Dave Chase continues his Forbes expose awakening business and industry types to the benefits of direct primary care (DPC). Now having interviewed more and more DPC consumers, the recurring theme to their comments is something like “it’s too good to be true.” That’s a concern we had. You have this straight-forward, commonsense approach that saves everyone time, cuts insurance expenditures, cuts downstream high-cost treatments and can make doctors more money… The people who experience it love it. But how do we convince other people that it’s really happening, when happy patients can’t even believe it?
Dave writes about being stunned by the low awareness of DPC amongst healthcare executives. He’s dismayed since the data and feedback says it’s a no-brainer: DPC will improve healthcare providers’ perception amongst consumers. He’s not surprised, though, that health plans are thinking on their toes and preparing aggressive DPC plus high deductible wraparound packages that will take marketshare from their less entrepreneurial competitors. Actually, we’re involved in those discussions as well, since we know it behooves everyone. We can enroll more patients since they won’t feel like they’re double paying for a plan that includes primary care that would go unused. And even the insurance companies win, by seeing less payouts in the long run thanks to preventative care.
According to Forbes, broad studies still need to be done to get a more complete picture of DPC satisfaction. However, it’s agreed that there is generally very low awareness that our model exists. We know this from the emails that come pouring in asking us the same questions. That’s why we’re began a podcast to go over questions that we see in our inbox frequently.
Keep in mind, the paper Dave references is limited to a “sampling of consumer interviews, 3rd party review sites such as Yelp and studies done by the DPC practices themselves.” That said, Dr. Palomino acquired 150 patients in his first two months of practicing here at Atlas MD, a far cry from our expected 10 sign-ups per month.
Here’s our favorite part of Dave’s article. He created two flowcharts, one depicting the process for a typical fee-for-service primary care visit and another our DPC model. This is powerful communication. The visual comparison goes beyond words in its ability to express the congestion of a healthcare system knotted in red tape. Have a look and if you can, share with any interested colleagues.