AAFP Embraces DPC, Creates New Policy Guidelines

Wait, is this the same Association of American Family Practitioners who’s been used by dated critics to turn direct care into another Red Scare? They once warned, according to the LA Times, that direct primary care could lead to further shortage of doctors down the line. We, of course, knew better and said, No, unhappy doctors who refuse to practice altogether should be the real concern. We’ve been charging ahead, day-by-day, doing what we believe in, and the media is paying attention. Meanwhile, the AFFP maintained a strictly neutral opinion, to our awareness. But now it appears they’ve leapt off the fence and into our court, with a new article highlighting three direct care practices, including Atlas MD.

In the piece, the AAFP makes us out to be heroes for helping stitch up a patient after a dog bite. Dr. Doug handled the case in just 45 minutes, which is remarkable when you stop and consider any waiting room you’ve ever visited. And yes, while a bite is no laughing matter, we’d like to remind everyone that servicing patients is our job. We are not the saviors of healthcare, just people who like to work hard and feel rewarded for it. The article helps make a convincing case for direct care by including a cost breakdown of what the patient saved by subscribing to Atlas MD.

From Dr. Doug on AAFP.com:

“’We got him into an exam room by 10:15, washed out, sewn up and on the way home by 11 a.m.,’ said Doug Nunamaker, M.D…. He calculated that if the child had been treated at the local emergency room, his $680 bill wouldn’t even have included the physician’s fee. ‘That one episode was worth five years and eight months of membership for that child.’’’

Well played, Dr. Doug. We wish they’d added was that the stitches were free, as part of our subscription offer. So great, though, to see the logic we’ve been employing used in press. It’s a powerful message: You can get affordable care WITHOUT insurance. So simple. We’ve been saying it for years, and anticipating it for even longer.

The article continues with two other stories, one optimistic, one sadly not as successful. The piece uses Atlas MD’s success to make decisive points about direct care, going so far as to ask if it’s a Cure for Nation’s Physician Shortage? Seriously, that’s so far from warning people about exacerbated doctor shortages back in 2012. Maybe commonsense is actually rubbing off on people.

Also included is a sidebar with highlights from their newly created Guidelines for DPC. As you’d expect based on the article, they’ve finally seen the direct care light. Now they’re spreading the Gospel of insurance-free primary care.

More Reading
“Family Physicians, Patients Embrace Direct Primary Care” | AAFP