In my 10 year career as a Family Physician, I have worked in a number of practice settings. Along the way, I've experienced many inefficiencies and shortcomings in the traditional model of primary care. A few years ago, I started looking for something different. It eventually led me to Direct Primary Care and the creation of Fishers Direct Family Care.
Direct Primary Care is a model wherein primary care services are provided at an affordable, fixed cost. We cover all office visits, online communications, and in-office testing for that one fixed price. This framework addresses three main concerns that arise in a traditional model as described below.
In my prior office, patients were scheduled every 15 minutes. I've heard of offices scheduling patients every 10, even every 8 minutes. That's just not enough time to provide high-quality, comprehensive primary care. At Fishers Direct Family Care, all of our appointments are scheduled for 30-60 minutes. This gives us adequate time to get to know you as a patient and to address your healthcare needs in a collaborative manner. Also given that all visits are included, if we aren't able to address all of your concerns in a single visit, we can always see you back as often as needed.
Costs in a traditional primary care model get at you in two ways, the costs you see and the costs you don't see. It is common to experience high prices for medical services. In an office setting, this may be due to high administrative and billing costs or from excessive, individual charges for every last code and procedure. In a hospital setting, costs are often high to offset patients who aren't able to pay. There is also a lack of "price transparency" or as I like to say, "the costs you don't see." Physicians are often unaware of the price of medications or tests ordered for patients. This became more of a concern in recent years as high-deductible health plans shifted more of the cost to patients. Also, there often isn't time in a busy schedule to look up pricing to find the most affordable option for patients. Direct Primary Care changes all of that. Not only do we offer affordable, fixed pricing in the office, we will work with patients to save them money outside of the office as well.
Finally, we have been slow to see robust innovation in the delivery of health care in the US. We do see great advances in health care technology, whether it be in procedures or medical devices, though those come with a hefty price tag. What we've been missing are innovations in care delivery that improve efficiency, reduce costs, and improve the quality of care. One of the many reasons we've not see this is our continued reliance on insurance billing and coding. This rigid framework does not let us think outside the box, to change care delivery, to innovate. Direct Primary Care is changing that. As we have a direct relationship with patients, not insurance companies, we can choose to provide our services in any manner we'd like. For example at Fishers Direct Family Care, we've embraced e-visits and telehealth. This widens our ability to provide care for patients without requiring them to physically come to our office. And that's just one example! The sky's the limit with innovation.
As you can see, there are many reasons I have chosen to transition to Direct Primary Care. Spending more time during appointments, saving patients money, and innovating health care delivery are just the beginning. We will continually look for ways to improve and provide more for our patients. As our mission statement declares:
We strive to innovate primary care in a high-quality, comprehensive manner to advance the health of the families we serve.