Fed up with waiting weeks for a medical appointment — and then getting only a few precious minutes with your doctor? The unnecessary tests and referrals to a specialist? Insurance hassles, red tape?
So are doctors. And a small but growing number are refusing to accept their patients’ medical insurance. Instead, doctors are running their practices on a “membership” model that they claim allows them to spend more time with their patients and to provide better care.
It’s called direct primary care, a less expensive offshoot of concierge medicine, which traditionally has been reserved for higher-income patients who pay thousands of dollars per year for longer appointments, better access and more personal care with their doctors. (But in addition to memberships, some concierge practitioners accept insurance; direct primary care doctors don’t accept any insurance.)
So, is direct primary care right for you? Here are answers to some questions you may have: