What I Am Thinking About Today: Direct Care, a Missing Part of Health Care Reform

I believe widely dispersed smaller primary care medical practices hold a big part of the answer for a lower cost and access solution for America health care. A recent article lays out how the model for the physician and practice would work and IS working. The article presents in part Linnea Meyer, MD, a physician in Boston, who uses the direct pay model. Dr. Meyer states “This kind of practice is why I went into medicine, and that feels so good.” Quite different from what you usually read about physician’s unhappiness with contemporary medical practice. Dr. Meyer has patients paying her $25 to $125 a month depending on age to cover their primary care. It is called direct care and she gets to focus on the care of her patients. “Getting that third party payer out of the room frees me up to focus on patient care” she says.  A substantial part of the recent riveting health care debate focused on the costly nature of various government programs and also how to help all citizens have affordable primary care. Here is one part of a possible solution: 1) focus policy on enabling smaller primary care practices (not on encouraging ever larger physician – hospital group practices), 2) foster for those citizens meeting needs based criteria direct to physician financial payments made on the patient’s behalf.  Read:  In a Direct Primary Care Practice, It’s Just the Doctor and Patient, by Melinda Beck, 2/27/2017 Wall Street Journal

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