Direct Primary Care

Exploring Direct Primary Care and how we can redefine the delivery of healthcare

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Chronic Disease and the Impact of Primary Care Physicians

Eighty-five percent of primary care physicians admitted they don't have enough time to dedicate to their patient's chronic disease management needs.

As large segments of the population age and life becomes more stressful, chronic diseases are becoming increasingly prevalent across the U.S. With 75 percent of typical primary care visits for multiple chronic illnesses, primary care physicians are feeling this rise more than anyone else. And because of mounting pressure from insurance companies to see a high volume of patients, doctors are finding it hard to give their patients the care they deserve. 

The foundation of healthcare should be the relationship between a doctor and his patient, and primary care physicians know they are the gatekeepers to healthcare. Honorable physicians want to serve patients to the best of their abilities. Still, with the current healthcare machine, it seems many doctors are caught up in a system designed to serve big insurance companies instead.

Eighty-five percent of primary care physicians admitted they don't have enough time to dedicate to their patient's chronic disease management needs. Not only does this lead to frustration and burnout for doctors, it also leads to dissatisfaction for patients. The impending possibility of being denied insurance coverage because of their conditions can also add to a patient’s stress and frustration.

Currently, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has provisions that protect people from coverage denials for pre-existing conditions. Many Americans struggling to keep up with the cost of chronic disease management are waiting anxiously to see if the ACA will be repealed. If these ACA provisions are overturned, people with pre-existing chronic conditions could find it even more challenging to secure health insurance. 

With primary care physicians struggling to provide effective care and many patients struggling to find affordable insurance coverage to manage chronic illnesses, what can be done to remedy the situation? Many primary care physicians are walking away from the bureaucracy and red tape of the current health care system and adopting the direct primary care (DPC) model.

The DPC model is a win-win for primary care physicians and patients because it allows doctors to take their practices out of the hands of big insurance and offer services at a reasonable and transparent cost. Another benefit is the ability to provide patients affordable medication at a fraction of the average rate. In other words, they can simplify things and get back to putting patients first.

Benefits for members can vary, but typically include lower out-of-pocket costs for a wide range of primary and chronic services. Chronic diseases aren't only putting a huge dent in the wallets of the insured, they also cost employers millions.

In addition to lowering costs, DPC also removes additional barriers to healthcare such as transportation and scheduling limitations for patients who need care. Through additional services like Virtual DPC or Telemedicine, doctors can see patients who don't have access to transportation or who may be traveling. Patients can even call after hours to get guidance over the phone. 

With the cost savings and added benefits to primary care physicians, patients, and employers, DPC is becoming a more accessible and valuable option for organizations of all sizes and structures. For more information on making healthcare more accessible and affordable for your employees, contact Healthcare2U.