By Michael Tetreault | Editor-In-Chief | Concierge Medicine Today
NOVEMBER 13, 2009 – Direct primary care (DPC) is a term often linked to its companion in health care, ‘concierge medicine.’ Although the two terms are similar and belong to the same family, concierge medicine is a term that fully embraces or ‘includes’ many different health care delivery models, direct primary care being one of them.
DPC practices, similar in philosophy to their concierge medicine lineage – bypass insurance and go for a more ‘direct’ financial relationship with patients and also provide comprehensive care and preventive services for an affordable fee. However, DPC is only one branch in the family tree of concierge medicine.
DPC, like concierge health care practices, remove many of the financial barriers to ‘accessing’ care whenever care is needed. There are no insurance co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance fees. DPC practices also do not typically accept insurance payments, thus avoiding the overhead and complexity of maintaining relationships with insurers, which can consume as much as $0.40 of each medical dollar spent (See Sources Below).
According to sources (see below) DPC is a ‘mass-market variant of concierge medicine, distinguished by its low prices.’ Simply stated, the biggest difference between ‘direct primary care’ and retainer based practices is that DPC takes a low, flat rate fee whereas omodels, (although plans may vary by practice) – usually charge an annual retainer fee and promise more ‘access’ to the doctor.
“This primary care business model [direct primary care] gives these type of providers the time to deliver more personalized care to their patients and pursue a comprehensive medical home approach,” said Norm Wu, CEO of Qliance Medical Management based in Seattle, Washington. “One in which the provider’s incentives are fully aligned with the patient’s incentives.”
About Concierge Medicine Today
Nearly a decade ago, Editor-In-Chief, Michael Tetreault created Concierge Medicine Today to fill an information void he found when he began researching concierge medicine and retainer-based medicine in Atlanta, GA. Michael, with his background in public relations, journalism and healthcare advocacy, found that there was no central repository of concierge medicine, direct primary care or retainer-based information anywhere on the internet, and with that, the idea for Concierge Medicine Today (CMT), Concierge Medicine Canada and The Concierge Medicine Research Collective were born.
Concierge Medicine Today (CMT), is a news and multi-media organization that is the industry’s oldest and most respected national trade publication for the concierge medicine and direct primary care marketplace. Our web site is the online destination for people and physicians to go deeper into the top stories driving the conversation and generating the national buzz about concierge healthcare and direct primary care.
I have been covering this industry for nearly a decade now. I have kept an eye on many of the concierge doctors that have opened since 1996 and watched as many have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. At the same time, I have seen many concierge doctors flounder. Ouf of the thousands of stories we’ve reported, written and researched over the years, one thing is clear — running a concierge practice is not an easy road to follow. If done properly it can be the most rewarding venture doctors will ever enter into. With thousands of unique visitors every month, ConciergeMedicineToday.com has become the leading digital resource for timely, trusted health news and concierge medical information.
References and Sources
“Doc This Way!: Tech-Savvy Patients and Pros Work Up Healthcare 2.0”. New York Post. 4/7/2009.
Who Killed Marcus Welby? from Seattle’s The Stranger, 1/23/2008
“Direct Medical Practice – The Uninsured Solution to the Primary Medical Care Mess” with Dr. Garrison Bliss (Qliance Medical Group of WA).
“Direct Primary Care: A New Brew In Seattle”. Harvard Medical School – WebWeekly. 2008-03-03.
Michael Tetreault Editor-In-Chief Concierge Medicine Today URL: http://www.ConciergeMedicineToday.com Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/conciergemd E: Editor@conciergemedicinetoday.com T: (678) 597-2559
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