DPC Journal’s Mid-Year Metrics Show Continued Interest For DPC, 2016.

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“Brand awareness is a bright spot in the market right now. As is Consumer interest. More people are seeking cost-effective, innovative free market healthcare delivery centers, such as the ones offered in the DPC market. Concerning polling trends show moonlighting abounds, uncertainty about opting out entirely [out of Medicare] and new patient acquisition remains a constant challenge, post year one.”



September 21, 2016 (Atlanta, GA) — The Direct Primary Care Journal (DPC Journal)—an independent news and trade publication dedicated to the growing number of independent physician and healthcare provider owner/operators across the U.S., released its mid-year metrics and polling analysis today for the first half of 2016. Based on a several hundred responses from active Direct Primary Care (DPC) Journal readers, physician respondents and patients from across the U.S. (January – June 2016), they found: forty-six percent of DPC Patient Subscriptions include home visits as part of the monthly fee for all of their patients; forty-nine percent of DPC Physicians polled reported wait times of less than 5-minutes in the first half of 2016; most DPC Clinics [in the first half of 2016] see less than 10 patients per day (approx. 78%); and more.

“The openings compared to the closings we see in the marketplace across the U.S. remain incredibly strong when compared to past years analysis of insurance commissioner reports, polling trends and our direct-to-physician interviews,” says Michael Tetreault, Editor-in-Chief, The DPC Journal. “Startups are proclaiming their new corporate identities nearly every week across the U.S., and the majority of monthly price points are remaining steady. Thus far in the first half of 2016, nearly 66% of monthly [DPC] fees reported to us are less than $85 per month per patient across varying age groups.”

Other mid-year 2016 Direct Primary Care Journal polling trend findings include:

  • The most common phone calls a DPC Physician receives directly from his/her patients are Prescription Renewals (53%) followed by reports of Cold/Flu Symptoms (35%).
  • Forty-nine percent of DPC Physicians polled reported wait times of less than 5-minutes in the first half of 2016. To the reverse, 51% reported more than 5-minute wait times.
  • Forty-six percent of DPC Patient Subscriptions include home visits as part of the monthly fee for all of their patients, a trend similar to past years polling.
  • Many DPC Clinics see less than 10 patients per day (approx. 78%).
  • In the first half of 2016, nearly an equal number of DPC Physicians polled reported 2015-2016 annual salary increases and decreases when compared to 2014-2015 salary earnings.
    • More earnings and salary number percentages will be released in the first quarter of 2017. However, in the first half of 2016, nearly 30% of respondents are reporting earnings below the previous year.
  • More than thirty percent of reporting physicians indicated it can take between 1-3+ months to educate a patient on the benefits of DPC Membership.
  • Fifty-nine percent of reporting physicians indicated they had active patient panels of more than 1,500+ patients before moving to a direct pay billing practice.
  • Fifty-three percent of reporting physicians indicated they need between 300-500+ patients to reach maximum capacity. Coincidentally, less than six percent indicated they need less than 50 patients to have a full patient panel they can be comfortable with to make larger buying decisions for their practice.
  • The average age of reporting DPC physicians are between the ages of 30-49 years old (68%).
  • Sixty-seven of DPC Physicians polled reported they kept their monthly fees the same as in 2015, often citing, “No, I simply cannot afford to. My patients would leave.”
    • Comparatively, nearly 70% of monthly fees in 2014 inside a reporting majority of offices were less than $85 per month, indicating some price variations are occurring in the market in 2016.

slide8“There is tremendous amount of uncertainty about opting out of Medicare and a settling in the market across the U.S. when it comes to the appropriate DPC price point. Brand awareness is a bright spot in the market right now. However, moonlighting abounds, new patient acquisition and the growth of Urgent Care and Retail Healthcare clinics continues to be one of the threats and opportunities for this market in the near future. Even in a more competitive market, for the vast majority of small and independent physicians, opportunities still exist. Employer partnerships for individual, small DPC owner/operators in many markets have been futile, but some physicians continue to forge ahead with success because they have other geographic clinics employees can choose, they report.”

Patient attrition continues to remain relatively low in the first half of 2016. Approximately fifty-three percent of reporting [DPC] clinics find they have less than 10% of their patient population who pay the physicians monthly fee and never return. For patients with financial hardship, some, not all, but some DPC offices have been found to “scholarship” nearly 5% of their active patient panel based on a number of criteria such as: an individual interview; care assessments and financial analysis and more. Add to that, the American healthcare consumer population is showing increased interest in transparent healthcare pricing offerings and retail-like healthcare delivery centers (Direct Primary Care being one of those new options).

“One of the most resonating themes tieing these numbers altogether which is not found in the analysis comes from our direct dialogue and interviews with dozens of physicians during this time [Jan-June 2016],” notes Tetreault. “The [DPC] clinics with the highest amount of subscription conversions, which subsequently maintain low annual attrition levels and have high amounts of loyal patients … recognize what they are doing and creating is not for everyone. This spirited observation in DPC may be contradictory to the low price point which entertains the idea that DPC is affordable to everyone. But what we are learning is it is not necessarily a pricing issue, it is more of a messaging issue and retail healthcare is doing a lot of the heavy lifting in the consumer’s mind about the importance of access, affordable care and convenience, similar missions which DPC strives to display. We’ve found many successful [DPC] physicians are embracing the philosophy of trying less to make 100% of people they meet in their community buy into their vision. Instead, they find a few people who embrace their mission of free market healthcare delivery through a legally compliant subscription and give them 100% of their time, talent and attention. From that launch pad, they were and are able to grow their practice and business more quickly … and the result is found in renewed subscriptions.”

direct primary care journal2About The Direct Primary Care 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.

Contact: Michael Tetreault, Editor-in-Chief, editor@directcarejournal.com | tel. (770) 455-1650


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