Longitudinal care. Medical care is delivered by one provider in a variety of settings including, but not limited to, the office, home, workplace, or assisted-living facility. This care covers evening, nighttime, and weekend hours for urgent and emergent matters. If a medical problem is deemed too complex, the direct primary care provider consults and coordinates care with the appropriate sub-specialist.
Personal. Direct primary care practices tend to be quite small, generally limited to between 400 to 600 patients (compared to 2000-3000 in a traditional practice) allowing more personalized care.
Patient-oriented. Due to the small size and the direct payment structure of these practices, providers have plenty of time to spend with each patient. This ultimately saves the patient money by reducing unnecessary medications, bub-specialist appointments, ER visits, and hospital stays.
Autonomy. Direct primary care practices provide medical care that is not modified or dictated by insurance companies or government entities. Third-party interference is therefore a non-issue.
Convenience. Medical care is provided at a time and place that is most convenient for the patient. Some care can be delivered by webcam, email, or phone, saving the patient even more time and money.
Preventative Care. Direct primary care encourages wellness visits due to the nature of the prepaid membership feel Patients are more apt to seek preventative care since this fee has already been paid, ultimately decreasing unnecessary illness and other medical problems.
Above is an excerpt from “Direct Primary Care, What it is, How it’s different & Who it works best for” ebook by Dr. Richard Samuel, MD.
Fragmented care. Typical health care is delivered by multiple sub-specialists. The problem with having multiple medical professionals is even more affected by working after hours and on the weekends. Care is even more fragmented when you throw in urgent care or emergency rooms.
Impersonal. Larger doctor offices tend to be overcrowded and impersonal. The staff has to be larger to tend to the number of patients providing a more difficult relationship with each patient.
Production oriented. Most physicians who are a part of a large practice are in the mode of seeing a patient and providing them with a diagnosis as quickly as possible. Thus, providing them with the opportunity to move on to the next patient.
Third party interference. Once insurance and the government are involved in your medical decisions, your best interests are typically not taken into consideration.
Inconvenience. In large physician’s offices, you may not be able to schedule your appointment at a time that is conducive to your schedule. This means you may have to go to urgent care or spend time in overcrowded areas.
Hidden charges. Due to the fact the medical field does not have to publish all charges and fees, there is a lack of transparency. Many patients who pay for treatment out-of-pocket are often scared to seek medical care.