In a typical insurance-based practice, meaningful face-to-face time between doctor and patient is somewhere between 5-10 minutes. Interesting, but surprisingly, shorter visits tended to result in more prescriptions being written and less time trying to get to the root of clinical problems. And prescribing is usually a poor surrogate for good counsel and reassurance.
“What do you get when you mix low overhead with high technology and wrap it around an excellent physician-patient relationship? You get an ideal medical practice – a practice model designed to enhance doctor-patient relationships, increase face-to-face time between doctors and patients, reduce physician workloads, instill patients with a sense of responsibility for their health and cut wasted dollars from the entire system.”
The quote above is NOT from a Direct pay doctor or advocate, even though it precisely describes the attributes of DPC. The quote is from the American Association of Family Physicians: The Ideal Medical Practice Model: Improving Efficiency, Quality and the Doctor-Patient Relationship.
Notice how many of the characteristics of the Ideal Medical Practice looks very similar to the characteristics of a typical Direct Primary Care practice. The ability to provide exemplary service is a natural element that arises from Direct Primary Care and other direct-pay models.
This direct engagement, absent the complexities and barriers created by the third-party network billing apparatus, enables a level of lifestyle-friendly involvement that naturally leads to a more satisfactory patient-doctor relationship and potentially superior clinical outcomes.
It’s hard to argue with cheaper and better.