Almost all women can benefit from having a personal physician to provide health advice and to turn to first when you are feeling under the weather. Unfortunately, many must choose between quality personalized care and affordability. But with the new experiment of direct primary care, more people can find a physician who is both attentive and cost effective.
Direct primary care refers to a new style of healthcare that takes negotiations outside the doctor’s office by eliminating the middleman of an insurance provider. Instead, patients pay a monthly fee in exchange for unlimited medical care from a physician who has time to spend with them.
This system of comprehensive primary care plans is often referred to as concierge medicine because it is on a cash-only basis. But it has proved effective in providing quality care for people who are otherwise uninsured, have high deductibles, or work for a union or small business that needs an alternative method of providing healthcare for its employees.
1. Better Care
One of the strongest arguments for direct primary care is that it reduces the number of patients a doctor must carry in order to hire an administrative staff to handle negotiations.
On average, a primary care doctor spends 15 minutes with his or her patient. But with concierge medicine, doctors only see about 6 to 8 patients a day. This allows them to devote anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes with ever appointment according to a three year analysis of direct care medicine. This is a huge benefit for the patient in a country where 1 out of every 2 doctors is already suffering from burnout.
2. A Cheaper Alternative to Traditional Insurance
Average fees for direct primary care memberships range from $50 to $150 a month for the typical adult. With this price comes the ability to visit the doctor as much as necessary. This has freed many people from making a choice between getting the help they need and saving limited funds.
3. Cheaper Lab Tests
Yet another benefit of concierge medicine is that the price of ordering lab results or certain tests usually is covered at cost by the physician. When a doctor orders a test directly from the lab something such as a cholesterol test can be done for $3, says CNN Money. But if a traditional insurance provider were to bill for the same work, the lab might charge as much as $90. This presents an incredible savings.
Because your doctor can spend an hour conferencing with you, it is easier to get the help you need and take care of even minor concerns that would be forgone in a traditional approach. Both doctors and patients have found what resembles the old-fashioned healthcare model to be a superior form of care because communication can happen frequently and produce improved outcomes.
5. More Doctors Near You
As more and more people realize the benefits of direct primary care, the number of concierge medical professionals is growing. Roughly 70% of direct primary care doctors in the U.S. practice specialized internal medicine according to PR Web, and the “second most popular medical specialty in concierge medicine is family practice.” Joining the ranks of cash-only medicine are a new number of cardiologists, dentists and pediatrics which opened practices between 2010 and 2012.