Why choose the direct primary care model?
What is direct primary care? Why would you change to this model from a traditional primary care office? More importantly, why choose Dr. Tess at Garcia and Garcia Family Medicine – A Direct Primary Care of Eastern Jackson County? These are important questions. After all, we are talking about where to place your trust when it comes to your healthcare.
Direct primary care (DPC) has been gaining national momentum over the past few years as an alternative way for a primary care physician to model a practice. DPC practices charge patients a flat monthly or annual fee, under terms of a contract, in exchange for access to a broad range of primary care services. In a health care system that has become increasingly impersonal and overly complex, it places the emphasis back on the patient-physician relationship Everything about DPC is entirely designed to be patient-focused. This is because the physician is not putting the needs of an insurance company first. And in case you’re wondering, a DPC physician can still coordinate your care within the medical community. In fact she’ll have more time to devote to your care outside the clinic with hospitals, labs, imaging centers and specialists’ offices.
The biggest advantage to a patient who enrolls in a DPC practice is more time with his or her physician. Many research studies have shown that patients want more time and attention from their physician as well as easier access. DPC is primary care is distilled to its essence, the patient-doctor connection. With this model appointments are made when they are convenient for the patient, usually the same day. Visits are also longer- essentially as long as it takes to cover the issues at hand. You always see your doctor, and after hours your doctor is still on call for you, not a nurse call service or a covering provider. The goal of primary care is to help you feel better and live longer, and everything about DPC is set up with this in mind.
If the value of the DPC approach is time, attention and access, what is that worth in terms of a dollar amount? That’s a question each person has to answer individually, of course. However, by the time one has paid all the co-pays and deductibles plus medication and lab costs in a traditional model, it is entirely possible that amount is more than the fee for a DPC membership. At Garcia Family Medicine, we can look at your existing medication costs and lab fees and try to reduce them using our access to wholesale pricing and discount cards. Your insurance costs can also likely be reduced. Because you know your primary care is covered for the year, including cheaper labs and medications, perhaps it makes more sense to change to a high deductible plan or the less expensive of your employer’s insurance offerings. Many DPC patients save more than the annual membership fee and actually come out ahead financially.
Basically, Dr.Tess endeavors to provide the highest quality, personalized and comprehensive primary medical care you’ve ever experienced. She’ll answer the phone when you call, make herself available by text and e-mail, come to you for appointments when appropriate, and when it isn’t appropriate she’ll see you in the office when it works for you. Come and experience it for yourself. The feeling of security and knowledge that your PCP has your back allows you to better focus on what else is important in your life.