What Our Direct Primary Care Patients Look Like

Direct primary care patients

Direct primary care (DPC) patients have the opportunity to spend more time with their doctors, communicate more regularly about their healthcare, and avoid the interference of profit-minded insurance companies. Patients at DPC clinics enjoy significant health and wellness benefits and tend to have more access to primary care in general. 

Yet, many people don’t think that they “fit” within a DPC model. 

In part, that’s because many people misunderstand what direct primary care clinics do and who they work for. The reality is that a broad variety of individuals can benefit from DPC-style care. And we’re taking a look at our own demographics here at Progressive Health Primary Care to show just how broad the appeal of direct primary care can be. With over 277 patients as of June 2023 (163 women and 114 men), we hope this will present a more accurate view of who a direct primary care clinic can serve (including you).

Myth: People With Health Insurance Do Not Join a DPC Practice

As a DPC practice, we do not accept health insurance. So the origin of this myth is understandable. However, the reality is that the vast majority of our patients do indeed already have some form of health insurance.

Here’s how it breaks down:

  • 80% of patients have commercial health insurance.
  • 17% of patients have Medicare.
  • 2.8% of patients are uninsured.

Why are patients willing to pay a membership fee on top of their existing insurance premiums? 

Largely, it’s because patients are frustrated by their insurance and find it lacking–so they go searching for other solutions. After all, good primary care can reduce the need for specialist care down the road–and our patients want problems caught as early as possible. Because they’re able to spend more time with their primary care doctor, they spend less time (and money) on specialists. 

Even though there’s a monthly membership fee involved, belonging to a DPC clinic can help save you money over the long run–you will pay less for specialist visits, copays, prescription medications, routine care, and more.

Myth: Only Sick People Join a DPC Clinic

This myth arises because people assume that the only way that a DPC’s monthly membership fee makes sense is if you visit your doctor often. (For example, if you have a gym membership, the only way that monthly fee makes sense is if you visit the gym often.)

However, this gym logic doesn’t necessarily hold true in a direct primary care context. In fact, only 10% or so of our patients have multiple chronic conditions.

But all of these patients still find a DPC membership to be an exceptional value. That’s because our patients value being healthy and are actively engaged in staying that way. Most join after having a frustrating experience with a traditional practice. A typical traditional practice has between 3,000 and 4,000 patients. A typical visit to a traditional primary care doctor is only a few minutes long. That’s not enough time to diagnose most issues, and it’s definitely not enough time to answer most questions. Our patients want time and answers. They join our practice to get both. 

Even if you only see your doctor once a year, membership at a DPC gives you access to ask questions and the peace of mind that comes with knowing your visit–and your health–won’t be rushed. As a result, most patients feel their monthly membership fee is well worth it!

Myth: Only Older People Join a DPC Clinic

Many people (especially young people) tend to characterize older individuals as more likely to grow ill or need care. And that may be true, depending on the context. But that doesn’t mean a DPC clinic will only be of value to older individuals. 

The reality is that there is a wide age range of patients. Our youngest patient is only 7; our oldest is 101! Here’s how it breaks down:

  • Under age 18: 8%
  • Between ages 19-30: 13.7%
  • Between ages 31-50: 30%
  • Between ages 51-64: 27.5%
  • Over age 65: 22%

The reason for this wide age range is somewhat simple: we support both individuals and families. That’s because our patients value their health and, of course, the health of their families! This means that we see and provide services for patients of almost all ages.

Direct Primary Care Patients May Look a Lot Like You!

Receiving primary care can help improve your overall wellness–and keep you healthier longer. Direct primary care patients can include lots of different types of people! So if you’re wondering whether you’re a good “fit” or not–the real question is whether you’re satisfied with the healthcare you’re receiving at your traditional care clinic.

Because if you can imagine a better kind of care–with more access to your provider and more attention to your health–then a direct primary care clinic like Progressive Health may be the right place for you.

Still have questions about what direct primary care looks like? Contact us today to schedule an appointment!