Direct primary care, or DPC for short, is a simple idea that solves a very complex problem.
As a DPC patient, you forge 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 very next day. Your doctor will stay on top of your health: running preventative tests, diagnosing you when you’re sick, prescribing medicines (and often dispensing them to you directly at wholesale prices — no extra trip to the pharmacy!), negotiating low prices on blood tests and scans, quickly addressing any health concerns or questions you have, and—if necessary—coordinating your care with specialists and hospitals. The vast majority of DPC doctors give you their cell phone number so you can text them with any questions!
How is this possible? By cutting insurance out of the picture. Insurance is fundamentally incompatible with providing comprehensive, 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. But—surprise, surprise—no insurance company will pay a doctor for answering one of your texts, reminding you to avoid red meat, answering on the first ring when you call, opening the door for you when you arrive at the office, or asking about your family!
In DPC, you pay a flat monthly membership fee, usually around the size of your cell phone bill. You can pay with your credit card—no more clipboards with pages of insurance paperwork.