A Healthcare Solution We Can’t Afford to Ignore
There have been plenty of arguments over how to best deliver and for health care in the United States. But despite disagreements, there is one goal that virtually all stakeholders in the health care debate – policymakers, state governments, employers, health care providers, and the general public – share: better health care at a lower cost.
AAFP DPC Policy
The direct primary care (DPC) model is a variation of the retainer practice framework for primary care physicians. DPC practices charge patients a flat monthly or annual fee, under terms of a contract, in exchange for access to a broad range of primary care and medical administrative services. The retainer practice framework includes any practice model structured around direct contracting with patients/consumers for monthly or annual fees which serve to replace the traditional system of third party insurance coverage for primary care services. Typically, these “retainer fees” guarantee patients enhanced services such as 24/7 access to their personal physician, extended visits, electronic communications, in some cases home-based medical visits, and highly personalized, coordinated, and comprehensive care administration. The AAFP supports the physician and patient choice to, respectively, provide and receive healthcare in any ethical healthcare delivery system model, including the DPC practice-setting.
DPC engagement on a National Level
Instead of billing insurance, patients pay a monthly fee that covers nearly everything and doctors say it opens the door for them to help negotiate down prices patients pay to specialists if a specialist is needed.
Senator Rand Paul took in the stories from the office in Crestwood of Doctor Molly Rutherford who said she was inspired to start to this family practice 2 years ago after getting frustrated by the direction of the healthcare industry.
“We want to change the conversation, especially in DC,” Dr. Rutherford explained. “They keep talking about coverage which the real problem is the cost of healthcare and expanding coverage by the ACA has not changed that.”
Doctor Rutherford says she’s not “slamming” the Affordable Care Act known as “Obamacare” but she insists that changes in the health care law have not improved the actual care Americans receive.
She and the other doctors opened this Direct Primary Care office that involves a flat fee from $10 for children to $50, $75 or $100 per month for an adult depending upon their age. Patients, not an insurance company pays. There are allotted monthly visits, potential home visits, some emergency care and some labs are covered.