Direct Primary Care: A Better Way To Pay For Healthcare? | NBC Nightly News

Direct Primary Care: A Better Way To Pay For Healthcare? | NBC Nightly News


NBC’S KRISTEN SHOWS US
HOW IT WORKS.
>>Reporter: WHEN JENNA NELSON TAKES HER
SONS TO THE DOCTOR,
SHE DOESN’T WORRY ABOUT FEELING RUSHED.
>>HE TAKES AS MUCH
TIME AS HE NEEDS, 30, 45 MINUTES IF NEEDED.
>>Reporter: A BIG
REASON SHE OPTED FOR SOMETHING CALLED
DIRECT PRIMARY CARE
INSTEAD OF TRADITIONAL INSURANCE.
IT’S A MEMBERSHIP OF
SORTS. UNLIMITED VISITS WITH
DR. DAVID CUNNINGHAM
FOR A MONTHLY FLAT FEE.
SHE CAN TEXT OR CALL
ANY TIME, WHICH CAN BE OFTEN WITH A
2-YEAR-OLD PRONE TO
EAR INFECTIONS AND A 4-YEAR-OLD WITH
ASTHMA.
WHAT DOES IT FEEL LIKE WHEN YOU HAVE ASTHMA?
>>TIGHT.
>>Reporter: THE FEE IS TYPICALLY BETWEEN
25 AND $85 A MONTH,
DEPENDING ON YOUR AGE FOR UNLIMITED VISITS,
ROUTINE LAB TESTS AND
SOME PLANS EVEN COVER PRESCRIPTIONS.
JENNA’S FAMILY SAVES
$500 A MONTH WITH DIRECT PRIMARY CARE
AND A LESS EXPENSIVE
HIGH-DEDUCTIBLE PLAN FOR OTHER MEDICAL
EXPENSES.
DR. CUNNINGHAM LEFT A TRADITIONAL PRACTICE.
HE SEES FEWER PATIENTS
AND MAKES LESS MONEY, BUT SAYS IT’S WORTH IT
TO AVOID INSURANCE
COMPANIES DICTATING HOW HE TREATS
PATIENTS.
>>IT FEELS GREAT TO BE PRACTICING MEDICINE
THE WAY IT’S SUPPOSED
TO BE. >>Reporter: CRITICS
WARN THERE IS IS
ALREADY A SHORTAGE OF PRIMARY CARE DOCTORS
AND DIRECT PRIMARY
CARE DOES NOT COVER SPECIALISTS OR
HOSPITAL STAYS.
>>THAT LEAVES THIS WHOLE MID RANGE OF
HEALTH PROBLEMS THAT
REALLY CAN’T BE ADDRESSED IN EVEN THE
BEST OF PRIMARY CARE
PHYSICIANS AND HE HASN’T QUITE REACHED
THE THRESHOLD FOR
CATASTROPHIC INSURANCE.
>>Reporter: FOR THE
NELSONS, DIRECT PRIMARY CARE IS THE
ANSWER TO SAVE MONEY
AND HAVE A DOCTOR WHO IS

6 thoughts on “Direct Primary Care: A Better Way To Pay For Healthcare? | NBC Nightly News

  1. We have been working with a direct primary care doctor in Austin, and love it. We were never able to use our high-deductible plans, and I really appreciate being able to sit down with a doctor for as long as it takes and talk about my "whole health." Yesterday I had an MRI, after a referral, for the cash-pay price of $450. I may need shoulder surgery, and if I do, there's a direct pay surgeon here in town, and it will cost me $7,000 out-of-pocket instead of $30-40,000. Worth checking into.

  2. Our DPC physician has contracts with specialists and can consult with them directly with lab results and tests that may need a specialist to advise on. This is at no charge to his patients.

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