If your insurance plan has a massive deductible, the cost of a routine doctor visit can be daunting. “Direct primary care” is an alternative for Americans who want to see a physician at an affordable rate. But these independent doctors don’t accept insurance.
Direct primary care doctors don’t want any legal entity, whether it’s government or a private insurer, influencing their medical decisions. Instead, patients pay a monthly subscription fee, often in cash (to minimize administrative costs), for the privilege of having a primary doctor on call.
(Read more from the WikiTribune community on why healthcare is so expensive in the United States.)
WikiTribune is reporting on how “direct primary care” works. We want to know if it’s a valuable service. We have already spoken with a few direct primary care physicians. Now we want to hear from direct primary care patients.
Do you know someone who is enrolled in direct primary care? If so, share your experience in TALK. Or email charles (dot) turner (at) wikitribune (dot) com
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Questions we’re asking:
- How much does your direct primary care clinic cost?
- What services come for free, or at a reduced cost?
- Are you satisfied with your DPC doctor? Does the service work as advertised?
- Have you saved money using DPC, or spent more than if you’d used typical insurance?
- In Portland, Maine: Dr. Micheal Ciampi’s DPC service costs $60 a month. In New York City, the cost is roughly $100 a month. This also comes with free lab testing, a few free medical tests (i.e. EKG test).
- Most direct primary care doctors work out of small offices, and the monthly subscription does not cover hospitalization. Most DPC physicians recommend patients pay for an insurance plan with a high deductible just in case they need complicated treatment (Business Insider).
- Many DPC advocates belong to politically conservative groups, like the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons.
- A bill currently in the U.S. House of Representatives (H.R. 365) would recognize DPC as a legitimate medical service, allowing health savings accounts to be used. Health savings accounts are tax-free pools of money that must be used for medical expenses.
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