Have you ever stopped to wonder - Why do you wait in your doctor’s waiting room for an hour? Why does your doctor rush you through your visit or tell you to come back again if you want to discuss more than three problems? Why, when you call the office, does your doctor’s staff seem to be putting up a stonewall preventing you from communicating with your doctor when you want to?
At Direct Doctors, we don’t do any of those things. The reason why we don’t have to is all in the way health insurance affects primary care.
When Primary Care Physicians take insurance, they end up being reimbursed about 26 cents per dollar for time spent doing medicine. They are not reimbursed anything for time spent on phone calls, emails, texts, or writing notes. They are rarely reimbursed for discussions including counseling, wellness visits, or advanced directive planning. This contributes to why U.S. Health Care is so expensive. And it causes doctors to see more patients or to add Physician Assistants to see their patients so that they can bring in more money to cover an ever-growing overhead.
As a Direct Primary Care practice, we eliminate the insurance or government “middleman.” So the fee patients pay to our practice goes directly to us, the doctors. After we cover our overhead, which we keep very low by not employing staff and by not processing insurance claims, doctors are reimbursed closer to 75 cents per dollar. So if you do the math, Direct Primary Care doctors don’t have to see 25 patients per day or have a panel of thousands of patients per doctor. We can focus on a few hundred patients and spend an hour or two with each one.
In the end, not “taking your insurance” means we don’t have to practice in the way insurance companies have designed medicine. We get to practice the way doctors would design medicine – long visits, home based care when needed, never making patients wait, and no barriers between patient and doctor!
Patients still maintain high deductible health insurance (or some prefer holding on to their “Cadillac” plans) to cover emergencies, surgeries, specialists and extra tests.
So while using your insurance for primary care is an option, understanding how insurance causes you to wait an hour to see your doctor or his/her P.A., being blocked from reaching your doctor through the secretary, and paying a copay every time your'e sick, quickly makes it much less appealing. If you're ready to experience the Direct Doctors Difference, come in for a complimentary tour anytime! We're available.
Lauren Hedde, DO and Mark Turshen, MD are Family Physicians and Founders of Direct Doctors, Inc. a Direct Primary Care Practice.