I was intrigued to see the article that I named the title of this post after over on Business Insider, as just a few months ago I set up a similar model in my naturopathic practice.
It seems that some allopathic(medical) doctors are shifting to somewhat of a new business model where the patients pay a monthly fee and have access to services at significant discounts.
I set up a similar model a few months back as I noted above, and it has the ability to save patients/clients significant amounts of money.
The article details how what that call "direct primary care works" in pointing out:
"For Brent Long and his family, paying for healthcare is now like paying a cellphone bill. Since they joined Black Bag Family Healthcare in Johnson City, Tennessee, about two years ago, the family has paid about $150 a month to belong to the practice. Long joined around the time he was shifting his insurance to a high-deductible health plan. There were two reasons he decided to switch and start paying for all six members of his family to get direct primary care: the cost-effectiveness of not having to deal with copays or urgent-care visits, and the fact that it could easily fit his family's busy lifestyle that doesn't jibe with spending hours in waiting rooms."
The article goes on to say further that: "Included in that monthly fee are basic checkups, same-day or next-day appointments, and — a big boon to patients — the ability to obtain medications and lab tests at or near wholesale prices."
I think that this is an excellent system, as it does not lock a person into this program; if they choose to do so they can still go the old way or they can choose to go with this new system.
Interestingly enough the things that they mention in this article are things that natural practitioner have been innovators in doing.
The article continues: "Direct primary care also comes with near-constant access to a doctor — talking via FaceTime while the family is on vacation,...Because direct primary care doesn't take insurance, there are no copays and no costs beyond the monthly fee."
Many natural practitioners have actually used the concept of providing natural health consultations or protocols via FaceTime or Skype or by telephone for years!
Something else that I found exceedingly interesting in the article is the concept of the direct primary care providers actually sitting down and spending time with their patients.
This is a concept that has been foreign to medical doctors for years, as attested to by the various complaints, by their patients of their not not spending more than about 10 or 15 minutes with them. Herbalists, naturopaths, etc. routinely spend an hour or more with the clients that they work with. So I was surprised to read in this article...
"When Blythe Fortin went in for a recent visit at sparkMD, a direct-primary-care practice in Boise, Idaho, Dr. Julie Gunther spent an hour chatting with her before getting to the results of her blood test, which showed elevated blood-sugar levels."She listened when I said I can manage with diet," rather than starting her on medication, Fortin said."
The article is very insightful and it appears that this is the way much of healthcare is headed.
You can read the entire article HERE