By Michael Tetreault, Editor-In-Chief
JUNE 5, 2014 – The Direct Primary Care Coalition (DPCC) is delighted to announce a 2 day Washington, DC Fly-In on June 18 and 19. The event is designed to coordinate congressional education and lobbying efforts with the Direct Primary Care Summit sponsored by Family Medicine Education Consortium (FMEC) which will be held in Arlington Virginia, just a few miles outside of DC on June 20 and 21. Participants in the summit and those interested in policy changes to help grow the DPC movement are welcome. 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.
Related: AAFP Gets in the DPC Game
“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. Please visit us at www.dpcare.org for more information or to register for the fly-in.”
As the nation’s healthcare system prepares to cope with an influx of 30 million newly insured Americans as a result of the Affordable Care Act, physician entrepreneurs are leading medicine down a new path that will see more doctors listing their prices and connecting with patients much like the days before managed care and administratively-burdened insurance. DPC physicians are able to run a very low cost practice that is for the most part, cash only. Clinics and physicians, like Qliance, are now being opened across the country, many with extended hours that offer a more patient-centered relationship with a physician.
“Interestingly, doctors across the country are becoming more transparent about their fees,” says Catherine Sykes, Publisher and Managing Directory of the industry’s trade publication, The Direct Primary Care Journal. “This is all happening at a time when the cost of health care is rising. 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.”
“In this time of tremendous upheaval, the implications of this person-centered, effective, efficient, and easy to deploy model of care are powerful,” says Dr. Erika Bliss, a Family Physician at Qliance Medical Group of WA and President/CEO of Qliance Medical Management Inc. “We invite anyone interested in reviving and rebuilding our much-needed primary care system and to learn more this summer [in Washington, DC at these events].”
As the growing industry comes together to address the new challenges related to this new, old-fashioned healthcare delivery model, insights into consumer wants, physician needs, and employer behaviors will be discussed at a National Summit in Washington, DC on June 20th – 21st, 2014 at the Sheraton Pentagon City Hotel and Meeting Center in Arlington, VA. Physicians, policymakers, payers, researchers, purchasers, investors, suppliers, and others are invited to attend.
“The 2nd DPC Summit will be a great opportunity to build on the enthusiasm and momentum of the first conference held last year in St. Louis, MO,” adds Dr. Erika Bliss. “We hope to bring together an even larger group this time and dive deeper into the direct primary care business model and its promise for transforming primary care and the rest of the healthcare system for all Americans.”
“It is clear that at the core of the DPC movement is the determination of the physicians to respond effectively to the needs of their patients and communities,” says Laurence Bauer, MSW, Med, CEO of FMEC and host of the event. “We expect that the 2014 Summit will double last years size. We also expect an increase in the number of medical students and medical residents who will be attending the meeting as this industry provides an employment lifeline to those physicians entering primary care early in their career.”
“This event offers a wide variety of exploratory learning opportunities from experienced experts in the industry,” adds Michael Tetreault, Editor of The Direct Primary Care Journal. “We believe this event will be another significant step forward in determining how all of the stakeholders can work together.”