Direct primary care may be the link to the ‘fourth aim’ of healthcare

Direct primary care may be the link to the ‘fourth aim’ of healthcare

As burnout and job dissatisfaction rises among U.S. physicians, many have investigated switching to a Direct Primary Care (DPC) model as a form of relief. The alternative to traditional fee-for-service billing is seen by many as a way to refresh careers and return more of an office visit’s focus to the patient.

In 2015, the average monthly fee for DPC was $77.38, this compares to $182.76 for concierge medical practices, according to The Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine. This typically covers unrestricted next day or same day appointments, prolonged visits, direct communication via text, email, phone, virtual visits, and access to greatly discounted ancillaries such as in-house generic medications, labs, and imaging.

Recent reports published by Forbes indicate that DPC increases access and comprehensive medical care, and reduces overall cost when compared to a consumer-driven health plan and traditional insurance plans.

The model certainly provides hope for an improved patient experience, however any formal evaluation of a DPC practitioner’s experience within this model is limited.

In the U.S., clinician burnout and poor job satisfaction has become endemic. Enough so that a fourth aim of healthcare has taken hold—clinician and staff satisfaction; first discussed in a 2014 volume of The Annals of Family Medicine.

Read the full article at Medical Economics 

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