The Direct Primary Care Coalition (DPCC) represents primary care physicians, healthcare associations, employers, and others who support the advancement of state, federal, and private sector policies that bring patients and physicians together to help promote better primary care. Direct Primary Care (DPC) is a membership-based alternative payment model in which patients, employers, or health plans pay primary care providers in flat, simple periodic fees directly for unlimited access to primary care and prevention services in a medical home environment. Today, about 1,200 DPC practices in 48 states provide peerless access to great primary care to over 300,000 American patients. The DPC model is offered directly to individual patients and families, through employers, who often self-insure for their employee health benefits, through union plans, and working in conjunction with Medicare Advantage (MA). The DPCC believes that Americans of all ages and incomes should have access to high functioning, affordable, comprehensive, accessible, personal primary care. We think a pivotal part of the effort to promote choice and competition is to place a greater emphasis on primary care and preventive services by putting patients back in control of their care with assistance of a trusted personal primary care physician who knows the patient, and therefore can be that patient’s guide through the often complicated and expensive healthcare system.
Direct Primary Care (DPC) is an innovative alternative payment model for primary care being embraced by patients, physicians, employers,payers and policymakers across the United States.The defining element of DPC is an enduring and trusting relationship between a patient and his or her primary care provider.
Empowering this relationship is the key to achieving superior health outcomes, lower costs and an enhanced patient experience. DPC fosters this relationship by focusing on five key tenets:
1. Service: The hallmark of DPC is adequate time spent between patient and physician, creating an enduring doctor-patient relationship. Supported by unfettered access to care, DPC enables unhurried interactions and frequent discussions to assess lifestyle choices and treatment decisions aimed at longterm health and wellbeing. DPC practices have extended hours, ready access to urgent care, and patient panel sizes small enough to support this commitment to service.
2. Patient Choice: Patients in DPC choose their own personal physician and are active partners in their healthcare. Empowered by accurate information at the point of care, patients are fully involved in making their own medical and financial choices. DPC patients have the right to transparent pricing, access, and availability of all services provided.
3. Elimination of Fee-For-Service: DPC eliminates undesired fee-for-service(FFS) incentives in primary care. These incentives distort healthcare decision-making by rewarding volume over value. This undermines the trust that supports the patient-provider relationship and rewards expensive and inappropriate testing, referral, and treatment. DPC replaces FFS with a simple flat monthly fee that covers comprehensive primary care services. Fees must be adequate to allow for appropriately sized patient panels to support this level of care so that DPC providers can resist the numerous other financial incentives that distort care decisions and endanger the doctor-patient relationship.
4. Advocacy: DPC providers are committed advocates for patients within the healthcare system. They have time to make informed, appropriate referrals and support patient needs when they are outside of primary care. DPC providers accept the responsibility to be available to patients serving as patient guides. No matter where patients are in the system, physicians provide them with information about the quality, cost, and patient experience of care.
5. Stewardship: DPC providers believe that healthcare must provide more value to the patient and the system. Healthcare can, and must, be higher-performing, more patient-responsive, less invasive, and less expensive than it is today. The ultimate goal is health and wellbeing, not simply the treatment of disease.
DPC providers are committed to ensuring that American healthcare delivers on these goals.