Direct Care

Posted by: Alok Prasad

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Direct care is a healthcare model that emphasizes the direct relationship between patients and their healthcare providers. This allows for a more personalized and affordable healthcare experience, as doctors can spend more time with their patients and focus on preventative care rather than just treating illnesses as they arise.

In this model, patients pay a monthly or annual fee to their healthcare provider rather than relying on insurance companies to cover the costs of medical care.

Direct care providers typically offer various services, including primary care, urgent care, and specialty care.

Direct Care

Direct care practices:

  • Do not accept money from insurance companies
  • Rely mainly on the monthly fee (often $100 or less) charged to their patients
  • May have larger patient panels of 400 to 800 patients per provider
  • Focus more on saving money than on offering premium services

Benefits of Direct Care

Despite the differences and the increased number of patients, there are benefits to utilizing direct care physician practices for your healthcare needs. Each practice offers a spectrum of services, but the goal of using direct care models is to reduce the use of insurance and lower overhead to keep costs down. Why should you consider the direct care model over concierge for your practice?

1. Reduced administrative overhead

The use of technology in healthcare services can reduce administrative overhead by automating processes and streamlining operations. This can help healthcare organizations save time and resources, which can be used to focus on patient care.

2. More predictable revenue for providers

With the help of technology, healthcare providers can have more accurate and up-to-date information on patient billing and payments. This can help them manage their finances better and have a more predictable revenue stream.

3. Improved patient satisfaction

The use of technology in healthcare services can help improve patient satisfaction by providing more personalized care, faster access to medical information, and more efficient communication between patients and healthcare providers.

4. Reduced bureaucracy

Technology can help reduce healthcare service bureaucracy by automating patient registration, appointment scheduling, and medical record-keeping processes. This can help healthcare providers focus more on patient care and less on administrative tasks.

5. Potentially lowered healthcare costs

The use of technology in healthcare services can potentially lower healthcare costs by reducing the need for unnecessary tests and procedures, improving medication adherence, and reducing medical errors. This can help patients receive better care at a lower cost.

Who Supports Direct Care?

The direct care movement has gained significant excitement from multiple groups – including liberals, conservatives, young physicians, physicians nearing retirement age, insured populations, uninsured populations, and people of all socioeconomic classes.

The popularity of direct care puts healthcare back in the hands of those who need it most, without the influence of the hospitals and insurance companies pressuring for higher returns. Direct care may even help eliminate the rising healthcare costs, which is troubling in both physician and patient communities.

Hybrid Model Practices

As direct care becomes a popular alternative to traditional healthcare methods, some practices incorporate a hybrid model to accommodate those with insurance coverage. Although the practice will bill insurance, they will create a contract pricing with the patient, providing services under the direct care and fee-for-service methods. These models require review by legal counsel to ensure that insurance regulations are met, or the hybrid model cannot exist.

Is Direct Care the Right Model for My Practice?

This question may pop up more often than you realize. The easiest way for a physician considering direct care to determine their benefit is to discuss it with other physicians who have chosen this practice model.

Physicians have to look at their current practice situation as well. Working too many hours? Lack of connection with patients? It might be time to consider what direct care or concierge care has to offer your practice. Depending on your patient panel, opting for direct care may create higher cost savings, fewer patients, better connections, etc.

Improve Your Practice – Improve Your Life

Many of us forget that our physicians have lives outside of their offices. We wind up in the waiting room, irritated by the wait – and we take it out on them and their staff, especially in fee-for-service settings. What if there was a practice model that satisfies both patients and the physicians treating them – like direct care? Physicians can take a new approach to handling their practice by converting to a direct or concierge care model. When making this move, check out and request a demo of RevenueXL’s EHR for direct and concierge care practices!


Topics: EHR Selection, Provider/Physician, Consultant

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