Because direct primary care is still a novel healthcare delivery concept, many employers and small businesses have invested resources into determining whether DPC is a good fit for their needs. And as patients rave about extended face to face time with their physicians, improved outcomes, and easy access to healthcare needs, there is more interest from small businesses in offering Direct Primary Care to their employees.
What is Direct Primary Care for Small Business?
The vast majority of Americans have access to health insurance (and, therefore, health care) through their employers. This employer-based insurance system persists because, conceivably, large groups have demonstrated more negotiating power with insurance companies than individuals.
But as the downsides and perverse incentives of many health insurance setups become more obvious and more prominent, employers have begun considering alternatives.
Direct primary care has emerged as one of the most effective and popular alternative models of delivering primary care. In a direct primary care setting, patients are granted “membership” at a specific clinic or group of clinics. Membership entitles patients to a long list of primary care services at no additional cost. Small employers and organizations that do not want to become mired in insurance can still offer health benefits to their employees by providing memberships at a direct primary care clinic.
This means that employees would get access to:
- Increased cost savings: Members of direct primary care practices are not subject to additional costs for most primary care. At Progressive Health Primary Care, for example, membership fees cover all appointments, calls, and meetings. These savings would be enjoyed by all employees who become DPC members.
- Thorough office visits: At a DPC clinic such as Progressive Health Primary Care, patient visits with physicians are given substantial time. This means that all DPC members can expect more compassionate and thorough care.
- Immediate appointments: Because direct primary care clinics operate successfully with a lower patient-to-physician ratio, it’s easier to make convenient or immediate appointments. This can help patients with mild illness--such as strep throat--seek treatment more quickly, when symptoms are more easily managed.
Generally, direct primary care members are still encouraged to carry insurance, so employers who choose to do so can offer supplemental plans to help out in that regard.