Direct Primary Care is making health care more accessible for low income families! I’m personally a huge fan of DPC because it helps doctors serve their patients better by removing the interference of insurance companies.
Over the years, we’ve heard from hundreds of people who have never had health insurance because it’s just too expensive. Sometimes, our readers haven’t seen doctors in decades due to soaring health care costs. These readers often benefit from finding a free clinic or DPC provider in their area.
“Direct Primary Care (DPC) is a nationwide movement to “take medicine back,” explained Dr. Jenna Silakoski, owner and physician at North Idaho Direct Primary Care. “Physicians who practice like this take the middle men out of the system and put the relationship back between the patient and the physician. It’s a model that’s similar to a gym. For a low monthly fee (my average is about $74 per month), all primary, urgent, and preventative care (usually 30-60 minute appointments) are done in office at no additional expenses. There are no copays, no deductibles, and no hidden fees. Medicine should be transparent and relationship based. “
What is Direct Primary Care?
Direct Primary Care is a model where doctors accept payments directly from patients, cutting out the middleman of insurance companies. DPC providers typically charge a flat rate for a month or year in exchange for unlimited access to a suite of primary care services.
This simplifies the health care system by eliminating third-party payment providers like insurance companies. This reduces the overhead for the medical practice by reducing the number of staff required to negotiate with insurance companies, and it allows patients to get care without having to wait for insurance approval.
The American Academy of Family Physicians states that the Direct Primary Care model allows physicians to improve health outcomes and lower the overall cost of health care while also spending more time with their patients.
How does Direct Primary Care work?
Doctors who choose to offer Direct Primary Care allow patients to pay a monthly or annual fee in exchange for primary care services. Each DPC clinic sets their own rates and terms for these services.
The DPC model is often described as the Netflix of Medicine because it’s like a subscription or membership to your local doctor’s office. You pay a consistent monthly fee for access.
In exchange, you can visit your doctor with zero copays and get near-wholesale prices on medications, tests, and more. Some DPC doctors offer home visits, online visits, and other convenient options. You’ll get access to the full suite of services from your local provider at no extra cost. According to DPC Frontier, “most DPC memberships cost less than your monthly cell phone or cable bill.”
How do I find Direct Primary Care near me?
The easiest way to find a Direct Primary Care near you is to use the DPC Frontier Mapper. This system includes around 2,000 direct primary care practices across 48 states plus Washington DC.
The mapper includes all DPC clinics who meet the three criteria for direct care, even if they don’t self-describe as a direct care practice. Some clinics may be pure DPC, others may have a hybrid model that allows them to bill insurance in some cases.
The DPC Frontier Mapper is maintained by DPC Frontier, a research organization founded by Phil Eskew to help grow the DPC movement. It is based on their extensive research.
FAQs about Direct Primary Care
Since this is a completely revolutionary approach to health care, it’s natural that our readers have a lot of questions. If you’ve ever wondered about DPC, you may be able to find your answers in this section. If not, let us know in the comments below!
Does Direct Primary Care count as insurance?
DPC does not count as insurance, even though it may fulfill the individual mandate imposed by the Affordable Care Act. The DPC membership only works at one provider’s office and does not cover catastrophic or major medical events that require treatment elsewhere.
How many Direct Primary Care practices are there?
There are approximately 2,000 DPC practices in the United States as of December 2022.
How much does Direct Primary Care cost?
The average cost of Direct Primary Care is around $50-$100 per month. Each provider can set their own rates and define their own services.
What does Direct Primary Care cover?
Although each DPC office can customize their services, they’re all focused on primary care. These services typically cover the majority of non-specialized health care a person needs in their lifetime. A primary care provider can help you prevent and treat common illnesses. Some DPC providers may also offer mental health services and other care.