As healthcare in the United States continues to evolve, more choices are starting to gain attention as a solution to the rising costs resulting from the customary way health care has been delivered for more than 30 years now. One solution is the Direct Primary Care model.
The Direct Primary Care model unleashes the power of free market competition to drastically lower the cost of primary care.
The Direct Primary Care model vs. Single-payer health care
Despite the establishment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2008, both healthcare costs and insurance premiums to cover those costs continue to rise. That law seems to have failed miserably at taming health care costs. So, two competing solutions are being touted.
Those who favor a very government-heavy solution are pushing for a single-payer system they have dubbed “Medicare for All.” The other group who believe in the power of free market competition to lower costs are advocating high-quality and affordable solutions such as Direct Primary Care and transparently priced surgery.
Unfortunately, some politicians who are unfamiliar with free market economics favor the more centralized solution. They say that the best way to solve the cost problem in health care is to convert the whole country’s healthcare system over to “Medicare for All.”
Let’s take a moment to look at the way that type of system has functioned in other countries though… It hasn’t been pretty. Most people who value high-quality medical care shrink from that solution for a number of reasons.
Reasons ‘Medicare for All’ is a bad idea:
- No freedom in choosing one’s own doctor
According to a 2020 article in Global News, the list of people in need of a family doctor in the Canadian province Nova Scotia continues to grow. Canada is one of those countries with a single-payer system. Those who need a family doctor that desperately can forget being able to actually choose their own doctor. They will be grateful to get a family doctor, any family doctor. So CHOOSING one is not even an option.
- Long wait lists for elective surgeries such as total hip replacements
This can increase patient suffering. One 2015 article in the CBC News depicts the pain Canadian patients go through when they have to wait to have even one hip replaced. Nothing has really improved since then.
- High costs to the government with very low-quality care.
An article in the Daily Mail reports that Britain’s National Health Service has a standard for treating at least 95% of Accident and Emergency (A & E) patients within four hours. However, the average rate at which A & E patients in England get treated is closer to 84%. Not only that, there are areas of the country that do not even come close to 84%.
Do you really want to go there? We don’t think so!
The U.S. does not have to dramatically overhaul its health care system in a way that would cause more pain than relief. There is one much better and far less expensive solution to the country’s health care woes. It’s called the Direct Primary Care model. Primary care covers basic care and provides a relationship between physician and patient that manages overall health. So, when a problem crops up, they can make careful and rational decisions about next steps.
What does the Direct Primary Care (DPC) model offer?
Comprehensive health care – According to the American Academy of Family Physicians’ (AAFP) website, the DPC model provides clinical and laboratory services as well as care coordination. DPC providers care for the whole person. They take the time needed to really care for each patient rather than rushing through an office visit.
Simplified and affordable payment model – Many people may believe that “Medicare for All” is great because people can get treatment without paying for anything upfront when they need treatment. However, most individuals and families can easily afford the basic monthly or quarterly membership fees that DPC providers charge. Additionally, there are very nominal costs for lab work or standard medications. Is it even worth the “free care” offered by “Medicare for All” if you cannot get a primary family practitioner?
Reduced administrative burden – Whether a primary care doctor is a network doctor affiliated with a large healthcare system and insurance company or provider appointed by a centralized government, bureaucracy-imposed burdens cut into valuable time spent with patients. The absence of overwhelming paperwork that centralized government and insurance companies demand frees the DPC provider to truly care for his or her patients. Such is the case at Alive and Well (Direct Primary Care).
Alive and Well, the Direct Primary Care model in Southern Utah
J.R. Martin founded Alive and Well six years ago, and offers comprehensive DPC care. Alive and Well provides these important health services for a basic monthly fee:
- Primary care for routine health care needs as well as 24/7 availability through telemedicine. The telemedicine component can handle some problems without the need for even an office visit.
- House calls – If your condition requires immediate care, but falls short of the need for the emergency room, an Alive and Well provider will come to you.
- Alive and Well works well for small or mid-sized businesses. We provide routine and urgent care for employees at much less cost than standard health services charge.
So, if you own a small or mid-sized business, or you are an individual who wants excellent overall care at very affordable prices, email Alive and Well. Or call us at (435) 669-9696.