INDUSTRY: Most people who understand DPC know that “anytime” is a good time to join a DPC practice — so therefore, open enrollment lasts all year round. The DPC Journal finds that August and September of 2014 will kick-off one of the most significant months in the industry’s history, a Tipping Point.
By Michael Tetreault, Editor-In-Chief
JUNE 11, 2014 – Priscilla in Ohio is searching for a more affordable, accessible healthcare option and tells The Direct Primary Care Journal (The DPC Journal), “Not often does one have the opportunity to have this kind of doctor that you feel is affordable and a real part of your life.”
She’s not alone either. It’s open enrollment time, the autumn period when many with employer-sponsored health insurance decide which plan they will choose for the coming year.
While most news reports are focused on the problems with healthcare.gov and the online health marketplaces launched in October 2013, a growing number of people have found another option.
“I’m a self-pay patient,” says Eric in Millersport, OH. “Apparently, the modern health care business model no longer knows what to do with people like me. I’m a person, not a set of billing codes. I shouldn’t have to deal with 4 separate bills from one trip to the Doctor. I shouldn’t have to jump through hoops to find out what my lab work is going to cost just so that I can pay for it on the same day I get the work done. My medical care should be between me and my doctor. I see no reason why there need to be a half dozen corporate bureaucrats involved. I think you get the drift.”
Initially such “highly cost medicine” came at a very high price, ranging upwards of $5,000 to $10,000 per patient per year. Today, over 62% of the fees touted by direct-pay medicine doctors cost patients less than $135 per month, according to The DPC Journal’s research arm, The Collective.
Call it “Boutique Care” or “Direct Primary Care (DPC)”. Generally, patients pay a monthly fee like a gym membership. And what do they get? A physical, 24/7 access to their doctor and often a number of other benefits.
The DPC Journal reports that starting in August 2014 will kick-off one of the most significant month in the industry’s growth, a Tipping Point so-to-speak. Most people sign up in January through March of each year, however, August and September are also a popular months each year for membership medicine style program enrollments, reports The DPC Journal physician readers.