What is Direct Primary Care?
Direct Primary Care, or DPC for short, is a simple idea that solves a very complex problem. It’s clear that the current system doesn’t seem to care about providing great care to the most important person in the equation- YOU. Have you ever scheduled an appointment, months in advance, only to sit in the waiting room for an hour, followed by a rushed 10-minute doctor visit? Or, after negotiating a time consuming “phone tree”, had to leave a message that took days to get a call back? Unfortunately, that seems to be par for the course these days.
DPC is different.
As a DPC patient, you develop a relationship with a doctor that knows you. No more scheduling months in advance; your DPC doctor is at your fingertips. If you need an in-person visit, you can usually book one the same day. If you need an answer to your question or an explanation of a visit you had with a specialist, you can talk directly to your doctor.
Your doctor will stay on top of your health: running preventative tests, diagnosing sickness, prescribing medicines, and addressing any health concerns or questions you have; and—if necessary—coordinating your care with specialists and hospitals. The vast majority of DPC doctors also give you the ability to text them with questions!
How is this possible? By cutting insurance out of the picture. Insurance is fundamentally incompatible with providing compassionate care. When a doctor bills your insurance, they are forced to submit an itemized list of each medical service they provided. If they don’t, they won’t get paid fully. But—surprise, surprise—insurance companies don’t typically pay a doctor for answering one of your texts or messages, reminding you to take care of yourself, jumping on the line when you call, or asking about your life/family!
How does DPC work?
DPC patients pay their physician directly in the form of monthly payments for a defined set of primary care services. DPC practices typically charge patients a flat monthly fee, under terms of a contract, in exchange for access to a broad range of primary care and medical administrative services. Typically, this arrangement provides patients with enhanced services over traditional fee-for-service insurance models. Such services may include real time access via advanced communication technology to their personal physician, extended visits, in some cases home-based medical visits, and highly personalized, coordinated, and comprehensive care.
The American Academy of Family Practice [www.AAFP.org] supports the physician and patient choice to, respectively, provide and receive healthcare in any ethical healthcare delivery system model, including the DPC practice-setting.
The DPC contract between a patient and his/her physician provides for regular, recurring monthly revenue to practices which typically replaces traditional fee-for-service billing to third party insurance plan providers. For Family Physicians, this revenue model allows the physician and office staff to focus on the needs of the patient and on improving their health outcomes rather than coding and billing. Patients, in turn, benefit from having a DPC practice because the contract fee covers the cost of many primary care services furnished in the DPC practice. This effectively removes any additional financial barriers the patient may encounter in accessing routine care primary care, including preventative, wellness, and chronic care services. Patients need to carry insurance for coverage of healthcare services that cannot be provided in the primary care practice setting, such as imaging, laboratory services, medications, specialist care and hospitalization costs. The model is especially well suited for those patients with high deductible plans where they might normally be paying out of pocket for any primary care services that are not considered preventive.
The DPC model is structured to emphasize and prioritize the intrinsic power of the relationship between a patient and his/her family physician to improve health outcomes and lower overall health care costs. The DPC model can enable physicians to spend more time with their patients, both in face-to-face visits, and through telephonic or electronic communications mediums should they choose, since they are not bound by insurance reimbursement restrictions.
Why Adirondack Direct Primary Care?
Dr. Garner has been providing “good home cooking” for 30 years here in Glens Falls. He likens it to the days of the Mom and Pop corner grocery store that meets your daily needs. This is healthcare like you have never experienced. It is like having a doctor in the family.
We would love to have you join our “Family.” Dr. Garner welcomes any questions that you may have and will speak to you directly. We offer a no charge Meet and Greet either virtually or in person. Call us at 518.798.9401. You can register as a new patient by clicking the PORTAL LOGIN/ENROLL tab on the home page.