Direct Primary Care

Paper Topic 2 Direct Primary Care Direct Primary Care (DPC) is a practice and payment model where patients/consumers pay their physician or practice directly (not through a third party) in the form of fixed monthly or annual payment. In return, patients gain access to a broad range of primary care and medical administrative services. This DPC model has become increasingly popular with physicians. The American Academy of Family Physicians lists the benefits of the DPC model: more time with patients, simplified revenue structure, decreased practice overhead, and reduced administrative burden. In 1 a DPC pilot program, DigitalGlobe enrolled 205 of 971 employees and found a 25.4 percent reduction in per-member per-month costs for enrolled employees as well as enhanced patient satisfaction. Patient satisfaction appears to be higher under DPC because patients spend more 2 time with their doctors and less time talking with insurance companies.3 Physicians may be concerned about adopting the DPC model because some state insurance commissioners have threatened criminal prosecution. In response, many states 4 (twenty-six at the time of writing this prompt) have passed bills that DPC is not classified as insurance. Is a DPC contract an insurance contract? What regulations does DPC avoid when it is 5 not classified as insurance? What are the benefits to patients and providers? Are there any costs? Evaluate the claims that DPC leads to cost reductions, enhanced patient satisfaction, and improved health outcomes. Is DPC a viable free-market alternative that addresses concerns about rising healthcare costs and desires to maintain or improve quality? Remember that your paper should be structured as an academic essay which includes an introduction, body, and conclusion and that your first paragraph should state your normative view. You’ll also need to incorporate at least two outside sources (beyond those listed here) to support your arguments. For a full discussion of paper requirements, be sure to refer back to the rubric and paper instructions. 1American Academy of Family Physicians “Direct Primary Care” https://www.aafp.org/family-physician/practice-and-career/delivery-payment-models/direct-primary-care.html 2 Nextera Healthcare (2016) “Nextera Healthcare, DigitalGlobe case study highlights health benefits, cost savings of direct primary care. Double-digit reduction in costs leads to company-wide DPC implementation for 2017” https://nexterahealthcare.com/nextera-healthcare-digitalglobe-case-study-highlights-health-benefits-cost-savings-dir ect-primary-care-double-digit-reduction-costs-leads-company-wide-dpc-implementation-2017/ 3Kirchheimer, Sid (2013) “The Doctor Will See You but Not Your Insurance” AARP. August 6, 2013. https://www.aarp.org/health/health-insurance/info-08-2013/direct-primary-care.html 4 Eskew, Philip (2015) “Direct Primary Care: A Legal and Regulatory Review of an Emerging Practice Model,” The Heartland Institute. https://www.heartland.org/_template-assets/documents/publications/10_eskew_phillip-nocover.pdf 5 Havlak, Julie (2020) “General Assembly closer to giving direct primary care docs legal protection” Carolina Journal. June 4, 2020 https://www.carolinajournal.com/news-article/general-assembly-closer-to-giving-direct-primary-care-docs-legal-pro tection/

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