We’ve talked a lot in our recent blogs about how Direct Primary Care can be extremely beneficial for individual patients for a variety of reasons. About half of Americans get their health insurance through their employer. As you know, health care costs for employers have skyrocketed and continue to increase with recent estimates showing that family plans cost employers as much as $18,000, with some estimates as high as $25k in total premiums and out of pocket costs for a family of four. This is a major reason why employees wages, raises and bonuses have been stagnant over the past decade or two. Though health insurance was initially added as an employee “benefit,” based on the above, it no longer is. Well, here’s a fun fact… Direct Primary Care works great for employers too!
Around the country, many employers are adding a membership to a Direct Primary Care practice to their benefits package for their employees. In fact, large teacher unions, local governments and small businesses have seen great benefits from partnering with a Direct Primary Care practice. This works really well for a couple of reasons:
1.) Financial: For larger, self-insured companies, adding Direct Primary Care is a no brainer. For a set monthly fee, their employees get direct access to a primary care physician at all times without a fee-for-service payment for every little primary care expense/procedure. And because models like Direct Primary Care have been shown to decrease utilization of the more costly health care services (specialty visits, ER visits, hospitalizations), these companies can see huge savings. For fully insured employers, a decrease in their monthly premiums since they no longer require primary care services to be “covered,” can go a long way to decreasing the healthcare cost burden to their companies’ bottom line.
2.) Employee Production: As you may know, Direct Primary Care practices do not operate like traditional primary care clinics. Patients have direct access to their doctor via email/text/phone and visits do not have to take place in person. For employers and their employees, this means that patients do not have to wait weeks to speak with a doctor, just to wait a few hours in the waiting room at their visit. Acute issues are dealt with quickly, and often from the convenience of their own home or workplace. This means that employee absenteeism goes down and production increases… good for both the employer and the employee in the long run.
3.) Employee Satisfaction: Instead of their employer spending thousands of dollars on health insurance they do not use, employees get a tangible benefit in the form of a great relationship with, and direct access to, their primary care doctor, along with improved health. And for some, the cost savings seen by employers can trickle down to their employees.
If you think that Direct Primary Care could benefit you and/or your employer, please share this article with them. While there is always much to think about and consider, we’d love the opportunity to sit down and discuss how our practice can benefit both local companies and their hardworking employees!
Lauren Hedde, DO and Mark Turshen, MD are Family Physicians and Founders of Direct Doctors, Inc. a Direct Primary Care Practice.