We wanted to start a blog series to relay some interesting facts about Direct Primary Care now that we’ve been open almost 5 years! Given our practice “birthday” is coming up this summer… did you know that the estimated Direct Primary Care patients per capita in the US has risen over 500% since 2014.
When we opened Direct Doctors in August of 2014, there were approximately 200 or so DPC practices in existence. Though we are still the only practice of our kind in Rhode Island, the direct primary care model has exploded in other areas. Today, there are over 1,000 DPC practices around the country! This is fantastic growth for an alternative primary care model that is so different from what patients are used to in traditional insurance based practices.
There are likely several reasons for this growth. Many patients are getting tired of the factory-like, impersonal experience they get at insurance based practices. Having a doctor they can contact directly and develop a relationship with is something many folks have been looking for. Certainly the increasing (and non transparent) costs of healthcare are pushing patients toward other options. Uninsured patients and those with high deductible plans looking to save money on visits, meds, labs and imaging are flocking to direct primary care practices to get these benefits. And in 2019, many patients are looking for fast, efficient and unimpeded care. Being able to communicate via text/email with physicians who take your time into account should really be the norm!
We’re hoping that the next 5 years show similar growth of direct primary care practices and patients. Individual patients will continue to look for alternative care models, while employers and municipalities will also be searching for better options for their employees. Please send any local patients our way and send the DPC mapper to your friends and relatives around the country looking for a great primary care option!
Lauren Hedde, DO; James Hedde, DO and Mark Turshen, MD are Family Physicians and Co- Founders of Direct Doctors, Inc. a Direct Primary Care Practice.