business for a month.
So, since I do not have to follow health insurance rules, I answer questions in the most appropriate way for my patients and am able to consider what is medically smart. I meet families where they are, rather than having them conform to a giant inflexible system. This means I get to do home visits for all my new babies, which is incredibly fun! I get to crawl around on the floor after a toddler, while pretending to eat the wooden fruit in my waiting room, because there is only one patient in the office at a time. I get to text directly with my teenage patients, helping them to learn independence and take charge of their health.
A set monthly membership fee per child, no insurance accepted (hence the name DIRECT primary care; I work DIRECTLY for patients), and basically everything is included. Oh wait, did I mention a lot more attention, convenience, and time to address ALL medical concerns, which leads to less stress and better care for families?
Did I mention that I also love what I do and now love the practice of medicine again?!❤️