Colin Irish, DO
Since I first became a doctor, the American healthcare system has changed drastically. The federal government, large hospital corporations, and private insurance companies make even the most basic primary care services expensive and hard to access, even if you pay a hefty health insurance premium. Due to restrictive laws and policies passed over the past few years, individualized care has flown out the window as physicians work twice as hard to see as many patients in one day as possible just to cover overhead costs and meet patient quotas.
Prescription drug sales drive medical decisions daily. Patients get to spend just 15 to 20 minutes with their family doctor maybe once or twice per year. All of those options are unacceptable to me and work against the reasons why I became a primary care physician. I care about people and I want to focus on the patients I serve, and that’s why I decided to switch to the direct primary care model of medicine.
Direct Primary Care, or DPC, departs from traditional insurance-based models of primary care and provides patients with more direct attention from their physician when they need it. Building a relationship with your doctor is nothing revolutionary; it’s just the fastest path to better health. For example, DPC subscribers report 26% reduction in hospital admissions and 40% fewer ER visits (Society of Actuaries, 2020)
Direct Primary Care allows patients to pay a physician directly, whether they have insurance or not. By working directly with my patients and cutting out the middleman, I’m able to lower my costs while simultaneously improving access to care by providing more time to patients and decreasing waiting times. This gives my patients more one-on-one attention from me at affordable cash pricing.
Appointments with me last up to an hour in order to allow my patients ample time to fully explain any health problems and receive the proper hands-on care they require. This ensures enough time for me as the doctor to truly understand their problems and explain my treatments. All office visits are covered under a monthly fee, including an annual wellness visit. The monthly membership also provides access to me through telemedicine and email, so I can answer any questions or discuss immediate health concerns.
How is DPC different?
Unlike insurance-based care, DPC gives you access to unlimited doctor visits and more time with your doctor. Many direct primary care patients keep their high-deductible insurance and catastrophic care policies for medical testing, lab work, specialist visits, surgeries and emergencies. Insured patients can typically receive reimbursement from insurance carriers for care received in a DPC practice by filing a claim with an itemized bill for review, which the doctor can provide upon request. Your DPC Physician retains the ability to order any tests or refer to specialists just as they have in a traditional practice.
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