The ABCs of DPC – The Building Blocks of Healthcare [ What is Direct Primary Care and Why is it Important? ]
Direct Primary Care is an alternative payment model that provides members with access to their membership for a simple and affordable membership fee. The model encourages members to actively participate in their health by building a trusting relationship with their physician to conduct preventative exams, treat acute conditions, and detect and manage chronic illnesses before they become serious, among other services. DPC provides a solid foundation for members’ health and improves the quality and access to affordable and convenient primary medical care. Let us explore the current state of healthcare and how a health plan can use the ABCs of DPC to redefine healthcare delivery.1
The Current State of Healthcare
Healthcare expenses are rising. Recently, concerns such as long waiting-periods for acute illnesses, higher copays, and retail healthcare have shifted patients away from their Primary Care Physicians (PCPs), resulting in fragmented care, expensive outcomes, and overall healthcare avoidance.2
- A majority (70%) of polled Americans believe the state of healthcare has major problems and is in a state of crisis3
- Nearly 50% of adults do not have a primary healthcare provider,4 and the problem is worse among minorities
- The average waiting period for an in-office visit with a new primary care physician is 24 days5
This trend of moving away from PCPs drives healthcare costs up and worsens fragmented or unnecessary care. Many Americans6 have skipped recommended medical tests or treatments due to cost, and most say they have a problem paying their basic healthcare bills.7 Because of this avoidance and fragmentation, Americans are developing preventable conditions that are expensive to treat and manage.
- 92% of Americans have a problem paying basic healthcare bills8
- 50% of American adults avoid going to a PCP due to costs. 13% of that group said their condition got worse as a result9
- 50% of Americans have preventable, treatable chronic conditions,10 and these diseases typically cost more than $5,000 per person for care annually.11 For example, the average cost of treating diabetes is $9,601 per person12
For many Americans, our healthcare system is failing them. As health expenses rise, employers shift the financial responsibility of healthcare to their employees, often in the form of High Deductible Health Plans (HDHPs) – raising out-of-pocket costs and deductibles in exchange for fewer benefits, compounding the issue at hand.
- From 2006 to 2016 out of pocket spending increased by 54%, while deductibles increased by 176%. Employee wage growth was a mere 29%13
- The average deductible for a HDHP in 2020 is $2,50014
ABCs of DPC: The Building Blocks of Healthcare
Primary Care is the entry point into the healthcare system and is referred to as the foundation of healthcare. Primary Care Physicians (PCPs) treat a range of acute illnesses and are the first to see early signs of chronic diseases, cancer, or many other issues like depression. These physicians guarantee patients receive the right care in the right setting and establish a trusting relationship that inspires patients to participate in their health and wellness and seek care quicker when new issues arise.
Now imagine unlimited access to your primary care physician when and where you need them. By eliminating barriers to primary medical care, DPC allows affordable and convenient access to services on which members depend. The three building blocks of healthcare below establish the baseline for DPC memberships and guarantee the successful delivery of primary medical care.
- Lower Care Costs – For care performed within the DPC environment, there are no claims generated on the employer’s health plan, and there are no bills for members after receiving care. A review of 116 DPC practices found that the nationwide average for monthly membership fees were $77.38 per month, but can be as low as $45 per month15
- Better Employee Health – Patients achieve superior health outcomes with DPC’s personalized service delivery. Employees enrolled in direct primary care have 59 percent fewer ER visits, are referred to specialists 62 percent less often, have 65 percent fewer radiology exams and have 80 percent fewer surgeries16
- Better Patient Experience – Patients receive unrestricted access to physicians through multiple services. Common benefits include comprehensive primary services, such as routine care, regular checkups, preventive care, and care coordination.
Healthcare2U | A Coast-to-Coast Healthcare Membership
Because of their core values, Direct Primary Care (DPC) memberships lay a solid foundation for health plans that want to institute real change and redefine healthcare delivery. Unfortunately, traditional DPC practices are regionally based and may not provide a complete solution for a national or mobile workforce. That is where Healthcare2U comes in.
We are a nationwide, integrated direct primary care organization that has progressed the model’s benefits and removed its limitations. Our solution believes the primary care patient-physician relationship is the foundation for healthy living and is the key to reducing costs and eliminating healthcare barriers. By providing a nationwide solution to primary care, we bring affordability, accessibility, transparency, and mobility to our members. Are you ready to redefine the delivery of healthcare for your clients? Let’s get started.
Healthcare2U is a hybrid, integrated direct primary care (DPC) organization that ensures employers of all sizes and structures have nationwide access to affordable, consistent, and quality primary care over 40% below the average cost of traditional DPC practices operating in the market today. Through our proprietary Private Physician Network (PPN)™, Healthcare2U promotes healthy living by detecting, treating, and managing acute and chronic conditions before the onset of serious illness. Healthcare2U is headquartered in Austin, Texas, and is available nationwide.
2 Kaiser Health News
3 Gallup Poll
4 Fierce Healthcare
7 Kaiser Family Foundation
8 Kaiser Family Foundation
9 Kaiser Family Foundation
10 The Balance
13 Kaiser Family Foundation
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