Healthcare costs continue to rise while provider satisfaction heads in the opposite direction. As noted in Dealing with the Doctor Shortage (#hcbiz 8), the Net Promoter Score for becoming a doctor is abysmal. Nearly a quarter of physicians regret their career choice and over a third are unlikely to encourage young people to enter the field. This, along with many other factors, is driving us towards a projected shortfall of 90,000 physicians by 2025. A lack of Primary Care Physicians could account for 1/3 of that. Can Direct Primary Care help?

The feds, while attempting to curb out-of-control costs, are exacerbating the physician satisfaction problem by adding additional layers of complexity to an already over-complicated system. With MACRA on the horizon, physicians face a lot of uncertainty in the coming years and worry that their already compressed schedules may get even tighter. The continued pressure to shorten appointment times and increase patient panel sizes has many doctors considering a move to Direct Primary Care (DPC).

The Number of Direct Primary Care Practices is on the Rise

The Direct Primary Care model is still in a fledgling state, but the number of DPC practices is on the rise.  Today, there are about 345 DPC clinics in 45 states, up from 300 in 39 states about a year ago. Physicians are attracted to DPC because it offers an alternative to the hamster wheel Fee-For-Service model that has them drowning in paperwork, working long hours and constantly chasing the next regulation or reimbursement model to satisfy CMS and commercial insurers.

Still, making the transition to DPC can be an intimidating task. It’s true that many doctors feel disenfranchised by the existing system, but it’s one that they know and they’ve built their livelihoods around it. Walking away from FFS for DPC is not unlike the average person quitting their stable job to start their own business. We’d all like to be our own boss and build something we truly believe in, but we all know it’s incredibly risky and that keeps many of us from taking a shot.

Look to the Direct Primary Care Community for Help

Physicians considering the DPC-model have a great resource at their disposal. The DPC community is growing and the pioneers who’ve already made the transition are so happy with what they’ve found that they’re often willing to help for free. That’s right! A quick google search will turn up all sorts of communities, consortiums and DPC physicians, who will offer support, toolkits and more to help you get started and effectively operate as a DPC clinic.  Here are a few examples:

  1. FMEC, or The Family Medicine Education Consortium is working to achieve the full potential of family medicine and is a proponent of DPC. Note: They are also the guests on this week’s show!
  2. DPC Frontier offers guidance and resources for DPC startup. They provide a startup guide and even maintain a list of toolkits.
  3. AtlasMD, one of the pioneers in the space provides an entire Direct Care Curriculum complete with an email and phone number so that you can reach out for additional help. All free!
  4. DPCMH.org is dedicated to helping both practitioners and patients make the transition to DPC.
  5. MyDPC.org is dedicated to helping both practitioners and patients learn about the benefits and value of the Direct Primary Care model through engaging health literacy and growing market awareness.
  6. AAFP offers a Direct Primary Care Toolkit as well. This one is a paid resource, but it’s worth a look at just a few hundred bucks once you’ve exhausted all the free resources.

Join us for a conversation on Direct Primary Care

On Wednesday, October 12th the #hcbiz community welcomes Laurence Bauer, Kat Quinn MBA and Sean Schantzen to the show.  We’ll discuss how FMEC is working to achieve the full potential of Family Medicine and their role in supporting doctors who want to explore Direct Primary Care (DPC). We’ll also talk about their upcoming conference (October 28-30, 2016 in Pittsburgh) and their role in supporting The Big Heist Movie project.

Laurence Bauer, CEO, FMEC

Kat Quinn MBA, a leading advocate for DPC in growing market awareness for the DPC model through engaging health literacy

Sean Schantzen, CEO at Healthfundr and one of the founders of The Big Heist Movie project.

Livestream 12:00 – 12:30 PM EST

You can subscribe here, or watch the live stream below.

Tweetchat 12:30 – 1:00 PM EST

Immediately after the livestream we’ll jump into this week’s tweetchat. We’ll ask 3 questions in 30-minutes:

Q1: What are the primary benefits to providers in the DPC model? To patients?

Q2: What are the biggest challenges/risks for providers in starting up a DPC practice?

Q3: What are the best resources to help a physician get up-to-speed with DPC and to help them launch their business?

Follow the #hcbiz hashtag on Twitter or use an app like tchat.io to join the conversation