Dr. Neuhofel, family physician and owner of NeuCare Family Medicine is ready to set the record straight. He took the time to tackle a few of the most widely spread rumors, including affordability and Dr. shortage.
Myth #1: DPC is Too Expensive
- Many DPC clinics were founded to help those who were struggling to afford care through traditional healthcare.
- “Concierge” doesn’t mean “high priced.” Rather, most DPC clinics charge on the lower end of the retainer spectrum, landing somewhere in the $30-50/month range.
- Savings are passed back to the patient in more ways than one: “discounts on labs, diagnostic testing, medications, procedures and more.”
“Just last week, I was able to provide nine doses of sumatriptan to a new patient for $8.12. She had previously been paying more than $100 per month through her insurance for the same amount of the drug.”
- In case it needs to be said, DPC patients get unlimited visits with their physician without a copay.
- DPC is adapting to the need for different payment models, and creating partnerships to further support membership.
- Because DPC physicians spend less money on overhead and less time on paperwork and other arbitrary processes, they alleviate the pressure on a generally expensive system.
Myth #2: DPC Will Worsen Our Primary Care Workforce Shortage
Dr. Neuhofel maintains that the PCP shortage is the result of decades of wrongdoing; he doesn’t see that trend going any differently. But isn’t taking fewer patients leaving other patients out in the cold? Dr. Neuhofel doesn’t think DPC is any different from the traditional model in that regard.
“Some primary care physicians stop taking new patients at 2,000 active patients, and others take on more than 4,000. Is the doctor with a smaller panel of 2,000 abandoning patients? In other words, what is an ethically “sufficient” panel size for a primary care physician? And who should be the arbiter of this theoretical obligation? I trust individual physicians to make that decision for themselves.”
In the end, Dr. Neuhofel’s message runs right along with the DPC mantra. He wants to do what’s best for his patients:
“Given that choosing between primary care and subspecialty care is a zero sum game, if DPC tips the balance in our favor, I think we can all agree that patients are better off.”