By Michael Tetreault, Editor, DPC Journal
JUNE 5, 2014 – The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) is no stranger to the world of Direct Primary Care (DPC). In 2013, the AAFP issued its first-ever DPC policy statement. Soon thereafter, the Academy began scheduling a series of regional workshops aimed at giving family physicians all the information they need to know before they make decisions about transitioning to the DPC model of care. As of late, the AAFP appears to be going “all-in” according to The DPC Journal sources who tell us ‘AAFP is now financially supporting various DPC efforts.’
At the end of May (2014), The DPC Journal received reports and confirmed discussion that the AAFP has agreed to support the DPC industry’s upcoming 2014 DPC Summit in Arlington, VA to be held June 20-21.
“AAFP has agreed to support the DPC Summit 2014 with a major financial contribution making it the conference Diamond Sponsor,” says Laurence Bauer, MSW, Med, CEO of FMEC and host of the event. “Additionally, AAFP Past President Glen Stream, MD will offer a key note presentation focusing on Direct Primary Care and the future of Family Medicine.”
“This is all happening at a time when the cost of health care is rising,” says Catherine Sykes, Publisher of the industry trade publication, The Direct Primary Care Journal. “We have an era coming with more innovation in health care delivery in our country than we’ve had in a decade. The way health care is delivered will radically change and the focus will be on the customer. Employers are on alert as well and are switching to high-deductible health plan policies where employees are now responsible for a higher amount of dollars upfront before the company picks up the cost. As that expands, patients are going to start looking at health care from more of a consumer perspective, become more cost conscious and less reliant on a piece of plastic in their wallets.”
“This marks a turning point in the Direct Primary Care movement,” says Dr. Garrison Bliss, MD President, Qliance Medical Group of WA PC VP Medical Affairs at Seattle’s own Qliance Medical Management Inc. “With an organized collaborative outreach that can now be focused on policy needs for a national and regional effort to bring high functioning sustainable affordable primary care to all corners of this country. We are particularly pleased to be partnering with the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), the nation’s largest, most committed and innovative advocate for primary care. As a part of the Fly-in, AAFP will join us as a co-sponsor for an educational briefing for Senate staff hosted by Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray (D-WA) on June 19 in the Senate Budget Committee Hearing room. DPCC will then participate in a presentation at the Capitol Visitors Center on Advanced Practice Models sponsored by AAFP’s Robert Graham Center for policy studies in Family Medicine and Primary Care.”