Contact: Michael Tetreault, Editor, The Direct Primary Care Journal (The DPC Journal) – Tel: 770-455-1650 ext 151
JULY 7, 2015 – Eighty percent (80%) of Direct Primary Care (DPC) physicians operate in a solo practice setting versus a group practice and consumers of DPC are trending younger, according to a national analysis and industry data summaries released by The Direct Primary Care Journal (The DPC Journal, www.DirectPrimaryCare.com). The DPC Journal is the independent trade journal and news reporting publication observing and reporting on the DPC industry, uncovering unique aspects about the operations and activities of these growing healthcare delivery models.
Data released by The DPC Journal collected and examined data from December 2012 through June 2015. They conducted surveys, online polls, interviews with numerous DPC physicians and the summary of nationwide findings includes:
- The Four Basic, Defining Characteristics of Direct Primary Care (DPC): Low-Monthly Fees; Does Not Accept Insurance; Target Audience Primarily Millennials and Generation X; Popular Among Employers.*
- Solo or Group Setting: Less than 20% of DPC doctors practice in a ‘Group’ Setting vs. a nearly 81% operate a ‘Solo’ practice, making most DPC clinics 1-3 employee operators.
- DPC Patient Panel Size: 60% of DPC physicians reported that the size of their patient panels were less than 300. Many physicians told The DPC Journal that this amount of patients was less than desirable.
- Fees: 68% of fees inside most DPC practices cost between $25 to $85 a month, on average according to The DPC Journal.
- DPC Patient Income: In two separate but related polls in 2014 and 2015, it was found in both polling groups that the majority of patients that participate in a DPC practice, approximately 59%, earn a combined annual household income of less than $95,000.
- DPC Patient Demographic: A 2015 Industry-Wide Analysis by The DPC Journal Shows Generation X Likely To Be Reason DPC and Membership Medicine Will Continue to Grow in 2016 and beyond.
- DPC and Insurance: 53% of DPC Medical Offices Accept Cash/Debit/Credit Card Payments Only For Physician Services Rendered. Approximately 47% of DPC Medical Practices throughout the U.S. currently accept and/or bill insurance. Oftentimes, the practice will give the patient a superbill that the patient can submit to his or her insurance company for reimbursement.
- Financial Stability of DPC Business Model(s): 90% indicated that their practices are doing better financially over one year ago, whereas, only 10% said they were doing worse.
- Open Enrollment All Year Long: Many new patients will sign up for a monthly membership to a DPC practice in January through March of each year. The DPC Journal reports that August and September are also popular months for membership medicine program enrollment.
- Home Visits: Nearly 50% of DPC physicians polled in 2014-2015 provide home visits as part of the monthly patient subscriber fee. 38% indicated they do not include or provide home visits whatsoever and 12% charge an additional but nominal fee for home care visits.
- Specialty DPC: Specialty medical providers are slow to enter DPC. Accordingly, over 80% of physicians reported to The DPC Journal that they operate either a family medicine or internal medicine/primary care practice.
- Two Primary Business Models Arising: Experienced DPC industry physicians and business consultants concur, there are typically two (2) primary business models being used today in DPC.
- Growth Trend Rate: When The DPC Journal interviewed industry influencers, investors and DPC physicians, they found that direct-pay, non-retainer style primary care practices should anticipate a growth rate of roughly 5-9% over the next few years. The DPC Journal reports that more Hospitalists in 2015-2016 are entering into these new business models.
“According to numerous physician interviews conducted throughout the nation over the past 18-months, growth in the DPC industry is largely supported by consumers motivated by The Affordable Care Act, price and transparency,” said Catherine Sykes, Managing Editor and Publisher of The DPC Journal. “Looking ahead, we believe that based on patient search patterns and inquiries we’ve received over the past two years for DPC physicians, DPC growth will occur in significantly metropolitan markets like: Dallas/Fort Worth, TX, Michigan, Atlanta, GA, The Carolina’s, Colorado and others. This has been confirmed by investors analyzing the industry. Individual physicians in rural markets are also predicted to make significant moves into this space over the next several years.”
Some larger DPC practices are facing new competitors seeking to peel away significant amounts of revenue from areas that had once been the exclusive domain of DPC Clinics. In particular, MRI, CAT Scans and pharmacy sales, the second biggest revenue generators for some larger DPC practices are under attack by big box clinics with well-known names operating under low-cost/high-volume sales models. These facilities started with treating runny noses and offering flu shots. Now retail health clinics are thinking bigger. What is also interesting about the DPC industry analysis is that some doctors (approx., 45% according to The DPC Journal) indicated that their DPC business model accepts and/or files claims through insurance. For some DPC offices, non-participation in insurance networks is the core essence of a DPC model. According to the California HealthCare Foundation, health plans see a market opportunity through the Exchange by coupling DPC with a high-deductible wraparound policy that promises to deliver a lower price than conventional insurance products. Supporters of this industry believe that DPC will have a role in helping solve the growing problems of diminishing access to primary care as well as its increasing cost.
“The $99 or less price point for the 24-45 age group is important because DPC is trying to reduce the expense on the individual,” says Michael Tetreault, The DPC Journal’s Editor-In-Chief. “While it’s true that many DPC doctors have not faced many new or inquisitive questions since the ACA passed, you do not currently see a lot of educational advertising aimed at this [patient] audience of people that’s designed to get them to switch “brands” [i.e. from using their insurance card or paying a doctor directly]. The education and advertising aimed at 25-45 needs to be all about that. If a DPC doctors program is not properly paired with high-deductible health plan policy or a wrap-around insurance product of some kind, those low price points [and monthly premiums] compete with a lot of other expenses inside the household (HH) with an annual combined HH income of less than $95,000.”
TRENDING THIS WEEK: ‘Be Proud to call yourself, ‘Direct Primary Care.’ ~Editor
For more information about Direct Primary Care (DPC), to locate a DPC doctor near you or to learn more about the various facets happening in this industry, visit: www.DirectPrimaryCare.com or Call The DPC Journal at 770-455-1650 ext 151.
About The Direct Primary Care Journal (The DPC Journal)
The Direct Primary Care Journal (The DPC Journal) is the independent trade journal and online news reporting publication observing, reporting and connecting with experts from all facets of the Direct Primary Care (DPC) industry. The DPC Journal was created in order to fill an information void found when reporting, interviewing and researching DPC, direct-pay medicine and cash-only practices across the U.S. The DPC Journal and sister publications, Concierge Medicine Today and The Concierge Medicine Research Collective serve as a central repository of DPC news, information or educational resources for physicians, patients, curious consumers and others. The DPC Journal works with industry focused journalists, investment experts, physicians, legislators and numerous dedicated writers to report on various topics related to DPC and direct-pay healthcare industry.
The DPC Journal features many physician articles and stories from across the U.S. To learn more, visit www.DirectPrimaryCare.com or Call The DPC Journal at 770-455-1650 ext 151.