It's 2019. I've been a Doctor for 20 years! I've done Direct Primary Care (DPC) for 6 months. Here's 14 things I know to be true about DPC!
1- The business model is solid, I'm going to be fine. It's easier to run a DPC practice vs when I was a private practice insurance (BUCAH) Doctor.
2- By their criteria of quality my patients are getting better care.
3- By my criteria of quality my patients are getting better care.
4- I spend my entire day being a doctor. Zero wasted time. 90% of paper burden gone. Every day a good day. All Primary Care Doctors deserve to know this.
5- Most of my patients have health insurance. Objectively measured, I still save most of my patients money, especially the sicker ones. For those who don't save money (the young & healthy who never need the Doctor) It's still terrific value for money and my patients love it. Yes, I ask them!
6- I am more accessible to more people, which makes me more useful to my community. Regardless of insurance or socioeconomic status all my patients enjoy easy access and care. Not the case with BUCAH.
7- Burnout. Cured. Joy restored. It's nice to be a Doctor now. How? I have the autonomy of private practice, the authority to care for patients without interference, and the sovereignty to run my practice on my own terms, for better or worse. Nice.
8- The criticisms/concerns/critiques about DPC are false arguments. I've heard them all and listened attentively. DPC can solve a meaningful part of our healthcare system problems. Not all of them, obviously. There is enough evidence & outcome data for all Primary Care Physicians to embrace DPC.
9- It's a lot of work. Really a lot. But it's appropriate work. I work hard but compared to the madness of what I was doing...pfft!
10- My compensation is fair. If patients are happy with my care they will continue their membership. If they're not happy with my value to them they leave. That's fair. I'm rewarded for good outcomes. Not the case with BUCAH.
11- My patient population dynamics have changed. Interestingly, I've found that in DPC my patients appreciate me more. Perhaps because they choose DPC and not because "my insurance said you're on my plan." I acknowledge an emotionally mature Physician does not need that but none-the-less it is heartwarming to be appreciated. Doctors are people too.
12- I opted out of Medicare to do DPC. I am now better able to care for my Medicare patients by not dealing with Medicare. What a sad truth.
13- I am overwhelmed with gratitude for my DPC colleagues. Angels in my life. I was not going to continue to practice medicine in the BUCAH/MACRA system any longer. It's unhealthy, so I stopped, I'm not stupid! Every Physician needs to know this as well. When you look at the profound amounts of burnout, emotional bankruptcy, helplessness, invalidation of your worth to communities, and Physician suicide that we see today (it's 1 doctor DEAD by suicide every day!) all Primary Care Doctors need to know you don't have to put up with it. Walk away. Join the DPC tribe, we're doing in right!
14- All by Grace. Our life is fragile and short. Every breath we take in this life is by the Grace of God alone. God is good all the time... and all the time God is good.