Alternative Primary Care: A New Frontier?
By John Rossheim
Frustrated with spending too little time with each patient and too many hours on insurance administration, a small segment of family physicians across the country is trying out alternative models of primary care. Practice models by the names of direct primary care, micropractice and concierge medicine begin by refuting one or more long-held assumptions: that most office visits must consume less than 15 minutes; that overhead must continue to crowd out compensation for primary-care physicians; that insurance administration can create process bottlenecks.
These innovative efforts to provide better-coordinated, higher-quality, affordable care should interest hospital executives and clinicians since they further goals mandated by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) as well as by economic realities. Reduce readmissions. Reroute ED visits. Improve care coordination.
Direct Primary Care: Flat and Affordable Fee.
The premise of direct primary care is simple: It’s cheaper and much easier to just pay the doctor directly out of pocket for basic preventive care than to go through the administrative process of filing claims with private or public payers.
“You don’t need insurance for common medical events,” says Samir Qamar, MD, CEO of MedLion Direct Primary Care, which will soon expand from its current five California locations into Oregon, Washington and Florida.